The Debate Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Idea concept

In a world full of fierce competition and copycats, a business trying to get the attention of customers means fighting through a battlefield. They must execute the most effective strategies with the resources they have, to come out on top. This doesn’t mean being the loudest and glitziest, because while it may generate attention and interest, sales and closed deals aren’t guaranteed. The worst-case scenario will lead to wasted time, money, and effort, that could have been used elsewhere.

Eddie Yoon, author of the best-seller Superconsumers, claims that 50% of a business’s profit can be attributed to the top 10% of ‘highly engaged consumers’. They are the loyal fans of the brand who will willingly support any product and service from the company. What’s more, they also serve as convincing megaphones to their community, increasing brand awareness by word of mouth.

It’s vital, then, that businesses, whether they are offering affordable FHA loans or effective search engine optimization services, should focus on creating a community of fans. They are the people who believe in the brand’s mission, vision, and values. You can only cultivate these superconsumers, as Yoon calls them, by engaging in deep conversation with your target market and providing a worthwhile experience. This takes a healthy mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Understanding outbound marketing

Interruption and push notifications are the names of the game for outbound marketing. This traditional approach deals with bombarding the potential customer with a message about the products and services that a business has. It is the marketer who calls the shots, which includes the topic, timing, and place of interaction.

The most common outbound marketing tactics are billboards, flyers, cold calls and emails, and trade shows. What makes outbound problematic is that it stops working as soon as the business stops paying to have them.

The popularity of inbound marketing

First coined by Hubspot co-founder Brian Halligan, inbound marketing is a more subtle way of attracting customers. This kind of marketing utilizes the power of value-adding content being made available on the business’s website and social media channels. It projects a sense of credibility because the business is positioning itself as an expert in a certain field.

The customer will then organically find their products as they search for solutions to the pain points they’re experiencing. Inbound marketing works even after the content is posted as best explained in this flywheel model.

Going for the hybrid approach


To reach the most consumers possible, businesses should use whatever toolset that is available to them. While it’s tempting to completely shift to inbound marketing, there is still some steam left for outbound especially in the form of targeted ads. People still tend to impulse buy, especially when they feel stressed, which can lead to potential customers becoming interested in your products even if they’re not looking for them in the first place. At the same time, businesses can develop their content development strategy which can attract buyers researching online.

By using both inbound and outbound, they can expand the base of their prospective customers, increasing the number of people that will purchase what they have to offer. It’s a win-win scenario.

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