L O A D I N G
Right Impact - Digital Marketing Agency

If you are looking to scale up your marketing, you will need talented people that can take charge of and execute your strategy. 

But should you build your own in-house marketing team or hire an agency partner? 

There are compelling reasons for both, and it mostly depends on your situation.

Read on to find out which decision is better for you. 

The Benefits of Working With a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital agencies are companies that help other businesses perform a specific function such as marketing, development, or design. 

They act as a substitute for an in-house team, serving the same labor function but outside of the organization.

They typically specialize in certain areas, depending on how big their team is and what expertise they have. 

There are two kinds of people. 

The first group go out of their way in search of what they need

Did you find this article after doing some research? 

If so, you belong in the first group. 

hellou how are uuu im fine thanks and oyu?

The second group waits on others to suggest what they should want. 

Was this content piece forced on a feed you were scrolling via some form of paid advertising?

Yes? 

Then you belong in the second group. 

Either way, whether this article was forced on you (outbound) or you researched and found it yourself (inbound), the point is that you’re still here. 

So what does that tell you? 

It means that the difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing boils down to getting your business in front of two different groups of people. 

That is, those who go out of their way to find your product or service when they need it. Or, those who you must go out of your way to bring your business to their attention. 

I’m not here to discuss ethical issues or tell you how inbound marketing is better than outbound marketing. 

The truth of the matter is that both approaches, be it outbound or inbound marketing, works. 

So what’s my goal with this article, you ask? 

I’ll show you how they differ from each other and when to use one approach over another to achieve what I believe is most paramount – reach the right audience and grow your business. 

Good? 

Let’s start with the basics… their definitions.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing, also known as “push” or “interruption” marketing, is the use of marketing tactics to get your business (or its message) in front of people not necessarily searching for it. 

Traditional outbound channels like TV, radio, print, radio, and billboards are there for all to see. 

In this digital era, brands and marketers still use the outbound marketing approach to reach a wide audience of people via paid ads tactics. 

Whether traditional or digital channels, the goal with outbound marketing is the same. 

Marketers use it with the hope that a fraction of the broad audience they’re targeting would take interest in their offer or message and start the journey to becoming a customer. 

But there’s a reason why the outbound marketing approach, especially those executed via display ads, gets a terrible click-through-rate of 0.06% on desktop and 0.16% on mobile.

Nobody asks for them. 

Going by that negligible display ads’ CTR, most people seem to have thrown outbound marketing out of the window. 

No reasonable person throws a baby out with the bathwater, so you shouldn’t. 

Why?

With tailored outbound tactics like cold email outreach, marketers see open rates of about 17.8% and CTRs of up to 14%. And on LinkedIn, cold messages get 3x that, according to LinkedIn’s report.

In other words, outbound marketing still works. 

The absence of a marketing strategy to determine when and how to use it, as well as to guide its execution is why most marketers and businesses fail with outbound marketing.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing prides itself as the most reasonable and ethical way to advertise a business. This approach has been in existence since 2006, about 15 years ago.  

So why are people still listening even more today? 

It’s because inbound marketing is a subtle, not-so-salesy way of attracting prospects; then, engaging them with relevant, helpful information until they become customers and advocates.

Remember the first group of people I mentioned, those who go out to find what they need?

Inbound marketers typically wait for this bunch with the right information in the form of content marketing, SEO, and social media to attract and pull them into their sales funnels.  

Inbound marketing may be non-promotional and not “forced” on people like outbound. 

But that’s not to say it’s easy or a stroll in the park when using it to attract prospects actively searching for the products or services your business offers. 

Like outbound, without a solid strategy to guide its execution, inbound marketing is difficult to turn into a growth channel.

Why?

Because it takes time, upfront investment, and excellent content creation and promotional expertise to ensure your content gets found by prospects. 

At my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, here’s how we call this act of strategizing to create content that gets found:

From experience, I can say that the success or failure of outbound or inbound marketing hinges on this one thing: Creating content that matters for the people that matter. 

Why? 

Because when you create content that prospects really need, they’ll love to see it whether you force it on them (outbound) or they go out in search of it (inbound). 

Hence, to grow your business depends on whether you have a great strategy to guide you on when to use one approach over the other. 

I’ll talk about when to use outbound or inbound marketing.

Before that, let’s examine their differences.

3 Key differences between inbound and outbound marketing

The ultimate goal of inbound or outbound marketing is to reach prospects and get them to do business with you. 

Although the end goal is the same, these are the three core areas they differ. 

Difference #1: Pull vs push

If you create helpful content that gets discovered by your ideal customers when they’re searching for it, you’ve successfully pulled them into discovering your business as they consume that content piece. 

Now, that is inbound marketing in practice. 

This approach demands that you create content to address topics or queries prospects are already searching for, which you can find via keywords research or community forums.

Outbound marketing is the opposite of that. 

Here, you develop content with the assumption (sometimes based on trends) that it’ll capture your prospects’ interest. But since they aren’t searching for it or asked for it, you have to push it via advertising it to them. 

It’s like taking a blind shot. 

Maybe, just maybe your shot hits the target, reaching some people who’ll take interest in your “pushed” ad, discovering your business or message in the process. 

Difference #2: Generic vs specific

Outbound marketing campaigns via mediums like TV, radio, billboards, and print ads tend to be more generic. 

Why? 

Because like you, just about anybody can watch a TV show or pass a street corner with a mounted billboard. 

So to increase the chances of reaching a substantial fraction of people who may be interested in an ad, outbound campaigns tend to be more generic or try to appeal to the entire public.

For example, this ad by Ogilvy, although very creative, speaks to just about anyone that has teeth:

On the other hand, inbound marketing follows a more specific approach. 

Inbound’s core principle involves creating educational or entertaining content pieces to address a problem faced by a specific audience. 

In this case, even though everyone may have the problem, a company only concerns itself with an audience it is interested in or has experience serving. 

The result of this is the creation of content such as blogs, social media posts, newsletters, or the use of SEO techniques to optimize for targeted queries aimed at a defined audience. 

For example, see below how WebMD titled this content piece specific to fitness enthusiasts, looking to get fit at home: 

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