You might be thinking, “Here we go again, an article trying to convince me that inbound OR outbound marketing is better”… You decided to click on the link anyways because of the attracting banner.
Well I am glad you did and to be honest, today I will not try to tell you which one is better or try to persuade you that one is superior to the other. Nope. Today I will give you my perception on inbound marketing and my comprehension of outbound marketing.
No answer is valid without the proper context and because of that, I will be using the context of a campfire. Who doesn’t like campfire anyway?
Get your guitar, marshmallows and get ready to sing Kumbaya!
Scenario 1: Outbound, the impressionist
All right, it is a nice Saturday afternoon and people are all gathering around the fire pit where you just inherit the job of official fire maker!
You know that if the fire starts well, everyone will enjoy a nice evening singing and having a beer or two! But more importantly, there is this girl you want to impress. You decide to go all in and choose the spectacular option of “gasoline starting the fire”. You tell everyone to quit gathering wood because “you got this”. Everyone steps back a little; you light up matches and throw them in. BOOM.
You made it! Everyone is laughing and talking about your big fire. Mission accomplished boy! You have her attention.
However, after receiving compliments from friends you start hearing people complaining. Your fire is dying and so are your chances of warming the heart of the lady.
You turn around, grab the gas can and pour some more. You still have the same wow effect, but as soon as you stop pouring gasoline, your fire is dying. The few branches you had are now long gone, and everyone is packing their belonging. Tired of the bad odour of burning gasoline and mosquitoes bite, they are leaving.
You realize that while very effective at first, gasoline does not last very long plus it is super expensive!
All right, it is still a nice Saturday afternoon, and you still inherit the job of the fire maker guru.
This time things are different; you gather woods, tons of it. You want to play it safe. You place small branches at the bottom and build a reverse funnel so that when small branches are burning they heat up the larger ones so that, at the end, the large logs are burning. Boy you would have made a great scout!
The problem is that by the time you actually started the fire, there is another guy telling joke to the girl of your dreams and making her laugh…
All sad, you retreat to a nearby bench where you fall back on the marshmallow bag to eat your emotion…
You understand that timing is crucial and that being able to drive the party at the perfect moment is a determining factor. If no ones see the great work you did in time, well it is not worth doing it.
A man of my words
As promised, I am no trying to sway you that one or the other is better! Both plan end up failing and leaving you alone without you “converting” with the girl you like.
You might be thinking “Did he really write an article on how to crash campfires?”
The answer is NO!
I will provide you with the ultimate campfire set up!
Here we go!
Scenario 3: The Master plan
You just inherit the job of making the fire. First thing first, you need wood. You assign John the job of picking up small branches. This way you can start building the basis of your fire while he will be going back for larger branches.
You then ask Tim and Dave to bring big logs so that people can sit around the fire
You ask your friend Laura, who seems to have friends in common with the beauty of your dream, to tell everyone that the fire is to be started.
You pour some gas, throw in the matches ET VOILA!
The fire is started, and larger logs are already burning at the top. You assign wood collecting chords to everyone so that the fire last all the evening.
Proud of yourself, you reach for a beer and notice the girl of you dream walking straight to you. She is amazed by how you organized everything and how efficient and effective you were. At the end of the evening, you leave with her phone number. You did it!
What should we learn from that?
Inbound Marketing is great because it allows you to be efficient at providing information to your personas. However, if no one gets to your content, you are nothing more than a tree falling in the forest without anyone to hear it.
On the other hand, Outbound Marketing has been used for decades. Yes, it is more aggressive, but when done right, it does bring people. The problem is that the minute you cut your budget, you don’t have anything. Remember the gasoline example?
There is no one-answer solution to this problem. Only hard work and a combination of multiple techniques will get you where you want to be, at the top.
Gasoline is expensive and don’t last long; wood is hard to collect and slow to start but will burn for a long time. Combined together, we have a nice evening out around a great campfire.
I hope you liked and if you have any question or comment, feel free to ask. If you come across someone who is swearing by only one solution to your problem, I hope you will recall those campfire examples!
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