I believe that in order to have a fully-functioning business development strategy, you need a combination of inbound and outbound strategies. Companies selling inbound services will try to convince you that outbound marketing tactics don’t work anymore, while the outbound tactic people will tell you that inbound tactics aren’t as effective as the inbound people claim.
I think the key issue that seems to be lost in the discussion about Inbound vs. Outbound marketing conversations and is not addressed adequately by the gurus on both sides of the fence is the fact that what you say, how you say it and who you say it to in your communications is the key element that really brings either one of these strategies to life.
Does it matter what tactical approach you employ, whether you are the hunter (outbound tactics) or the hunted (inbound tactics), if you don’t have a compelling message of differentiation of why someone (customer or client) should choose your company over your competitors in the first place?
A business owner can develop a ton of leads from both inbound and outbound tactics, but if you don’t have a clear process for your prospect to know you, find you credible and ultimately trust that you are the logical choice in the marketplace to provide the product or service you sell, then it doesn’t make any difference what method you choose.
The biggest problem most business owners have when it comes to marketing and business development efforts is not about choosing inbound vs. outbound tactics as many would have you believe. It is about first building your brand, your positioning in the marketplace. It is about powerfully communicating what makes you the better, the obvious choice for the product of service you sell over your competitors. It is about getting more people to raise their hands and say, “I want to know more about this company”.
Folks, until you get this right, your marketing tactical approach, whether inbound, outbound or a combination of both will never be as effective.
An example may help to illustrate the point. One of the greatest tools a business owner has at their disposal to clearly make their case, to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and to be perceived as an expert for the product or service they sell is their company website. Very few would argue this point. This is the hub of all your marketing activities. If this is true, and it is, how come so many business owners use this valuable tool as a static billboard that doesn’t say much of anything expect, “here we are world, buy from us!”
Let’s cut to the chase. Both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives should be included as part of an overall marketing strategy. But, you shouldn’t do either inbound or outbound marketing until you develop your brand and positioning in the marketplace.
Think differently to achieve amazing results,