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Inbound vs Outbound – The standard of today’s Marketing world

What is Outbound Marketing ?

As a consumer, you come across outbound messages more than you realize. For example,

Try to think when last you saw a direct commercials, banner, email or ad ?

Outbound Marketing is the way school of Marketing strategies. It uses a push methodology to deliver the marketers message in front of the audience in an interruptive manner.

They rely on grabbing the viewers attention while they are going on with their activities.

The messages primarily have a promotional tone to them to steer towards sales. These Marketing tactics are a one-way model of communication and do not give the audience any method of interacting with the message.

What is Inbound Marketing?

If you have interacted with materials like newsletters, SEO, blogs, social media, etc you have already explored inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing on the other hand follows a different method, it’s called the pull method.

This aims for the audience to come to marketers owned channels by their own will. Rather than having a noticeable sales pitch and messaging, value-driven content around what the brand offers. This allows the client to convert into a purchasing client.

Another facet of such a pull model is the two-way communication stream by interactive comment. Users can engage and interact with the content, the brand as well.

Relationship between inbound and outbound marketing 

Let’s examine the relationship between the two, now that we know about their different strategies.

The marketing world usually finds themselves in a heated debate about inbound vs outbound. We often find ourselves saying outbound is old school that’s why they should be left in the past. Others argue that outbound can never compete with the metrics yielded by outbound.

Like most operations in business, marketing requires a balance with its different tactics.

A marketer must realize the impact of both ways. Above all, their business goals must align with the usages for the best results.

Broadly, the three factors that can help one decide what approach should be employed.these are the business category, target audience and marketing goals.

The marketer needs to take the brands niche and image in recognition to realize what kind of messaging will align with the brands missions and goals. In addition, the marketer needs to examine the target audiences’ habits to see what kind of content they consume and where. This can mark how effective the efforts will or will not be.

The biggest deciding factor in all of this is the marketing objectives. If a brand wishes to have a high reach and awareness outbounds are the way to go. Because they allow for a quick and broad reach to the consumers. On the other hand, if a brand wishes to have higher conversion and purchase actions, inbound is the way to go. 

What is the difference between inbound vs outbound 

Let’s look at the different various parameters of how Inbound Marketing differs from Outbound Marketing.

  • Engagement and Audience 

Inbound marketing takes precedence when it comes to audience and engagement. As they follow a value-driven approach, the audience interacts and consumes way more with such messaging, the audience often chooses to ignore the message altogether.

  • Brand Positioning 

This realm deals with how organically the brand name is positioned in front of the viewers screen. In case of inbound, the spotlight is at the brand as the audience has visited brand properties for example a blog. But outbound is always an add-on to other pages. Such messages don’t get any limelight on the host pages .

  • Messaging 

This is the first and foremost where inbound vs outbound marketing stirs heat. As outbound as a small time frame to display messages, the messaging becomes broad and complex. This is because it must capture the diverse and broad audience attention. With inbound, the problem of limited duration goes away. This empowers marketers to focus on specific audience cohorts and curate specific messages. This can relay some worth to the reader who wants to consume the content by will.

  • Distribution 

This facet directly deals with the real estate of content and tenure of existence. Outbound marketing, marketers always find themselves renting out space from other hosts (eg- radio channels, search engine spots, trade shows, etc). That means the messaging will only last as long as the space has been rented for. This results in erratic leads and hits, spiking when the campaign is up while the lull persits when the next campaign is being designed.

This completely changes with the rise of inbound marketing. As content is posted on owned media platforms the content once posted, certainly stays there forever. This results in consistent and growing leads over a period as both old and new content is consumed per the viewers comfort.

therefore , we see why the inbound vs outbound debate thus often claims the better return of investment derived from inbound marketing. 

  • Data and Analytics

Marketers sure have a lot of platforms available to them. It has become of the utmost importance to measure the success of each data metrics. However , with a one way communication model in outbound, measuring success becomes very hard and often inaccurate.

There is no way of knowing where the real success came from or how many leads potentially came from traditional platforms. With inbound marketing, the real benefit lies in statistics. As everything is purely digital, measuring the clicks, conversations, etc becomes easy. 

In other words this allows marketers to analyze what works and what doesn’t to make there next campaign more efficient next time.


With such discussions between the two, we see many trends emerge that use the best of both :

  • Inbound in Outbound

An up and coming strategy utilizes the benefits of both. Rather than creating promotional messages for outbound, arranging resourceful and helpful content that seeds the brands product or services for promotions through outbound strategies is the new of the game. This creates user engagement, they receive the content they wish to consume.

This strategy results in a higher reach and awareness then typical inbound messages, it uses the pull of outbound. Such a plan can derive a high return of investment for the brand.

  • Native Advertising 

Often labeled as the next big thing, where the advert smoothly blends into the host pages. This approach lends relevance to the viewer rather than being interruptive like usual outbound messages

Apart from these, we see several trends coming up in the inbound space. Short format videos have become very popular. This is because of the dropping attention spans.

Final Thoughts 

After a deep look into the world of inbound and outbound marketing, we see that rather than being competing methods, they can often aid one another. What do you think of this ?