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21 Inbound Marketing Definitions vs. Outbound

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on October 5, 2011

This is a 4 minute read.

Inbound outboundWhat's your definition of inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing?

I recently had to explain inbound marketing to my parents, who are in their 80s/90s. They are not on Facebook; my mother has not yet sufficiently been motivated by her granddaughter do embrace email, but she does do Skype and loves Amazon. My dad is who turned me onto TurboTax and Quicken; he appreciates the ease and relevance of the searches he does via Google and has read a few of my [~ 1000] blog articles.

Even though they aren't the savviest Internet users, neither appreciates interruptions, irrelevance or having his or her time wasted - i.e., outbound marketing - which applies to most of us. They do respond well to relevant, targeted messages [i.e., inbound marketing].

Their curiosity inspired me to create a list of what inbound marketing is and isn't. I'm not limiting the examples to online, by the way, and I invite you to add your examples, too!

Inbound Marketing is:

1. Blogging - in a focused, persona-based approach while publishing consistently over time. See How Business Blogging Fits Into Inbound Marketing

2. Lead nurturing

3. Lead generation on your website or blog via targeted content offers. See How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing

4. Permission-based emails

5. Samples in-store

6. Social media engagement on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks

7. Creating delicious and search engine optimized content for your website

8. Inbound Marketing is "any marketing tactic that relies on earning people's interest instead of buying it." [see presentation below]

9. Not interruption based.

10. Not cold-calling

11. Not broadcast TV ads

12. Not print-based ads

13. Can include PPC advertising. See How To Get Started with Paid Search to Get Found Online: 15 Tips

14. All about referrals and earned media

15. Includes smart and honest search engine optimization. See SEO Tips: Having Fun with Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

16. Less about trade shows and more about 1:1 focused interactions

17. Doesn't force unwanted video experiences on you [see Hall of Shame Inductee - LabCorp]

18. If it does interrupt, it entertains deliciously [see Augmented Reality Ad Puts YouWith Angels in London Train Station - hat tip @RetailProphet]

19. It's about targeted content offers that only those interested respond to - think food tastings in a super-market

20. It has nothing to do with buying mailing lists

21. And even less to do with buying links!

Your turn. What would you add to this list of inbound marketing definitions?

For inspiration, here is From Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing via Hubspot, and a terrific slide presentation:

Transform Your MarketingView more presentations from HubSpot Internet Marketing

A Few More Inboundy Marketing Examples:

Having read all this, tell me which are your favorite examples and definitions of inbound marketing? What do you see working best with your customers? Let me know in the comments.

Download Inbound Marketing 101 to get Found Online!


Image credit: Inbound/Outbound Call Center Helper Wiki

Topics: customer experience

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