It’s no secret that marketing is about communicating the value of a product or service to customers with the purpose of promoting or selling. However, with the emergence of the Internet, the lines have been blurred and marketing now exists in countless forms. This has led to one of the biggest trends shaping the industry: the shift from outbound marketing to inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing, also referred to as “old marketing”, uses more traditional methods of marketing that involve pushing products or services on customers and guiding them back to a business. A few common examples of this include generic email blasts, billboards, TV ads, direct mail, etc. While these forms of marketing can be expensive and difficult to track, throughout history, outbound marketing has been the dominant form of marketing, proving to be a very effective way to reach and influence the masses. Since the emergence of the Digital Age, however, traditional methods of marketing have become less effective, especially with Millennials. According to SJ Insights, the average person is exposed to over 5,000 advertisements and brand exposures per day. No wonder people are feeling overwhelmed and would rather search for information on their own terms. It’s on this basis that inbound marketing has become so popular.
Inbound marketing, also called “new marketing”, involves creating original content developed for a target audience with the intention of attracting potential customers. This type of marketing is usually done with websites, blogs, social media, personalized digital outreach and public relations. The reason this works so much better than outbound marketing is because younger generations are tired of being talked at and would rather use the Internet to search for content that solves a problem or interests them. So by creating meaningful content that relates to or helps solve a problem of your target audience, you are demonstrating the value of your product, rather than just pushing it on them and telling them how good it is. This will not only create trust and loyalty in your brand, it will create a lasting relationship that will keep customers coming back time and time again. Inbound marketing tends to be much less expensive than outbound marketing and easier to track using HubSpot and Google Analytics, allowing businesses to determine what type of content their target audience enjoys most.
While there still is a place for outbound marketing, especially with Gen X and older consumers, the playing field is changing in favor of inbound marketing. So start creating content and let the consumers come to you!