Inbound vs Outbound Marketing And Which One Is Right For You

You’ve probably heard the terms “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing” being thrown around by marketers, and have perhaps wandered what exactly the difference is between the two.


Let’s break it down:

What is Outbound Marketing

Best described as “interruption or push marketing”, outbound marketing is what used to be traditionally just known as just plain marketing. It’s interruptive in nature and pushes itself at an audience whether the audience wants to receive the marketing content or not. Outbound marketing methods include TV and radio, print, outdoor, direct marketing, trade shows, cold calling, email blasts and telemarketing, just to name a few.

These marketing tactics were once effective. But over the years, they’ve lost their effectiveness. The market is so saturated with advertising that people no longer pay attention to one-way messages that are interrupting their daily lives and aren’t relevant to them.

Another problem with this form of marketing is that many people who are not part of your target audience are exposed to your message, which makes these mediums costly and ineffective.

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What is Inbound Marketing

Contrary to outbound marketing which pushes content to audiences, inbound marketing attempts to “attract” potential customers with interesting content.

The term inbound marketing was first coined by Hubspot in 2006. They have defined this term as:

“Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.”

Inbound marketing focuses on strategies to pull audiences in, using an approach that’s focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are helpful and relevant instead of just pushing content and vying for a prospect’s attention.

The differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Let’s review the major differences:



Attracts interested audiences

Pushes to everyone

Communication is to two- way

Communication is one -way

Customers find you

Customers are sought out

Marketers provide value

Marketers provide little or no value

Is part of content consumption

Disrupts content consumption

Content is written to help consumers with their needs

Content is written to sell products only

Marketers seek to entertain or educate

Marketers rarely seek to entertain or educate

Now that you have a clear understanding of the differences between inbound and outbound marketing, it’s easy to understand why inbound marketing methods are going to lead the way to the future. While there’s still a place for outbound marketing methods, as consumer behaviour shifts, our marketing tactics need to adapt.

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them

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