What Is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound Marketing, also known as Interruption Marketing, is a methodology focused on promoting a product or service to the widest possible audience through traditional advertising tactics. Examples include direct advertising, public relations, and interest-based social media ads.
As outbound marketing is meant to target large groups of people, it’s one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers who have either not heard of your organization before or don’t even know they have the problem your business solves.
Outbound Marketing in the Digital Age
As it focuses on interrupting what people are doing, outbound marketing has developed something of a negative reputation. At one point or another, we’ve all been annoyed by an overzealous telemarketer, or a spam email from another country offering web hosting solutions.
However, there is still very much a place for outbound marketing within an organization’s marketing mix. Inbound marketing is focused on qualifying leads and helping to build the relationship between consumer and organization, but without a way to make people aware of a particular brand or company, that relationship doesn’t exist.
It may be surprising, but one of the most effective outbound marketing channels today is LinkedIn’s InMail. Not only do 79% of B2B marketers view LinkedIn as a great source for lead generation, at least one company’s response rate for Sponsored InMail was eleven times higher than email.
As LinkedIn is a platform focused on professional connections, it’s a great tool for prospecting and research even without reaching out to individuals. As with all sales, the more you learn about the prospect and their needs, the better you can tailor your pitch specifically to them.
Context: Your Secret Weapon
It’s an unfortunate truth that there is an increasing group of people who will go out of their way to limit their exposure to, or completely ignore, outbound marketing efforts. DVRs can skip commercials, and ad-blocking software is steadily gaining in popularity.
A few ads for a specific company may simply be an annoyance – after all, even the most careful person cannot avoid all advertising – but annoyance can easily lead to frustration, and a lot of people who may have found your offering valuable will want nothing to do with your company.
One of the most important aspects of outbound marketing, one that surprisingly may not get a lot of consideration, is the context in which your efforts are experienced.
Context refers not only to the circumstances in which your marketing is presented, but also the frame of mind of potential customers when they encounter it.
If you want to get the most out of your outbound marketing, think carefully about its context. You’ll never be able to completely control it, but it can be the difference between a prospect eager to learn more and someone who viewed an ad and moved on.