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Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

The field of marketing has evolved with the advent of internet. The things which are considered as the parts and parcels in marketing need to be revitalized with the digital age. Inbound marketing is also an emerging concept of marketing in this digital age. It means that you are attracting your customers by providing them free information and contents about the things they want to know. It's an interactive method of communicating the message to the customers. On the other hand outbound marketing is considered as the traditional marketing in which the message is communicated to the prospects without their consent. Most of the marketing activities outside the digital world is considered as outbound marketing. Some activities on the digital world like TVC, banner advertising and Email marketing are also considered as outbound marketing. Let's have a brief comparison of inbound and outbound marketing on some key points.

  • Inbound marketing includes blogs, podcasts, videos, e-newsletters, webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, search engine optimization, content marketing and social media marketing. Outbound marketing includes TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, banner ads, floating ads, popup ads, Email marketing, telemarketing and other means of traditional marketing.

  • Inbound marketing is interactive and has become a two-way dialogue much of it is facilitated by social media. The prospects, leads or the customers can share their views and experiences on the social media websites with the companies and other people. In the Outbound marketing the communication is one way as we see that companies communicate their messages via electronic, outdoor and print media.

  • Inbound marketing is also known as earned media. It means that it relies on earning people's interest instead of buying it. The cost is meant to effort applied on it and the visibility continues even when the effort stops. Outbound marketing is also known as paid media. The more the money you spend the more the traffic you have with outbound marketing. If there is not money spend then there would not be any traffic.


  • The Inbound marketing has lower cost as the cost per lead is lower in it and the Outbound marketing has higher cost as compared to the other.
  • In the Inbound marketing customers are being attracted and come to you by search engines, referrals and social media. In the Outbound marketing customers are sought out via print, TV, radio, direct mail and outdoor advertising.

  • Inbound marketing is considered as a passive approach because you have to wait for the visitor as it's not an easy task of creating great content and then recommending it to individuals and groups on other social media channel that they would visit the content. Outbound marketing is considered as aggressive approach because push is given with the payment. Some modern marketers also describe it as "interruption marketing".
  • Inbound marketing is mostly done through digital channels. As there are still many customers who does not spend time online or either don't have access to the digital channels like in developing countries therefore it can't be replaced at all with Outbound marketing.

It is clear from the above mentioned points that inbound marketing is more targeted, desirable to customers and also posses lower cost as compared to the outbound marketing but at the same end it also has some limitations. At the closing note, I recommend you that you should focus on the marketing method which is most effective for you and your business either it would be inbound marketing, outbound marketing or the integrated approach of using both of these.


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