Inbound vs. Outbound B2B Lead Generation

Most companies have established outbound marketing efforts consisting of telemarketing, email blasts, trade shows and ad buys. The goal is to find buyers. Today, there's a buzz about inbound marketing. The goal of inbound marketing is to "get found" by buyers using the Internet to learn about your industry and shop for your services. The tools used by inbound marketers are websites, search engine optimization, social media and Web 2.0 techniques.

The inbound marketing supporters tell you outbound marketing is less effective. It's expensive, hard to quantify ROI, and prospects use caller ID and spam filters to block you out.

The outbound marketing people point to the high conversion rates of targeted marketing campaigns, strong CRM technology, and the importance of staying "on offense".

So which one should you use?

Both. An appropriate mix of inbound and outbound marketing yields the best results. Here are some tips to maximize each:

For outbound marketing:

  • By far the most important characteristic by is relevance. It is critical to keep your prospect interested and engaged - even at the expense of your sales message. Keep in mind not all prospects are in the same stage of the buying process. Your goal is to nurture.
  • Keep it short and on point. Your prospects have high expectations and short attention spans.
  • Returns on traditional telemarketing are declining; however automated voice mail messaging increases email open rates.

For inbound marketing:

  • Inbound marketing strategy consists of publishing content, monitoring what people are saying about you and promoting any good comments made about you.
  • Success is based on three factors: content, inbound links and subscribers.
  • Aggregating your search engine optimization, social media and blogs with yield significantly higher results. The combination of the three makes them all work better.

We will be exploring this topic in more detail in our next webinar. I invite you to join us.