Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing refers to any form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message to an audience. You can apply this to both B2B and B2C.


What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is not about pushing marketing out, but rather about attracting potential customers via e.g. knowledge content and marketing automation. This makes online inbound marketing a much less aggressive way to market yourself as a business.

Examples of outbound marketing include more traditional forms of marketing and advertising, such as television commercials, radio ads, print ads (newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, brochures, catalogs, etc.), trade shows, sales calls (cold canvassing.

Outbound marketing is generally harder to track and less profitable than inbound marketing. Companies that want to improve their sales and returns are therefore advised to allocate a larger amount of their marketing budget to inbound marketing, rather than outbound marketing.

Is outbound marketing dead?

There are more media platforms than ever and people are overwhelmed by data and information. As more people have chosen to avoid advertising, outbound marketing has become less effective than it once was. However, outbound marketing still has its place in any B2B Toolkit.

Outbound marketing is still relevant, especially for advanced products that require personal contact with decision-makers, but it should always be supported by inbound marketing, backed by strong content strategy and consistent use of social media. In the end, it's important to have a combination of both and use the data that you got from your inbound marketing efforts in your outbound marketing and vice versa.

The downside of outbound marketing

Outbound marketing poses some problems in that it's a bit more difficult to work with. Problems with outbound marketing can be:

  • Difficult to measure the value - that is, your return (ROI)
  • Blocking: there is an increasing tendency for people not to want calls from sellers, emails going to spam folder, etc.
  • High price, low yield.

Inbound and outbound marketing synergies

Well, if outbound marketing is so effective and is better at converting leads into paying customers, you might be wondering how exactly outbound marketing fits into your marketing strategy. It's important to remember that it's often the combination of activities from both inbound and outbound marketing that is most effective.

As your business starts to grow, your marketing focus will shift between branding, advertising, SEO, content marketing and social media as well as between inbound and outbound marketing. The use of all the available tools is essential for B2B lead generationand balancing your inbound and outbound focus to find the right level requires fine-tuning and a lot of trial and error.


Martino Mike d'Apuzzo

Partner & Senior Digital Advisor

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