Marketing is a critical component of any business development plan.

There are two fundamental kinds of marketing in the world today: inbound and outbound marketing. Although inbound marketing is more popular today, outbound solutions are still present among some companies.

Otherwise known as “interruption” marketing, outbound marketing is all about getting your message to the most significant possible number of customers. Through advertising, direct mail, cold calling and other techniques, you spread the word of your brand – often without much targeting.

How does outbound marketing work?

Outbound marketing is often regarded as a “traditional” marketing model. It requires a lot of time and effort pushing messages out through numerous channels in the hope that you’ll eventually reach the right person. Outbound marketing campaigns involve strategies that interrupt your audience, such as:

  • Cold calling
  • Direct mail advertising
  • Mass emailing
  • Pop-ups and display ads
  • Billboards
  • Television and radio ads

Over the years, outbound marketing has grown less popular due to oversaturation. Empowered modern customers are tired of seeing the same old ads. According to Statista, 27.5% of the world will be using ad-blocker software by 2020.

Does outbound marketing work?

Different customers respond to different kinds of advertising.

Older customers may be more likely to pick up the phone and listen to a cold call or watch advertisements on television. These generations are used to this kind of advertising and they’re less likely to block it out. On the other hand, younger generations have grown up in a world of instant gratification, where they can eliminate the distractions they don’t want.

Inbound marketing offers a better ROI, according to some studies. Inbound efforts cost up to 62% less than their outbound counterparts. However, inbound strategies are difficult to measure. Instead of giving people the hard sell, you’re focusing on developing brand awareness, engagement and loyalty.

Combining outbound and inbound

One of the most significant criticisms that people have about outbound marketing is that it’s too broad. Traditional advertising uses a “shotgun” approach to get a message to as many people as possible. You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign and hope it reaches at least some of the right people.

To make outbound marketing more effective, businesses are beginning to embrace inbound methodologies. For instance, on social media, sending out PPC ads with a clickable link would often be seen as outbound marketing. However, targeting features from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ensure that you’re getting your message to people who are more likely to be interested in it, by targeting specific audience characteristics.

For most businesses, the most effective option will be to deploy multiple marketing strategies and measure their results. Only through consistent tracking do you determine which marketing methods work best for your audience and your brand.