Out with the old and in with the new. It is a common saying that applies to seemingly everything, and marketing is no exception. The new king of the castle is inbound marketing. He is here to supplant the previously dominant outbound marketing. There is a good reason for this dramatic power shift: the seemingly ubiquitous nature of the world wide web.
The Shift to the Web
The internet is just about everywhere these days. It seems like everyone has a web-enabled smartphone, tablet or laptop that provides a steady stream of real-time information from just about any location. Even video game consoles and Smart TVs can access the internet. This increased reliance on the web for information and entertainment has paved the way for inbound marketing channels to reign dominant. The bottom line is that fewer people are consuming media, information and entertainment through conventional outbound marketing channels. The average person no longer picks up a tangible newspaper, watches a variety of TV shows or listens to the radio. More and more businesses and advertisers are responding by gradually phasing out these outbound marketing channels.
The Customers of the Future are Tuning out Traditional Outbound Marketing Channels
The vast majority of businesses are constantly trying to increase their market share. In particular, businesses covet young adults, teens and kids. These are the customers of today and tomorrow. If a business can convert these youngsters into loyal customers, they will rake in the profits across posterity. Young adults and those in school and college are enamored with the internet. They use smartphones, laptops, tablets and traditional desktop computers to surf the web, post on social media and watch online content. These demographics have eschewed radio, TV, newspapers and even magazines in favor of online content. Businesses that still rely on such traditional outbound marketing channels run the risk of losing out on the all-important young demographic. Alternatively, businesses that segue to web-based inbound marketing channels gain critically important exposure to this coveted customer demographic.
Is There Room for Two?
Outbound advertising channels are not completely dead. Older individuals still watch TV, get their news from tangible newspapers and turn on the radio. Businesses that target middle-aged and older individuals will enjoy success with traditional outbound marketing methods. Some industry experts argue that a blend of inbound and outbound marketing strategies is optimal as they reinforce one another.
For example, consider someone who takes the bus to work in a busy urban center. He spots a restaurant’s billboard ad while waiting to hop on the bus for his morning work commute. He pulls out his smartphone while riding home from work later that evening and sees the same restaurant advertising on his Facebook feed. He is much more inclined to remember the restaurant’s name, logo and/or slogan simply because he was exposed to its traditional outbound advertisement earlier that day. The company’s inbound advertisement on Facebook reinforced the initial exposure. The end result of such a multifaceted approach to marketing is increased brand exposure and a general heightened awareness of the business’s existence.
Inbound Marketing is Here to Stay
The moral of the story is that it is not wise to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. As time progresses, inbound marketing will undoubtedly prove dominant. In the meantime, mixing in some traditional inbound ads here and there will certainly help your marketing push. Analyze your target demographic and settle a blend of inbound and outbound marketing that makes the most sense for your unique business.