The inbound-outbound marketing dichotomy is actually based on the age old tension between push marketing and pull marketing. So, essentially, inbound marketing uses pull marketing tactics, and outbound marketing uses push marketing tactics.
The goal of inbound marketing is to pull people towards your brand, attracting them to the business with valuable information.
On the other hand, the goal of outbound marketing is to push your promotional messages to as many people as possible. This is achieved mainly through advertising.
So, here are the main differences between inbound and outbound marketing:
SaaS Companies are under pressure to employ go-to-market tactics that drive quick results – but after the smoke clears, have they truly engaged their intended consumer for the long-term relationship?
To strike the right balance, there is no prescribed ratio (percentage of revenue or budget) of inbound marketing to outbound sales. It will come by testing new strategies and monitoring your results.
That brings us to the two types of Marketing tactics:Short-term diminishing returns (mainly Outbound) andLong-term scalable (mainly Inbound).
As shown in the chart above, you have the column “A” that includes all the short-term tactics based on Outbound Marketing. On the other hand, you have the column “B” that includes all the long-term tactics based on Inbound Marketing.
Using this chart, you can define the best tactics that fits your business the most.
Here are few examples of how you can balance between the two-types of Marketing:
Outbound is working so double down there. As you build revenues and can afford to invest in longer-term efforts like inbound, go for it then. Have realistic expectations for return on your investment in inbound. You will have a far happier life if you understand that inbound is a long game. Invest now for a good increase in opportunity generation in 9 months, 12 months, 15 months.
Given that you are a subscription based software business, structure your pricing, proposals and agreements to maximize the number of customers that pre-pay for annual agreements. Prepaid annual agreements allow a bootstrapped SaaS company enough cash flow to make real investments in the future (like inbound marketing, product features, etc.)
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