In B2B marketing — it’s not outbound vs. inbound.

Getting educated on marketing best practices is a lot easier than it used to be. Now, we don’t have to spend a minute driving to a local marketing event or flying CSL083to a national conference to hear the experts. Almost daily we can tune in to informative Webinars right from the office. In a single hour, we can get up to speed on any one of hundreds of critical marketing issues.

This brings me to a very inviting offer I received recently from MarketingProfs. It invited me to download a Kit of info from HubSpot entitled “Marketing in a Downturn.” It included the following:

  1. Video: Marketing in a Recession (1 hour)
  2. Video: How to Generate Leads on a Budget Using Inbound Marketing (1 hour)
  3. Video: How to Demonstrate the Value of Social Media to Your Boss (1 hour)
  4. Video: Marketing Detox: How to Get Off Google AdWords PPC Crack (1 hour)
  5. e-Book: Getting Found Online – Learn how to get found online in the search engines, blogosphere, and social media sites (10 pages)

Item two, “How to Generate Leads on a Budget Using Inbound Marketing,” contained terrific guidance on blogging that I found to be very valuable. I listened intently for the full hour.

However, I made it through only the first few minutes of the “Marketing in a Recession” presentation. Not because it didn’t have good content in it, but because, early on, Mike Volpe, the presenter, made a statement implying that the response rates to “outbound channels” are diminishing.

In his section on “Rethinking Marketing” he made the argument that outbound marketing channels are losing their effectiveness and are being replaced by inbound marketing channels. Here are the channels he included:

Outbound Marketing
Trade shows
Direct mail
Email blasts
Print ads

Inbound Marketing
Social Media
Free tools/trials
Public RelationsÂ

Because of the rising costs of most of these outbound channels, fewer businesses are using them. But most of these channels are still cost-effectively generating qualified leads for larger ticket B2B products and services. I can’t speak for TV/Radio, and it’s true that email lead generation response rates have fallen, but these channels are still a productive part of an integrated B2B marketing program.

  • Trade shows may have smaller attendance, but those who do attend represent a highly targeted market in search of solutions.
  • In direct mail and telemarketing there are lists available that provide significant selections on each record, so targeting by title, employee size, company size and many other criteria are available. They allow companies to match prospect lists to an exact profile of their best customers.
  • Print ads have never been as directly productive as other channels. However, vertical industry publications are a perfect place to help build name recognition that supports the brand just like social media and public relations.

Inbound marketing is an important part of today’s marketing mix, but for businesses who still want to spend X dollars and know that the money they spend will generate Y qualified prospects, outbound is still the only way to go.

And by the way, Mike, you used MarketingProfs’ outbound marketing to generate downloads for your Kit, so I guess you haven’t given up on outbound channels, either.

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