Outbound vs Inbound marketing

On the face of it, this might appear to be an over-simplification, and it might fail to acknowledge the need for an integrated mix of marketing tools.

But this animation, which first appeared on Hubspot’s always informative blog, actually illustrates perfectly what can be achieved if you take a targeted approach to serving content to the right people looking for a partner like you.

I’m a fan of using your content to drive inbound enquiry but accept that other tools need to be used to. I also don’t agree that inbound marketing is cost-free. A huge amount of time is required to develop, create, host and promote good content.

But it is an interesting proposition nonetheless, especially for b2b marketers looking to position themselves as experts in what they do.

5 thoughts on “Outbound vs Inbound marketing

  1. Hi Rene,

    Agree, great cartoon. What I would also like to see next to each cartoon is another subject or topic ‘time’. All the tactics on the left are quick wins. All the tactics on the right take time to nurture, develop and monitor.

    Buying in an email list and sending out direct mailings takes a lot less time to do than blogging or twittering which takes more time and resources and may not see any real results for 9-12 months.

    Is time an issue? Get things done and out the door type attitude? Monthly marketing meetings with nothing to report?

    I am all for inbound marketing but at the same time, experts should also emphasis the message of time and resources required.

    • Spot on. That is my concern about the ‘ease’ messaging that accompanies any digital or social media activity. The reality is that is still needs planning, creating, implementing and monitoring like any other marketing activity. And that takes people and time to do internally or budget if you elect to outsource it.

  2. Mr Power,

    I have beef with how you convey SEO as being on par in time and effort with setting up a booth in Vegas! Tut tut 😉

    And the fee would definitely not be £0 as you need to pay for expertise – either by buying someone in-house or outsourcing it to a world leading search agency such as “Epiphany Solutions [plug, plug!].

    But you will of course see ROI through both channels if executed correctly, it’s just a matter of which channel offers the better ROI *cough* SEO *cough*


    • As much as I agree with the sentiment of the illustration, my caveat is that it isn’t mine! I agree time invested in making a website search optimised for keywords and long tail search will cost significantly less than a trade show booth and perhaps even deliver more qualified leads. But long term, the content generation needed to retain a strong organic position in search creeps up the ‘hidden cost’. Doing something well is never free – whether its measured in time or cost and that’s why I have a beef with the graphic. It’s too simplistic but does hint at where marketing focus should be exerted for maximum gain in the modern switched on business economy.

      As for shameless plugs, I can’t speak for Epiphany, but Paul certainly knows his search onions people.

      • “Paul certainly knows his search onions people.”

        I have been endorsed by ‘The Power’! That’s going on my CV 😉


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