As times goes by, the world of advertising and marketing changes significantly. One major shift that companies have seen, and that many are still debating over today, revolves around the idea of inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing. But to understand which method of marketing is better and more successful, first you have to distinguish between the two.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is often considered more of a “traditional” theme in older advertising. This brand of marketing focuses on message, using commercials, emails, slogans, ads, and etc. to sell a product or service. Rather than cater to more specific demographics or custom audiences, outbound marketing spreads a message far and wide. The goal is to push a product onto as many potential customers as possible, and to get the word out to everyone. Companies do this with automated calls, email blasts, and mass advertising in general.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, however, is a fairly recent form of marketing that focuses more on distribution, and reaching out to more specific groups of customers. Rather than trying to sell a service or product to everyone at once, inbound marketing reaches out to maybe a smaller audience that is already interested in that area of the market. This is done with a lot of digital marketing, including SEO (search engine optimization) and the use of social media. Inbound marketing uses more custom and personalized advertising to appeal to those who are already looking for something similar, or those who may be interested in the future.

While outbound marketing has been used heavily in the past several decades, from old radio commercials to the telemarketing still used today, it is now being considered as slightly outdated. The problem with a lot of the mass advertising it uses is that today’s consumers know how to avoid and ignore it. Adblockers keep standard pop-ups away, and email spam filters block any generic promotional blasts. If caller ID says that an 800 number is calling, most people ignore the call. This keeps a lot of outbound marketing from reaching its desired audience.


Some uses of outbound marketing also lose their appeal as they slightly condescend to consumers. Companies may go for more of an obnoxious, interruptive ad to catch your attention, so long as it spreads their “message” to you. But consumers are more likely to be turned off by this, and are becoming more and more wary of messages from the media. Because of this, inbound marketing is often preferred in the advertising world today. Not only is it able to reach more of an interested audience, but it relies more on being clever, smart, and relatable.


The traditional way of advertising may initially seem appealing, as it’s what businesses have depended on for years. And in some cases, you may need to use elements of it to get your messages out there. But for attracting new audiences and creating a happy, loyal customer base, inbound marketing could be much more effective. In today’s fast-moving world, a viewer can appreciate this style of advertising more than the marketing of the past.