Outbound marketing is the traditional way of advertising, where a company starts the conversation and sends its message to an audience, all one-way and without immediate response. Examples of this are television and radio advertisements, print advertisements (in newspapers, magazines, brochures, catalogues, etc.) or sending emails.
Outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing
Outbound marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing, where customers find the company, mostly through various search engine marketing efforts. Outbound marketing is harder to control and less profitable than inbound marketing, yet ironically, organizations still spend up to 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing.
Companies looking to improve their sales and profitability of marketing investment should consider allocating a higher percentage of their marketing budget to inbound marketing. However, inbound marketing is complex to implement and time-consuming.
Outbound marketing attempts to reach consumers usually through media advertising. Depending on where it is used, the focus of this advertising can be very broad (television advertising), personal approach (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonal personal” (cold calls or emails). Through each of the outbound marketing methods, sales opportunities are generated and then followed by inside sales reps.
Difficulties of outbound marketing
Outbound marketing makes up the bulk of the marketing campaign budget for many companies. It has been around for a long time and some even consider it a necessary cost to do business. Outbound marketing, however, presents many difficulties, and the tradition and mistakes of the past should never be put in the way of adapting to changing marketing trends. Problems with outbound marketing include:
- Difficulties in tracking return on investment (ROI).
- The increase in blocking techniques (spam filters, on-demand television, etc.).
- High cost, low performance.