The Difference Between Inbound And Outbound Lead Generation: Which Is More Valuable Today?

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Are you trying to grow your business and take it to the next level? Are you wanting to step up your marketing, but not sure which strategy would be the most beneficial for you?

When it comes to drumming up new business, knowing the difference between inbound and outbound lead generation can determine your level of success. Both strategies have their place in the marketing game, but which one is more valuable to your business?

Before you can solidify the perfect marketing strategy, you need to know what your options are. Keep reading to learn how you can make the best choice!

What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Lead Generation?

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Let’s start by talking about each of these options individually. Then we’ll talk about their differences and how they can work for you!

Outbound Lead Generation

Outbound lead generation has been a staple in most company’s marketing strategy for decades and decades. This lead generation process can be done in several ways, but always consists of a business sending out some sort of material or message directly to a customer.

B2B marketing is one of the biggest ways outbound leads are created.

B2B stands for business-to-business and happens when one company tries to sell its products or services to another company. An example of this would be Staples trying to sell paper and office supplies to a school or a corporate headquarters of a business in another industry.

Outbound marketing can be very beneficial, especially if a business is targeting a certain demographic or part of town. For instance, if a new coffee shop opens in a neighborhood, they may send out mailers to people who live in a 2-mile radius of their location.

Another example of outbound lead generation would be a car dealership. Let’s say you bought a car from ABC Auto 4 years ago. Because you are in their customer database, they might put you on a list of people to call to see if you are interested in trading in your old car for a newer one.

While this method of marketing and sometimes be seen as intrusive, it can also be extremely effective if you target the right people. However, if you target a 65-year-old man with a Victoria’s Secret mailer, chances are high that it won’t lead to actual business.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound marketing takes a bit of a different approach to generating new business. Unlike outbound, where the business seeks out new customers, inbound marketing allows the customer to approach your business when and where they want.

In simpler terms, it puts the control back into the hands of the customer, instead of the hands of the business itself. The main ways this method is used is through SEO marketing and social media utilization. The goal is to create content that is engaging and pulls in potential customers without feeling invasive.

Inbound lead generation allows the customer to feel like they control what businesses and companies they give their time and money too. By producing content that captures people’s attention, and doing it consistently, it starts to create trust between you and your potential customer. 

Another key to inbound marketing is the emphasis on providing people with a solution to their problems, instead of just trying to sell them a product. If you can be the answer to their question, it’ll create more of an opportunity to turn that prospect into a customer.

An example of inbound lead generation is putting in the time to create a brand and social media presence. First, you get a prospect to follow your pages because they enjoy the engaging content. Then, once they start following you, they will see the things you post and begin to realize how your product or service can help them.

Eventually, that will turn into sales. Not because you forced your company down their throats, but because you gave the customer control over your working relationship. You built their trust, and in turn, it encourages them to support or use what you have to offer.

Inbound vs. Outbound

There are always going to be people that say one of these is better than the other. But the truth is, it’s not so much about a versus as much as it is about an and. When it comes to your marketing strategy, you don’t have to just choose one or the other.

If you are a new business and want to intentionally draw in customers from your local community, outbound marketing could be a great strategy. However, if you are an established company, and you’ve built a recognizable brand, allowing customers to come to you can also be a wonderful choice.

Don’t ever let this idea of only choosing one hold you back from utilizing all of the tools in your toolbox. Also, don’t be afraid to mix it up every once in a while. If one thing isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, try something different.

Businesses that are flexible and open to change have a greater likelihood of long term success. As society and the world we live in changes, don’t be afraid to change and evolve along with it.

At the end of the day, both inbound and outbound lead generation have the same goal in mind. They are both designed to help create new customers or keep the ones you already have. 

Let the Leads Roll In!

Now that you know the difference between inbound and outbound lead generation, you are equipped to make the right choice for your business. Pretty soon you’ll be raking in new customers like leaves on an autumn day.

You also don’t have to do this alone. For help with your marketing strategy and incorporating things like SEO, contact us today! We’d love to help you take your business to the next level!