What is Marketing?Marketing is a term we hear all the time, some attribute it to identifying customer needs and satisfying them profitably, others call it the process of branding and convincing targeted audience of brand prominence, while maintaining a long lasting relationship. If you google, you can find hundreds of marketing definition.
In its truest sense,Marketing is a communication inspiring people to take a desired action. Click To Tweet
When we pay close attention to the above definition, we find that Marketing is not limited to businesses alone. It is relevant to all identity, who intends to get a desired response from others. That’s why, when an interviewee goes for interview, he markets himself to be selected; we can identify all his communication in the single domain of marketing.
Similarly, when a politician communicates to vote in his favor, it is marketing; when a husband tries to convince his wife to let him go out with friends alone, is marketing as well. Practically, we all are marketers, doing marketing all the time to achieve desired results.
But, do we as a marketer get desired results all the time? No.
That means: All marketing is not Effective Marketing. Every communication, we call marketing does not bring desired results; that’s where the value of marketing specialist evolves. Marketing Specialists, the group of people who understand the underlying motives of the targeted audience better than the average Marketers, can achieve intended objective, in case of business–Growth and profitability, with their expertise.
Truth is: Marketing is the domain of Marketing Specialists, so to achieve marketing success, either you should hire a marketing specialist or you should become one. If you are an entrepreneur, you always have the choice to hire a marketing specialist, but I recommend you become one, because than you can evaluate the results of marketing campaigns–the crucial part of Business Success.
Two Major Categories of Marketing
Marketers classify marketing in endless domain, But for practical application, I find only two categories of Marketing relevant.
also known as Pursuit Marketing or Interruption marketing, is traditional marketing model, which anyone born in 80’s or before can identify well. It typically involves spreading marketing communication through print media, TV, direct mail, cold calling like aggressive marketing channels, in the hope to attract prospects. It is called pursuit marketing because the emphasis of marketing team is to pursue and convince prospects to buy your products and services. Outbound Marketing basically involves a hit and trial method to sustain business.
When Outbound Marketer adopts sales channel, the marketing team develops persuasive bulk messages highlighting benefits and features of product and services; the sales team implements the provided communication to convince target audience. Alternatively, Outbound Marketer adopts Advertising Channel, where he highlights the creatively crafted messages to target audience through print media like newspaper, magazine, direct mail, pamphlets, white papers, hoarding, banner etc., or through digital Media like TV, Internet, radio etc. Whatever channel outbound marketer adopts, he aims to reach more and more people, than some of them get converted.
Inbound Marketing, also termed as Content Marketing, is the invention of internet era. Inbound Marketing involves attracting customers with compelling content. The Marketer discusses customers’ explicit and implicit problems and their available solutions, without being promotional. He educates his audience not only on the products and services, but also on problems associated with it. It is a long term relationship building exercise, where customers not only choose to purchase product, but do mouth publicity to further give the business sales lead.
Inbound Marketing strategy revolves around internet marketing, social media and blogging, while taking advantage of existing outbound marketing material. Unlike unidirectional Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing is interactive, where prospects and customers have the opportunity to clarify their doubts and give inputs. It is a different model altogether, where marketer does not stop at customer satisfaction, but achieves customer delight.
The major difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing is cost efficiency: Outbound Marketing is relatively expensive. Big Brands and Organizations, who have the budget and need to reach the masses, adopt Outbound Marketing model and benefit from it; small businesses and entrepreneurs, however, cannot afford such luxury. But budget constraint cannot stop small businesses from taking advantage of Inbound Marketing. Targeting only prospects makes Inbound Marketing cost effective and Entrepreneurs can reap the benefit of it. Truly speaking, even big organizations cannot stand without Inbound Marketing; their million dollar social marketing budget confirms this.
This, however, doesn’t mean that a marketer should only adopt Inbound Marketing and forget Outbound. Both the Marketing models have their underlying strengths; it depends on the Business objective of a Marketing Campaign that should guide marketer to choose between Inbound and Outbound Marketing. A wise marketer will balance between the two to optimize his profit.
Infographic below discusses the difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing. Check it, but don’t forget to tell–which marketing model you favor most? What is your experience with Inbound and Outbound Marketing?