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Should You Choose Inbound Marketing Or Outbound Marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) focused companies use a variety of marketing programs in their attempts to generate sales leads. However, 51% of them do not have a marketing strategy in place. A defined strategy will help you understand how best to allocate marketing resources. They must determine how best to utilize both inbound and outbound marketing tactics.

What is Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing? 

Inbound marketing involves creating compelling content which prospects can search for and find to learn about a company’s products and services. They are expressing demand, you just have to show up where they are expressing it.

Some of the most effective types of Inbound marketing that B2B companies utilize include search engine optimization, sharing content (blogs, case studies, e-books, whitepapers) on their own website and with other sites, posting on social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, and holding webinars.

inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

Outbound marketing involves creating and sending messages to prospects to educate and cause them to engage with your brand. Some of the most effective outbound marketing tactics include Account Based Marketing, email marketing, LinkedIn outreach, advertisements on social media sites, and phone calls.

One example ABM journey

inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing









Choosing an integrated inbound and outbound marketing program 

According to Hubspot, successful companies will use a mix of both inbound and outbound marketing. Both inbound marketing and outbound marketing are highly effective when combined in an integrated approach. With Account Based Marketing, sales and marketing teams work together to create targeted content and personalized messages for identified prospects, generating a greater number of leads and a higher rate of sales conversion.

­Inbound marketing is valuable for because 80% of decision makers would rather learn about a business through articles than advertisements. Also, 47% of buyers will look at three to five pieces of content before they talk with a sales representative.

Once educated buyers learn about a company, an outbound marketing program can be used to generate further interest and help move the prospect through the sales pipeline. For example, a valuable prospect may provide her email to receive access to a white paper. After she has had a few days to read the content, a sales person contacts her with an email or call, both forms of outbound marketing. That multi-touch action will create a dialogue and engage the buyer to move through the sales pipeline.

In another example, a buyer will visit a web page and read a blog. She will forget about the blog and the company until she sees retargeted ads inviting her back as she browses other websites. This coordinated, multi-touch approach helps keep the company in front of the prospect.

Getting started with inbound and outbound marketing 

In 2017, both inbound and outbound marketing are crucial to the success of a company. By combining both inbound and outbound marketing strategies in an integrated Account Based Marketing program, you can ensure your success with sales to targeted accounts.

Looking to significantly increase your success with targeted accounts? Contact KEO Marketing today for a complimentary marketing audit. This audit will give you a roadmap for your success.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.