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Best Practices for Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

Generating high quality leads and expanding target accounts in a way that generates more sales ready opportunities is more challenging today than ever. That is why successful businesses are leveraging an integrated approach with both inbound marketing and outbound marketing to generate the best results.

Inbound marketing, including search engine optimization, social media and content marketing, establishes and extends your brand. It also puts your company in front of people who are looking for what you provide. These tend to be more qualified because they are looking for your solutions.

Outbound marketing allows you to target known companies and decision makers who may or may not be actively looking for your solutions. Account based marketing is an integrated outbound marketing approach that leverages email marketing, sales calls, direct mail and more.

Best practices for inbound & outbound marketing programs

You need to balance your inbound and outbound marketing efforts to find the most successful strategies to capture leads and move prospects through your sales cycle. Here are five best practice strategies for success:

  1. Commit to and budget for an integrated marketing program. Sixty to seventy percent of the sales cycle is over before a prospect reaches a sales person. They are out there researching solutions, you must leverage inbound marketing to be online and in the places they are researching to become a part of the considered set. At the same time, it takes 7-16 touches to move a target prospect through the sales funnel. Outbound marketing / Account Based Marketing allows you to provide valuable educational content in an integrated and strategic fashion to move those prospects along the buyer’s journey. Budgeting for both methods ensures the greatest opportunity for success in filling your sales pipeline.
  2. Map inbound and outbound content and touches to the buyer’s journey. Taking the time to research and set up personas for key industries and mapping their inbound and outbound journeys will help you map the experience funnel for prospects.
  3. Leverage in person events. Don’t forget conferences, trade shows and other in person events. The best way to strike a balance is to offer plenty of content for your attendees before, during, and after the program. Make sure prospects find answers to their questions and have the opportunity to experience the talents your team offers.
  4. Balance media. Having a mix of paid, owned, and earned media is essential to breaking through the noise these days. Consider how ads and print pieces can work with your website, emails and social media pages. Look for a balance between word of mouth, social shares, and customer reviews to build trust. Share relevant, timely educational information to keep targets and prospects coming back.
  5. Track and measure every step of the programs. Tracking the inbound and outbound touches is essential for success. Tie website analytics, marketing automation and CRM platforms together for integrated reporting. Establish SLAs between marketing and sales to ensure that follow ups are made in a timely manner.

Contact KEO Marketing today for a complimentary marketing consultation to see how we can help your team generate the highest quality leads and sales appointments.


Emina Karic has experience in researching new leads and trends, social media outreach, as well as assisting the marketing department in any way seen fit. She had previously interned for a marketing firm that specializes in nonprofit and political clients before becoming a part of our agency. As the Marketing Coordinator, she compiles research on leads to target and is responsible for social media outreach via LinkedIn. She prides herself on her hard work and her ability to obtain information quickly and effectively. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies from Arizona State University.