The Greatest Marketing Strategy Question: Inbound or Outbound?

The Greatest Marketing Strategy Question: Inbound or Outbound?

Coke and Pepsi have been battling for the best cola title for more than a century now, and both soda behemoths continuously struggle to beat each other not just on the aspect of product development but marketing strategies as well. Thus the rivalry could get so personal at times, taking things to a wider rift like exposes of product ingredients, comparison on marketing expansion across continents, merger, and creation of sub-beverage brands.

Apparently, the marketing strategy issue “which marketing strategy works best: inbound or outbound?” is no different from the cola war. Each has its own argument to prove best over the other. Let’s take a look at Ironpaper’s short notes first on both strategies and some statistics to see who reigns in the marketing world.

Outbound includes outdoor advertising, direct mails, trade shows, seminars, email blasts and cold calling. Marketers push their message out to draw target customers in and is quite hard to measure.

Related: Outbound Marketing: Reaching out to your Target Market

Inbound Marketing, on the other hand, uses content marketing, blogging, and social media to bring possible customers into their business, and which is easy to measure.

Related: The Anatomy of an Effective Landing Page for APAC Businesses [INFOGRAPHIC]

And when we compare statistics on how marketing experts perceive these two competing strategies, Inbound has the upper hand:

Marketing efforts are effective68%48%
Gave A Higher ROI46%12%
Produces sales-ready leads59%16%
Lead generation has improved over the year59%16%

Although Outbound was the pioneering marketing strategy in the world of business, current data shows that more marketers now prefer to use Inbound tactics. The decline in Outbound marketing popularity and usage is due to the rapid rise of social media which allows brands to take advantage of “real-time marketing”, as per Hubspot.

However, we cannot completely ditch Outbound due to reasons below:

  • Consider mixing the two strategies when expanding into a new geographical region to cater both digital and traditional customers
  • Outbound, though deemed to be more costly than inbound marketing, has magical effects that leave images or tunes in the customer’s subconscious for a long time, e.g. Coca Cola vintage Christmas ads

Coca Cola Vintage Christmas Ad

Or Pepsi’s celebrity ad endorsements

Pepsi Celebrity Ad


Related: Real Talk: B2B Outbound Telemarketing is still Effective


Inbound marketing may have taken toll over Outbound, but despite its dominance, the fact remains that outbound can’t yet be taken out of the marketing picture because some experts still believe that it is the best marketing strategy for their type of business and apparently look at each strategy with pros and cons.

So, what’s the best cola for you? Pepsi or Coke?



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