Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: Definitions, Differences and Winning Strategies

The digital marketing world changes every single day — and yet, the two umbrella terms that encompass the entire digital marketing space remain intact.
  • Inbound marketing is the practice of pulling in attention to your brand via helpful content. That could be in the form of blogging, social media content, eBooks, white papers, website content (SEO), webinars etc.
  • Outbound marketing, also known as interruption-based marketing, on the other hand is the practice of pushing out your marketing messaging to wherever your audience is. This could include cold calling/ emailing, direct mail, TV and radio ads, trade shows and display advertising.
Which Strategy Works Best?
  • Marketers don’t have to choose between inbound marketing and outbound marketing in order to hit their KPIs since the line between inbound and outbound is slowly blurring into redundancy because of some fundamental changes in the marketing and media ecosystem.
  • The rise of major platforms like Google and Facebook has led to the “content-ification” of everything. Now, most advertising is what you’d call a native ad — an Instagram sponsored video or a paid Facebook article is “native” to the platform — it mimics the same look and feel as posts from friends or family.
This means that marketers end up doing “inbound” (by creating content), but also spending a lot of their “outbound” budget on promoting that content. By combining inbound strategies, brands can further identify target audience using analytics and reporting. Using that data, they can fuel an outbound strategy. Hence a hybrid between the two works best.
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Kaneez Fatima

Kaneez Fatima48 Posts

An enthusiastic learner, Kaneez often finds herself wondering about the meaning of life, as well as about different realms of marketing. She is currently pursuing her PGPM from IBS Mumbai and gearing up for a successful career.

yashvi Mehta

I am a positive and incredibly inventive person with an intuitive mindset.

Saurav Nayak

The biggest competition is myself. I am not looking to follow others or pull them down. I am planning to test my own boundaries.


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