Small Business Marketing | Inbound VS Outbound, Which is Better?

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With the emergence of inbound marketing in the last decade, there is a heated debate in the marketing world. Are the days of outbound marketing over? Which is better? While inbound marketing does have an obvious advantage, outbound still serves an important role in marketing. A focus on inbound marketing has become the norm for small businesses, but why? For small business marketing, a combination of the two strategies might be best, but the way to know is to learn the differences.

is inbound or outbound marketing better for my business

What is Outbound Marketing?

Traditionally marketing techniques aimed at reaching as many people as possible, regardless if they were active buyers or not. Targeting a larger volume of an audience with tactics like commercials, print ads, and cold calling delivered results without any consideration of who was receiving the message. Throughout the years, marketers learned if they targeted a specific audience, they would yield better results. With a focus on where the audience is being reached, and what content got their attention we see marketers building a valuable tool. And so, the shift to Inbound marketing began.

Now, What is Inbound Marketing?

On average, more than half of modern buyers research a product before contacting the company. Inbound marketing is an approach adapted to this type of buyer, guiding them to you when they are looking.  As opposed to forcing information on an audience, inbound marketing is designed to bring potential customers to your business who are actively in the market. Making the process natural will help to align your business with the Buyer’s Journey.

inbound or outbound marketing for small businesses

Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is what brought potential customers to your business in the first place. Chances are your prospect had a problem they needed solved, researched it, narrowed down the possibilities, and needs to make a final decision. This is described as ‘the Buyers Journey’. Making this as easy as possible for your audience allows your business to build credibility throughout the process. Inbound marketing tactics such as SEO, content creation and social media are all designed to help prospects discover your business in the earliest stage of their journey. Catching buyers at this critical point of their journey will prove to turn leads into new customers.

In Small Business Marketing, Neither is Superior

Anyone who says either inbound or outbound is better is giving you a biased opinion. To determine which is best for your company, you must consider your specific business and marketing objectives.

Since inbound marketing aligns with the Buyers Journey, it fosters relationships with your customers. Attracting the right prospects, at the right time is large reason buyers prefer inbound over outbound.

However, outbound marketing does have its strong suits. The biggest strength being the ability to get in front a large number of people quickly. If done properly your business can launch an outbound campaign and be seen by millions.

inbound or outbound marketing which is better for small business marketing

There are businesses that have found tremendous success exclusively using inbound or outbound, but figuring out what is best for your company is the key. Looking at your market, your goals and your brand is an excellent place to start. Using only marketing tactics your brand is proud of will prove to make the most successful marketing strategy.

Maintaining your marketing strategy is the most effective tactic, regardless if you solely use one or the other. Nothing makes this simpler than having a dedicated team available to stay on top of the best practices. Call the internet marketing team at Digital Resource today to help you navigate through all the different ways to market your business with the best techniques available. We are your resource for everything digital, so give us a call today!


With a degree in Marketing Communications from Florida Atlantic University, Jessie is truly a creative thinker. She has a passion for customer service and a background in account-based marketing. Her goal is ensuring the utmost level of professionalism, creativity and support throughout your digital marketing experience.

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