Why You Should Avoid Outbound Marketing

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By Vee Tardrew - December 11, 2013

Poor old traditional, outbound marketing!

It’s getting a good lambasting from its more modern cousin Inbound Marketing . Here's why you should avoid it.

It Costs More Than Inbound Tactics

Leads generated via inbound tactics cost on average 61% less than their outbound counterparts. HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report found that the average cost per lead generated using inbound marketing was $135 (£82) as opposed to $346 (£210) for outbound marketing leads.

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Many people are of the opinion that inbound marketing is free marketing. That, unfortunately, is not true. There are most definitely still costs associated with running an inbound marketing campaign or programme. In fact, in order to set up a business ready marketing platform, you may be required to redesign or redevelop your website and integrate it with marketing automation software which can cost a bit upfront. The monetary savings come in when that platform becomes the foundation of your lead generation as opposed to pushing pounds into traditional tactics.

ROI is a Challenge to Measure

Measuring return on investment in marketing has always been a challenge. Marketers using traditional tactics are at a greater disadvantage in trying to establish the ROI of their marketing efforts. Trying to marry up revenue or sales generated as a direct result of, say, a print advertisement is near impossible. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is inherently measurable, using analytics and tracking to produce quantifiable success metrics.

Yet the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report (European Edition) commissioned by HubSpot found that an alarming 40% of European marketers did not track their ROI of inbound marketing efforts. Sad indeed considering that of the 60% that did track their marketing ROI, half found inbound marketing resulted in positive return on investment and this gave them the hard data needed to justify budget requests for 2014.

It's Annoying and Intrusive Approach

The shift in power from company to individual was undoubtedly one of the biggest drivers for the emergence of inbound marketing. Technology advancements and the Internet became game-changers. Individuals are able to ‘block out’ more and more interruption based marketing campaigns. TV advertisements can be skipped and ‘do-not-call’ lists protect individuals from unsolicited telemarketing attempts. We have become masters of overlooking and ignoring marketing messages pushed upon us.

Inbound marketing places the control firmly in the hands of the individual. They choose what content to engage with, when and from where. In addition, this information is not company or product-focused but rather aims to educate and inform the individual on the solution available to the problem they are faced with. Educational content serves to help the business develop a relationship with the individual and build trust in the company’s ability to provide a solution that will fulfill his needs.

Personalisation is Unheard Of

The very nature of outbound marketing renders it impersonal. Generic campaigns are rolled out and targeting is generally quite limited. The actual message itself may be tweaked to appeal to a certain segment but overall outbound marketing is one-to-many marketing.

With inbound marketing, the focus is on the individual in question. Once converted as a lead you have basic contact details of that person and a profile is generated. Marketing software tracks the person’s various interactions on your site, allowing you to prepare personalised messaging based on who they are and what their interests are. Going one step further, HubSpot’s new COS (content optimisation system) enables personalised content too. For example, if you know that Sarah has downloaded you free eBook offer, the next time she visits your site, you will be able to specify that she sees your free Checklist offer, instead. (And you can welcome her by name too!)

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...my two cents worth

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It's a lot more rewarding when you work with like-minded individuals who keep you in-the-loop, are keen to share knowledge and who are passionate about turning-out a kick-ass product.

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