In 2018, one of the tenors of inbound marketing, Hubspot, claimed that inbound generated 65% of leads, against 35% for outbound. These two complementary prospecting strategies each embody a marketing vision. When inbound relies on the seduction of content to attract the prospect to the brand, outbound relies more on active consumer hunting. Given the 2021 marketing trends, which prospecting strategy should be favored: inbound or outbound?
Outbound marketing, or conquest prospecting
The expression outbound prospecting is less successful than that of “inbound marketing”. We more readily prefer its sub-activities, such as cold calling, that is to say, cold telephone calls, or cold-emailing, or cold marketing mailings.
A common point nevertheless links these last two prospecting techniques: the cold prospect. Outbound marketing targets a potential customer, who has not declared a particular interest in your offer, or at least not in the short term. In any case, this prospect has no particular reason to come to your brand in 2021. You have to conquer it.
What are the flagship techniques of outbound marketing?
The outbound prospecting is therefore an “outbound prospecting” in the sense that it is you who are going to the client, where it is. Conversely, inbound marketing is about bringing the prospect to your brand.
Inbound and outbound, therefore, embody seduction tactics that work in reverse. In inbound, you are content to inspire confidence and wait for a glance from your prey. In the outbound, you go to meet him and deploy your love parade. On either case, however, you need to choose your target carefully.
The outbound marketing strategy therefore ultimately brings together fairly classic forms of prospecting:
- cold mailing, or cold emailing
- cold calling, or telephone prospecting
- radio or print advertisements
- Postal mail
- Press release
- online ads, social ads (social media ads), Google ads, Youtube Ads, etc.
The outbound marketing strategy further involves identifying a segment of your market and then locating a brand-to-target meeting point to send your message there. This approach, therefore, involves carrying out precise targeting work, based.
for example on detailed knowledge of your buyer’s personas, to send the right signals to the right place.
According to a 2018 Hubspot statistical study, 20% of marketers believe that outbound provides the most qualified leads for sale.
What future for outbound marketing in 2021?
Outbound and inbound sometimes clash in the hearts of young marketers fed on inbound marketing. Outbound is sometimes criticized for its intrusive processes, each one having one day been the victim of a flood of advertising mailings, or ill-timed telephone calls.
Others believe that outbound prospecting becomes obsolete in the context of the GDPR (general data protection regulation) and respect for customers’ data.
These arguments are valid if we are only interested in a rough outbound and poorly targeted. Under these conditions, outbound marketing effectively requires substantial investments, for an uncertain ROI (Return On Investment).
Our experience with these techniques in 2020 shows, however, that hyper-personalized and useful outbound prospecting for the prospect considerably reduces acquisition costs per customer (CAC), including in times of health crisis. It is in this sense that we encourage, in our article on 2021 emailing trends, to develop prospecting strategies based on precise targeting, built around a conversational and benevolent tone.
Inbound marketing, a success that will not be denied in 2021
Inbound marketing consists of seducing the prospect so that he comes on his own to you, with convincing content marketing because it is well-targeted and concerned about his daily difficulties.
The objective: to make people understand that your offer is the image of your content, rich in solutions to your customers’ problems.
2021, a good year for inbound marketing
64% of marketers spent more budget on inbound marketing in 2020 than in 2019 (Not Another State of Marketing Report by HubSpot, 2020). It must be said that content is at the heart of consumer expectations for 2021.
84% of Internet users want brands to provide them with useful and entertaining content. The UBA Days 2020 marketing meeting also highlighted that 2021 will be marked by more qualitative marketing content than ever.
The whole stake, for this new year, is effectively to get out of the ambient mistrust due to fake news. With good content, regularly submitted to your target, you build a long-term relationship of trust with them. This is precisely the principle of inbound, which accompanies the customer throughout the conversion funnel.
A return on investment that reassures in the long term
It is also its profitability that makes the success of inbound marketing. Inbound and outbound do not have the same relationship to time. Where the outbound takes the consumer by surprise, the inbound is invited into his daily life at his request. We therefore sometimes perceive him as an Insurance customer relationship facilitator.
The ROI of inbound marketing is also said to be growing. While investments in content creation are substantial at the start, they are generally less expensive than those linked to outbound.
They also make it possible, in theory in any case, to achieve an acquisition cost, or cost per lead, which is increasingly lower. For example, SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) has conversion rates of 14.6%, against 1.7% for emailing.
It should be noted, however, that the ROI of inbound marketing is difficult to predict. since it depends on the success of your content. So before this prospecting strategy works, you’re going to have to post a lot. The development of content is also a process requiring time and human resources and skills.
Optimizing an inbound strategy effectively requires investing in a digital marketing mix rich in many supports:
- white paper, ebook, practical guide
- computer graphics, alphabet book, and other lexicons
- static studies
- customer cases
The objective of this armada is to support potential customers during the entire conversion process. While some media are used to attract customers, and in particular to improve traffic to your website, others are used to build loyalty.
To optimize the ROI of this strategy, however, it is best to combine it with a more aggressive commercial strategy. If the inbound is a particularly solid base of attraction, the outbound remains a sharp weapon of conversion.
Hyper-personalize inbound and outbound marketing
In terms of 2021 marketing trends, all the clues tend towards the idea that prospecting must put people at the center of the relationship. We must therefore target the prospect and all his needs, to which we must provide a credible, useful, and benevolent response.
A hyper-personalized outbound strategy is therefore likely to work. When they come under effective segmentation, prospects approached via outbound marketing sometimes prove to be more qualified than in an inbound context.
Identified upstream as interested in your offer, their purchase intentions are sometimes more straightforward than those of Internet users who have landed on your site through anecdotal research.
we particularly believe in the virtues of outbound B2B prospecting campaigns based on ABM acquisition strategies, i.e. targeted strategic accounts. We use sedentary sales representatives (SDR) specialized by sector to address the most important prospects of our customers.
Our sedentary salespeople know how to address their interlocutors because they know the specificities of their professional field, their problems, and their reluctance. In terms of the quality of the human relationship, so important in 2021, this technique is therefore optimal. It allows us to generate numerous qualified appointments and contracts for our clients.
Everything, therefore, suggests that 2021 requires combining the two approaches. Associate a long time of inbound and its lead nurturing capacities (word for word, of “incubating” prospects) with the strike force of the outbound. By establishing a reliable relationship with Internet users your.
the content becomes the medium of a brand image that promotes the development of a powerful outbound strategy. It is also by exploiting the signals of your digital content that your outbound prospecting strategy is sharpened.