Inbound marketing has transformed the way businesses use the internet, but more familiar outbound strategies still have their place. For businesses trying to generate quality leads and build sustainable growth consistently, knowing which strategy will maximize return on investment is vital. The truth is that a mixture of both is usually best, but how that mix is determined comes down to the brand’s size, goals and services.
Why Inbound Marketing Has Become So Popular
Inbound marketing is brand building. Brands use content like articles, white papers, social media posting or other offerings that people would want to “consume” naturally while surfing online. When enough people begin to engage or share these materials, the brand has built a community and relationships before even directly soliciting a sale.
The limitation of inbound marketing is that it takes a lot more time. One effective display ad or outbound media campaign can drive enough interest to generate plenty of leads within a few days. Inbound, on the other hand, relies upon the natural tendency of the internet to build hype and gradually become more visible. This process is advantageous for brands that want to “soft sell” over the web or do not want to spend a high price point per lead. In the end, the gradual process may be more costly.
Why Many Businesses Must Still Rely on Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing’s biggest strength is that it places brands within a global discussion, working that branding message into the collective online culture. This strategy does not quite work if there is not much to talk about, though.
For these reasons, outbound marketing is a must for brands that need to grow fast. One of our clients, a Burnaby-based commercial janitorial service, had a small staff of 20-50 and a need for consistent leads. If they used inbound marketing exclusively, they would take months to register in the local market, if at all. While many people would love interesting facts about cleaning or why cleaning is important for commercial buildings, the direct approach of soliciting leads was more effective given the limited market penetration. They were able to book 10-15 extra appointments per month, and they saw a 25 percent increase in overall contract sales.
If this business were to expand into a more competitive regional market, they may wish to get a branding edge on their competitors with inbound lead building as well as outbound lead generation. The fact is that going out and finding the leads was the best way for them to grow.
In the end, companies that have the confidence or the time to wait on inbound leads can lean heavier on those services, but those that need to get their name out there fast and want to grow or sustain growth in a short period should invest in outbound strategies.
To learn more about bringing more business to your business with outbound lead generation, visit our services information page.