In or Out: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

When I discuss with most promoters these days about how they produce leads and improve their revenues, most of them say that market events, conferences, group e-mails, inbound telemarketing, outsourced promotion, and commercial ads are effective tools. I name these techniques “outbound marketing” where a professional markets his concept out far and wide expecting that it will reach the multitudes. So What’s with the “Outtie?” I think outbound promotion models are getting less and less efficient in the long run for two factors. First, the average individual these days is overloaded with approximately 2,000 outbound marketing disruptions per day and is adapting more and more innovative ways to filter them out, such as spam filtration, caller ID, TiVo, and Sirius radio. Second, the rate of coordination around studying about a new thing or purchasing something new using the Internet (web search engines, online blogs, and social networking) is now significantly lower than attending a conference at Marriott or travelling to a car show in Las Vegas. So In or Out? Rather than doing outbound promotion to the public who are trying to prevent you in, I suggest doing “inbound marketing” where you help yourself “get found” by individuals who already know about your market and are regular buyers. To do this, you need to set up your web page like a “hub” for your market that draws guests usually through search engines, web blogs, and social networking sites. I believe most promoters these days invest 90% of their efforts on outbound promotion and 10% on inbound endorsement, and I am suggesting that those percentages switch. The best example I can come up with is that conventional promoters looking to pique interest from new clients are like tigers prowling in the forest for zebras. The zebras used to live in the forest in the ’80s and ’90s when they started their business, but they don’t seem to be there any longer. They have all moved to the oases on the savannah (the Internet). So, rather than continuing to search in the forest, I suggest establishing a store at the watering hole or switching your web page into its own oasis.