There exists two types of marketing – outbound and inbound marketing, which involves various strategies that can be leveraged by small businesses to help reduce expenditure and grow their customer base significantly.
Outbound marketing is a marketing model also known as interruption marketing. As the name likely suggests, interruption marketing involves communicating related messages to a large number of customers by the use of techniques such as: direct email, advertising, cold calling by trying to extract some attention and time out of their daily lives by causing an interruption.
These messages are usually sent out in bulk in order to maximize the reach of the messages to the right customers through different channels. However, this process may be considered expensive for small businesses yet there exists a solution for every problem!
According to the Hubspot report (2014), exists evidence that inbound marketing has potential to deliver equal or better results than those achieved by outbound marketing. Many of the marketers belonging to nonprofit sectors, B2B and B2C graded inbound marketing as their lead source when compared to other channels.
Below are four reasons introducing inbound marketing as a more viable option as investment for smaller businesses in terms of customer acquisition.
- The price of Inbound V/s Outbound marketing: The expenditure involved for Outbound marketing is usually higher because it takes into account the costs for printing, mailing, spreading the messages through various mediums such as TV, radio, phone calls and other media. On the other hand, inbound marketing is relatively inexpensive which requires an appropriate set of skills to rightfully undertake the task. Such as creating a blog or a website armed with the right content, can aid in aiming at the target audience in a way that it allows potential customers to turn into conversions. The correct use of search engine optimization and a precise traffic strategy for the website also helps achieve the same goal. Social media is a relatively inexpensive and more apt for finding the right target audience in comparison to traditional methods i.e advertising or print media. Etc. Also emphasized by the Hubspot Inbound report (2014), the trends have been changing over time where businesses are now using mediums such as social media, email marketing and SEO for the generation of newer leads.
- Two way communication: Inbound marketing offers a two way communication over outbound marketing, which allows customers to openly voice their opinions and engage well with the business. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer their “wall” for customers to post comments which is also in the case of blogs. This allows easy interaction and a chance for businesses to develop relations with them as nowadays customers prefer to be updated, kept well- informed and in control of the information that is shared with them. This type of engagement encourages customers to be more receptive to the messages passed onto them from a business.
- Intrusive and Non intrusive communication: Outbound marketing involves a way of communication to the customers that may be intrusive and disrupting. All customers may not want to be intimated about the events of the business thus, making inbound marketing a more fuss-free option! With the right marketing strategy inbound marketing can in fact, instill a sense of interest in the minds of the customers and generate curiosity to compel them to voluntarily notice the messages. As a matter of fact, blogging yields a higher ROI for businesses which use blogs, as they promote the business on a larger scale while creating higher conversions and leads in a month, over those businesses that don’t use.
- Easier to use, even for Non marketers: Outbound marketing is a loud method of communication with a hint of aggressiveness whereas inbound marketing can be undertaken by non marketers as well and used in a way that it generates results that are more valuable. It helps fabricate content such as info-graphics, blog posts and white-papers which help businesses to target and attract ideal customers. It is not “pushy” like the outbound marketing techniques that try to sell each time but, appeals the customers who aren’t comfortable with direct communication even through the sales person.
Therefore, using inbound marketing strategies keeps small businesses at par with businesses bigger from them in size, as it concentrates on acquiring the right customers by providing information that they are curious to know.