Tag Archives: Outbound Marketing

Why Inbound Marketing Has Dethroned Outbound Marketing

1 Aug


Out with the old and in with the new. It is a common saying that applies to seemingly everything, and marketing is no exception. The new king of the castle is inbound marketing. He is here to supplant the previously dominant outbound marketing. There is a good reason for this dramatic power shift: the seemingly ubiquitous nature of the world wide web.

The Shift to the Web

The internet is just about everywhere these days. It seems like everyone has a web-enabled smartphone, tablet or laptop that provides a steady stream of real-time information from just about any location. Even video game consoles and Smart TVs can access the internet. This increased reliance on the web for information and entertainment has paved the way for inbound marketing channels to reign dominant. The bottom line is that fewer people are consuming media, information and entertainment through conventional outbound marketing channels. The average person no longer picks up a tangible newspaper, watches a variety of TV shows or listens to the radio. More and more businesses and advertisers are responding by gradually phasing out these outbound marketing channels.

The Customers of the Future are Tuning out Traditional Outbound Marketing Channels

The vast majority of businesses are constantly trying to increase their market share. In particular, businesses covet young adults, teens and kids. These are the customers of today and tomorrow. If a business can convert these youngsters into loyal customers, they will rake in the profits across posterity. Young adults and those in school and college are enamored with the internet. They use smartphones, laptops, tablets and traditional desktop computers to surf the web, post on social media and watch online content. These demographics have eschewed radio, TV, newspapers and even magazines in favor of online content. Businesses that still rely on such traditional outbound marketing channels run the risk of losing out on the all-important young demographic. Alternatively, businesses that segue to web-based inbound marketing channels gain critically important exposure to this coveted customer demographic.

Is There Room for Two?

Outbound advertising channels are not completely dead. Older individuals still watch TV, get their news from tangible newspapers and turn on the radio. Businesses that target middle-aged and older individuals will enjoy success with traditional outbound marketing methods. Some industry experts argue that a blend of inbound and outbound marketing strategies is optimal as they reinforce one another.

For example, consider someone who takes the bus to work in a busy urban center. He spots a restaurant’s billboard ad while waiting to hop on the bus for his morning work commute. He pulls out his smartphone while riding home from work later that evening and sees the same restaurant advertising on his Facebook feed. He is much more inclined to remember the restaurant’s name, logo and/or slogan simply because he was exposed to its traditional outbound advertisement earlier that day. The company’s inbound advertisement on Facebook reinforced the initial exposure. The end result of such a multifaceted approach to marketing is increased brand exposure and a general heightened awareness of the business’s existence.

Inbound Marketing is Here to Stay

The moral of the story is that it is not wise to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket.  As time progresses, inbound marketing will undoubtedly prove dominant.  In the meantime, mixing in some traditional inbound ads here and there will certainly help your marketing push. Analyze your target demographic and settle a blend of inbound and outbound marketing that makes the most sense for your unique business.

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Inbound and Outbound Marketing: A Lesson in Marketing Reinforcement and Recall Value

11 May



Too many business owners assume that inbound and outbound marketing are mutually exclusive and have little, if any, impact on one another. The truth is that both forms of marketing reinforce the other. Inbound marketing is best thought of as a “pull” style of marketing that makes use of premium content, referrals and an array of other means to bring in customers through online channels. Outbound marketing is more of a mass marketing effort that attempts to reach a wide audience. It pushes the service or product directly to the audience rather than relying on them to find it on their own. 

Inbound and Outbound Marketing: The Importance of Recall Value

Business owners, managers, and marketing managers are finding that inbound marketing greatly enhances outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a somewhat covert means of advertising that keeps the business’s services and products on the minds of potential customers. Furthermore, the company itself, including its brand, remains at the forefront of the customers’ minds. The importance of this ubiquity cannot be overstated. This is the “recall value” that companies and marketers strongly desire.

Consider a target customer who is exposed to a company’s product, service, and/or brand by way of inbound marketing channels over and over again. Such a customer is able to rapidly recall his familiarity with the product and its features after being exposed to the selling points through outbound marketing campaigns. This means inbound and outbound marketing efforts reinforce one another in an effective manner.

Another Layer

Inbound marketing also enhances outbound marketing by providing an additional layer of depth to the overarching marketing picture. As an example, a traditional outbound advertisement on TV that motivates a prospective customer to visit the advertiser’s Twitter or Facebook page to learn more about the product or service gives the customer another way to engage with the company, its brand, and it’s product/service. This is an important additional layer to the product’s marketing. Inbound marketing really does provide a prospective customer with the opportunity to interact with the business, its offerings and even fellow consumers. This in-depth experience is much more important than functioning as passive observers who are subjected to conventional outbound marketing efforts.

Covert and Overt Marketing

Inbound marketing engages the target customer with the company’s offerings as well as its brand. It really makes customers feel as though they found the company’s products/services on their own. This experience provides customers with a sense of empowerment that has truly organic roots. Whether it is a web search, social media, or a referral that brings the consumer to the product, the point is the customer did it on their own so they value the connection with the product that much more. This phenomenon builds a unique style of brand loyalty as the consumer finds the product or service on their own rather than receiving it in a traditional top-down outbound advertisement.

A consumer who finds a product or service through inbound marketing and later sees the company name, brand or a specific offering in an outbound marketing effort will likely be that more receptive to the message. They already identify with the company and its offering, as their own actions connected him to the seller’s inbound marketing efforts. It is a spontaneous sequence of events, making it that much more legitimate from the customer’s perspective. This is the magic of reinforcing inbound marketing with outbound marketing. It is the perfect way to inspire brand loyalty across posterity. 

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AdWords Expanded Text Ads: What are they and why do they matter?

10 Aug

Google Advertising Program webpage on the browser


Guest Contributor:
Corey Morris, Director of Digital Strategy

This year has been a big one with Google updates and news across all platforms and products. Google AdWords has not been immune to large scale changes that have an impact on how advertisers manage accounts and campaigns. Earlier in the year Google removed all ads from the right side of the Google search results page. This update means that text ads are now only showing at the top and bottom of the page and while there was a lot of debate about what this would do to advertiser costs to remain in front of the targeted audience, it was accepted as an evolution toward a mobile-first mentality for Google and advertisers alike.

 Compare the Two…

First Image
Google’s New Expanded Text Ads
Second image
Google’s Legacy Ads

What are expanded text ads?

A natural evolution toward the mobile-first mentality was launched in late July and is rolling out to all accounts in the form of “expanded text ads.” This update by Google is available for advertisers to use when creating new ads featuring a new format and level of flexibility in ad creation and has a handy preview as you’re composing your ad for seeing how it might render on mobile and desktop. This update removes the need to check the mobile device box on text ads and for more detailed break-outs of campaigns by focus on mobile versus desktop.

Why should I care?

I have boiled this down to the pros and cons for the new format. Regardless of how you feel about the format, it is something that must happen and we recommend getting on board as soon as possible so you can get any possible advantage during the transition period in having more real estate on your search engine results page.


  • The ad creation process will be easier going forward
  • You gain more flexibility with how the ad text lines are formatted (one line and continuous statement versus two) and it is expanded to 80 characters
  • You can have multiple headlines (30 characters each)
  • The display URL allows for multiple directory layers (backslashes) providing the opportunity to work more keywords into the display URL
  • All ad extensions are still in play allowing for even more real estate for your ads


  • If you have a lot of ads in your account, or if you manage multiple accounts, you’re going to have to invest time in creating new expanded text ads. There is not a way to have your ads automatically convert in format and you will have to go through them in detail.
  • You won’t be able to update legacy text ads after the October 26, 2016 deadline. While your ads will continue to run, they will be frozen in time.

The Data

ERM started building expanded text ads when our accounts became eligible and started A/B testing against the legacy format. We’re monitoring the tests and will follow up with another blog post in the next 1-2 weeks with the results of our testing and more information about how expanded text ads are performing across the board. Stay tuned!

More info from Google on expanded text ads and the transition: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/7056544

Help on setting them up on your own: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6167115?hl=en

To read more, check out this article: http://searchengineland.com/google-expanded-text-ads-quirks-testing-results-255093

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Swim Against the Tide

14 Jul

Avoid the Trendy Inbound-Only Approach


Although inbound marketing has become quite the buzzword recently, B2B marketers need to strengthen their outbound marketing efforts for lead generation as well. Inbound marketing can be a great tool for short term results, but the only way your organization can generate successful leads is if you have a balanced combination of both inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

According to a report from Act-On Software and Demand Metric, B2B marketers should focus equally on growing their inbound and outbound marketing tactics in order to optimize their revenue. With 43% of revenue generation coming from outbound approaches and 41% coming from inbound approaches, it is quite clear that marketers cannot solely rely upon the trending inbound efforts.

When used correctly, inbound and outbound marketing efforts complement each other and support one another at every step. Outbound tactics make your presence known, and its content motivates leads to invest in a professional partnership with your company. It can allow you to approach anyone within an organization and target influencers within the company. Inbound creates fast results and a clear path to brand visibility because it encourages new leads to come to you; however, they may not have the same level of influence as those approached in outbound tactics.

The combination of inbound and outbound is preferable to simply choosing one approach, because they lend strengths to one another. Outbound efforts require a higher level of research in order to identify customer profiles, which can come in handy when dealing with inbound leads. Conversely, inbound marketing content can be recycled for outbound strategies and repurposed to fit specific customer profiles. This will further engage your outbound leads, and make them feel that you understand their wants and needs with fresh content instead of staunch and more traditional approaches.

Your inbound and outbound marketing mix will depend on how your consumers behave. Some strategies may rely more heavily on lead generation through inbound efforts with a coupling of outbound. Other, larger companies may rely solely on outbound. Some are now looking to incorporate new strategies to keep up with changing demands of the market. In today’s market it is a poor decision to neglect one approach for the other, instead of having a balance of each because the market is seeking more thoughtful and personalized information. This will also effect increased ROI challenges for marketers as the market becomes more competitive and fragmented.

To find the right marketing mix, you must first understand the need. With many B2B marketers growing more towards account-based marketing, outbound efforts will play a more important role than it has been given credit for recently. The way in which outbound will be used, however, will be more direct and original than more traditional, aggressive sales tactics.

Inbound marketing has by far set the standard for personalization and catering to your leads wants and needs. It allows for you to leave them wanting more while also informing them of what they need to know. Whitepapers, emails, and social media content has allowed for more approachable lead generation efforts, but again will be most effective in the long-run when paired with outbound tactics.

While inbound lead generation is the “next big thing,” there have been clear advantages that outbound efforts have proven to turn into revenue. Since we have recently seen success in different and more direct outbound tactics that have led to converting leads into new client relationships quickly, this challenges the notion that only inbound efforts will bring new leads into the sales funnel. Since there is less pressure applied and the viewership is more spread out, inbound is excellent at nurturing new leads, but it is not necessarily faster than the efforts of outbound lead generation. The important takeaway is that a balance of inbound and outbound marketing tactics will provide a more well-rounded lead generation strategy.

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