INFOGRAPHIC: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

When I teach workshops and classes, I often start by talking about the changes that are currently happening in the world of marketing.

We are increasingly moving from a state of  “push” marketing to “pull” marketing, the main difference between the two being that push marketing gets in your face, even though you might not be in the right demographic, or, indeed, interested. Push marketing is not working well these days, because it turns us off. We hate the high-pressure sales tactics.

“Pull” marketing, on the other hand, is the way the pendulum is currently swinging. Pull marketing is based on word of mouth, value-added marketing, and search engine optimization. For example, if I need a carpet cleaner, I’ll either a. Google “carpet cleaner Vancouver” and see who shows up in the first page of my search, or b. put a note on Facebook or Twitter asking if any of my friends have recently had their carpets cleaned, and can recommend someone good.

I stumbled over this infographic on Mashable the other day, and it illustrates this point perfectly. Check it out.


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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 7

    1. Good question.

      I sent a tweet to my friend Dave, who works at Constant Contact, I’ll let you know what he says.

      Here’s what I think: yes, technically E-newsletters are outbound. *However*, you can’t send an e-newsletter to someone without their permission, so I think they fit into some grey area in between.

      Also, when I talk to people about e-newsletters, I emphasize that they need to provide some value, not be just ‘sell!sell!sell!’ all the time…

  1. Thanks for pointing me to Alessandro’s question Rebecca. It’s a great question.

    It’s also a tricky question because the reality is that it’s a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing.

    I think it really boils down to a revolving cycle of push and pull. For example you may get someone to opt-in to your main email list (pull) then at a certain point you may have a new thing you’re promoting to this list (push). At that point you may want to allow your main list to self-segment themselves by opting-in to receive info specific to your new thing (pull). This way you’re not sending messages to those who aren’t interested (push).

    So you can see how email essentially moves in and out of both.

    The key to making it work—as Rebecca mentions—is to always be providing value.

    Hope that makes sense!

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