Let's get ready to rumble in today's epic battle that promises to be a classic in every sense of the word. In the red corner, we have the defending champion Outbound Marketing and in the blue corner looking impressive is the challenger Inbound marketing. Does the contender have what it takes to take down the old man of marketing or is he capable of making a historic comeback let's find out?
Round 1 - Customer Harmony
Marketing is constantly evolving and the more familiar techniques that manufacturing companies have used in the past are becoming less successful. Outbound Marketing or "interruption marketing" sends a message to a large number of people via various methods Direct Mail, Magazine Ads, Tradeshows or Cold-Calling. If you target the right demographic it can be successful, however, more and more buyers are taking a defensive stand, becoming savvy at blocking these messages.
Round 2 - Laser Focus
Inbound Marketing relies on your company providing relevant and highly valuable information to buyers and engineers exactly when they are seeking it. This is the equivalent of fishing with a line and bait and waiting for the fish to come to you as opposed to actively dragging a net through the water hoping to catch a worthwhile lead or two in the process. You know the fish who take the bait are interested in what you offer, therefore the likelihood of converting them into a customer is far higher than the indiscriminate “net” approach where your catch may not ever be interested in your capabilities or service offering.
This highly valuable content should provide answers to specific questions relevant to your industry, as buyers and engineers will be asking these questions in search queries on the major search engines. While having a successful content strategy offers limitless possibilities it is becoming harder as more companies cotton on to it's potential.
Round 3 - Speed To Results & Complexities
Producing almost instant results with relative simplicity Outbound Marketing is the winner of this round. There is no doubt an effective inbound strategy done correctly brings results in the form of leads and sales but it takes time to develop valuable content, create a website that ranks well in the major search engines and then nurture generated leads into becoming customers.
The multi-faceted nature of inbound marketing, requiring marketing capabilities and technical know-how with modern Search Engine Optimisation techniques, can put inbound marketing out of reach for the average UK Manufacturing Business. It has great potential to pay off in the long run, but the timeframe for payback and the cost and complexity can be prohibitive.
Outbound Marketing shouldn’t be labelled as the simple option though. Getting your marketing message is critically important if you want ANY results from outbound marketing.
Round 4 - Quality of the Message
Outbound Marketing by its very nature is a lot more broad in its approach, therefore messaging can be highly compromised. In general, when you try to speak to everyone, you inevitably stand out to no-one. Inbound Marketing however is a major winner in this area! The landing page or content that your customers find when searching for answers on Google will be completely aligned with their requirement. The latest iteration of the Google algorithm has made sure that your content answers their problem or search query. You can therefore have as many tuned marketing messages as there are customer queries! Inbound marketing really kicks ass in this manner. It’s like giving each fish it’s own favourite flavour bait.
Round 5 - Ability To Measure
One of the biggest ways Inbound trounces Outbound marketing is the ability to track and measure results effectively. With Outbound Marketing an advert in a trade magazine might result in a phone call a sale even maybe it was that generic Email Campaign (Highly Unlikely) you sent last week that made the potential client reach for the phone. The point is the receptionist will put them through without asking and you might never know which of these methods achieved the desired result
Round 6 - Staying Power
Outbound Marketing lacks stamina. This weeks promotional material is next week’s bin-liner, It’s an unfortunate truth. Inbound Marketing on the other hand has unbelievable staying power, in fact growing in power over time. Generating high value content online draws in the attention of readers and the major search engines. Over time, credibility builds, your content ranks in the search engines and it then goes to work for you whilst you’re concentrating on developing relationships with qualified leads face-to-face. Content you create today could keeping marketing your Manufacturing Business for years to come.
Final Round - Targeting The Demographic
Most people will say that Outbound Marketing is outdated and doesn't produce the results of its more modern digital opponent, however, there are are ways it is effective particularly for B2B companies with an older customer base who like doing business face to face or good old-fashioned networking. It also works well for higher end products where potential clients feel more comfortable with personal contacts. In conclusion, although Outbound marketing has been knocked down repeatedly throughout this bout, it continues to get back up before the 10 count. A well thought out targeted Outbound Marketing strategy can work very well along your digital endeavors.
Differing Approaches Of Inbound & Outbound Marketing
So the bout is over, but you still may be a little puzzled about how Inbound and Outbound Marketing differ in method. It may be clear that Inbound Marketing draws customers in, whilst Outbound Marketing goes about chasing the leads down, but this infographic by Maximize explains the differing approaches between Old School Outbound and New School Inbound...
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