One of the most important decisions a small or mid-size business owner has to make is whether to use inbound or traditional marketing techniques. Although other business factors will come into play when making this kind of a decision, cost is inevitably one of the biggest.
To many, this decision seems completely cut-and-dried; however, depending on the industry, it may be far more complicated.
The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a multi-tiered marketing solution that relies on the use of content marketing, search engine optimization, social media mentions, nurturing of leads, email marketing, and marketing automation techniques to build and maintain an audience.
Between the two techniques, inbound marketing is considered the more modern and efficient strategy because of its broad approach.
When it comes to cost, inbound marketing is usually less expensive. However, an effective and complete inbound marketing campaign typically requires the commitment of considerable manpower, which can be extremely pricey. To set up an inbound marketing network can require a great deal of person-hours.
Depending on the expertise that the business can call upon in-house, the choices will include whether to attempt to undertake the marketing campaign with company employees, or to outsource the job to a professional company. The relative costs and potential output will of course have to be weighed.
The Disadvantages Of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing can pose a pretty steep learning curve for nearly anyone who did not grow up in front of a computer. Furthermore, the results of an inbound marketing campaign can also take weeks or months to assess, due to the slower nature of the distribution channels.
During that period, most businesses will be utterly incapable of telling whether their efforts have been worth the expenditure of money and man-hours.
The Benefits Of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is the more classic and time-tested approach to pursuing an online marketing campaign. This method relies on traditional sales techniques that “convince” people to come to a website in order to affect the conversion.
Because of the nature of outbound marketing channels, the results are usually visible much more quickly than with inbound marketing. In the long run, it can also be much less expensive than inbound marketing.
Additionally, outbound marketing is a much better approach for companies that do not have the ability to interact with other firms’ webmasters on an ongoing basis. In order to obtain social media mentions and create a semblance of an inbound marketing campaign, personal relationships must be formed between the owner or manager of the website in question and webmasters for other sites.
The Disadvantages Of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing usually requires a great deal more money at the outset. Because so much of one’s efforts are focused on creating a position for a website within an already established distribution channel, the cost of positioning is much higher than is normally the case with inbound marketing. Outbound marketing also runs the risk of being completely skipped over by a target market. Many Internet marketing professionals contend that content marketing and other forms of “softer” selling methodologies are quickly antiquating the entire concept of outbound marketing.