Why Outbound Marketing Leads To Revenue Loss

This article focuses on the detriments of outmoded outbound marketing, and why inbound marketing boosts sales, gains product traction, and enriches brand reputation.

Outbound marketing employs old-style strategies in a pushed, linear methodology of expensive direct, traditional sales outreach to a mass audience, with a one-to-many approach. For example, cold calling and untargeted email marketing, radio and TV ads, telemarketing, billboards, etc. Trade event presentations, event sponsoring, flyers and leaflets in mailboxes and car windows, and even door-to-door selling count as outbound.

Outbound pushing tactics include the prominent display of products in a retail setting, as well as sales stickers, catalogue sales, and recommendation marketing (eg. Amazon), while outbound pulling tactics create product demand by overwhelming brand marketing, forcing suppliers’ hands to stock the product.

This kind of “spray and pray” marketing is considered outdated, with untargeted and unrefined methodology, causing oversaturation – banner blindness and ad blockers being some countermeasures consumers use consciously or unconsciously to ignore outbound ads. The extreme form of outbound marketing is guerrilla marketing.

Covered in this article:

The Pros Of Inbound Marketing Outweigh The Cons Of Outbound
Who Benefits From Outbound And Inbound?
Internet: The Marketing Game Changer
The Demise Of Outbound Marketing

The Pros Of Inbound Marketing Outweigh The Cons Of Outbound

Inbound marketing, the other, more lucrative side of the marketing coin, targets demographics with bull’s eye precision with one-on-one digital content marketing designed to pull prospects into the sales funnel organically and holistically, and has the built-in ability to collect and analyse audience behaviour data, and fine-tune campaigns accordingly.

Inbound strategies contain adtech such as website SEO, podcasts, blogs, native recommendations, SERP boosting, social media influencing, opt-in email nurture flows, infographics, email newsletters, white papers, polls, quizzes and e-guides. All of these are designed to lure an eventual purchase by educating/interesting qualified leads first.

Inbound marketing efforts hit more accurately − better than the random scattershot of outbound. Benefits of inbound include a long-term approach of delivering content relevant and valuable to precisely segmented population groups, with the aim of gradual but progressive and exponential uptake of goods and services. And, inbound marketing removes the silos between your sales and marketing business teams.

Inbound is unobtrusive about lead generation − visitors voluntarily trust their journey to your organisation because they feel they own their agency in doing so. Quality content becomes a value proposition, creating top-of-mind awareness of your brand and increasing your chances of obtaining prospects’ contact data, improving conversion rates and ROI.

Outbound procedures reduce the metrics to gauge the success of your marketing strategies, leaving you in the dark when it comes to tweaking campaigns tailored to segmented groups. It’s inevitable that you will encounter resistance from marketing subjects who are bombarded at every stage of their buyer journey by invasive outbound tactics. Outbound feels forced and inauthentic to prospects – there is no pause to cultivate relationships when you frog-march your prospects through the sales funnel.

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Who Benefits From Outbound & Inbound?

At the core of outbound marketing are interruption and marketer centricity, while the core of inbound marketing is permission and customer-centricity. With outbound, when the prospect parses a purchase, they need to contact the seller to learn more about the product or service. The seller has more agency over the sale.

With inbound, prospects can do their own research before making a decision. The consumer has more agency over the sale. Once you target content through the medium the prospect has permitted you to, you may find reduced prospect numbers. But, because by now these prospects want your content, they are better primed for conversion.

Outbound and linear marketing is operational and inductive in nature and lacks the granularity of complex measurements of marketing success. You can get data on which medium performed the best, and a degree of how close your message was to the prospect’s needs, but nuanced metrics are a grey area.

Inductive marketing uses specific observations about consumers in a given marketplace to create broad advertising campaigns and product/service offerings. Inductive market research is beneficial for gathering information to support your observations, but that’s about it.

On the other hand, inbound, holistic and deductive marketing reinforces the connection between your products and services and the prospects who already have an interest in them. You can easily track how a lead journeyed to your site, what they spent time looking at, and widen the marketing avenue with highly nuanced metrics for maximised conversion. Deductive reasoning in marketing requires a deeper dive into why a particular data subject pivoted to your content in the first place.

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Internet: The Marketing Game Changer

It also boils down to how the internet has shifted the marketing arena from space to attention. Pre-internet, outbound spatial constraints were determined by cost: the size of an ad, the weight of direct mail, the length of a TV or radio ad. Post-internet, inbound frees up space constraints: videos have no time limit, numerous emails can be sent in one shot, and websites comprise a near-infinite amount of pages. Quality content is now front seat, and cheaper too.

Inbound marketing means content gets located online, converting visitors to leads, and then letting you refine the repeat process by measuring, analysing and applying best practice. Keyword research and SEO narrow down the search for prospects; permission-based personalised content pushed their way at the right time keeps them interested and entertained. The prospect takes the marketer’s digital hand, the sales funnel is engaged and optimised, and the lead is closer to conversion.

Outbound marketing relies on an outward flow of communication, as if the intended target gets caught in the crosshairs of your message, whether they are interested in it or not. Inbound marketing information flows towards prospects already interested in your content, which has been personalised with your buyer persona as the search light. Once you release the content, it is there for the taking; your audience searches for and gravitates towards it. Your leads start chasing you and become fans of your content.

The HubSpot State Of Inbound Marketing Trends Report posits that:

  • Short-form video content like TikTok and Instagram Reels are the most effective type of social media content
  • Videos are the top content marketing media format for the third year in a row
  • Social media is the #1 marketing channel in 2022
  • Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are the top three social media platforms marketers are using in 2022
  • 83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher quality content less often
  • Facebook has the best ROI for social media ads versus other platforms

According to previous reports, companies are boosting their inbound budgets, taking advantage of a lower cost per lead, curbing sale cycle times, and growing their close rates. These trends continue apace.

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The Demise Of Outbound Marketing

Technology and legal advances have contributed to the downfall of outbound marketing. Consumers have more tools at their disposal to become immune to obvious advertising and block unwelcome marketing communication. Namely, RSS readers, ad pop-up blockers, do not mail lists, caller ID, DVRs, ad-free Spotify Premium and ad-free Apple Music, pods, ad-free smartphone music apps, do not call lists, spam blockers… the list goes on.

Newspaper revenues have shrunk, direct mail remains unopened, email unsubscription and do not call lists are growing. Outbound marketers only rent their distribution apparatus, they don’t own it. However, it may be too soon to sound the death knell of outbound marketing completely. Cold calling and outbound emails may still attract a tiny bit of business – but nowhere near the magnet of inbound marketing. You can’t totally discount outbound marketing, but if you insist on using a blend of outbound and inbound, current marketing emphasises inbound to the partial or total exclusion of outbound.

Whether or not you still choose to retain some elements of outbound marketing, the message is clear. Over-reliance on outbound marketing hurts your business and leads to revenue loss. Outbound can tarnish your brand reputation by causing a decline in sales growth and a loss of product traction. Plus, it’s so 2000s.

Ever-changing marketing trends mean you need to keep at the forefront of marketing evolution, and not backslide into obsolete, archaic and unprofitable ways of doing business. Keep your eye out for our next blog where we tell you about the benefits of using Velocity’s suite of inbound CRM marketing tools so you can live your best inbound marketing life. 

Learn More About Inbound Marketing

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