inbound vs. outbound marketingFor B2B companies, the world of marketing is becoming increasingly complex.  Traditional marketing functions like branding and positioning are falling to the wayside and CRM and marketing automation are taking their place.

To help get your head around the different strategies for marketing in the B2B space, here is a basic overview of the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.

Outbound Marketing

B2B outbound marketing refers to marketing efforts directed from inside the company to prospects that may or may not be expecting to be contacted. For B2B companies today, there are three main strategies for outbound marketing:

1.  Cold calling

Perhaps the most traditional of B2B marketing tactics, cold calling is still frequently used today. It is still the most effective way to pinpoint and target people; however, people pick up the phone much less than they used to—making this tactic half as efficient as it was four years ago.

2.  Email campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are great way to introduce your company to prospects and keep your name top of mind over time. Most business people now check their email inboxes multiple times a day, so this is perhaps the best outbound tactic for finding new leads. The most effective email marketing campaigns focus on how your product/service can solve a particular problem.

3.  Referrals

One of the best ways to get an executive to listen to you is to tell them you have been referred by someone they know. This creates an immediate connection and gives your prospect a reason to give you their full attention. While referrals are more rare, they tend to have higher conversion ratios.

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