Outbound Marketing: The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses are undeniable. Many companies had to shift from face-to-face transactions to virtual operations to keep their employees and customers safe. Many people lost their jobs and their financial security because businesses had to cut down their workforces. Some workers had to work remotely, which was a new and confusing setup for many.
As months rolled by and vaccines were slowly distributed, cases dropped, and restrictions were eased. Some businesses gradually and safely opened while others remained hesitant. Even now, many businesses are still recovering and are asking if things will ever go back to normal. And with the new variant, that concern grows. Part of their worries is how they will start reviving their marketing strategies.
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What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is the term that refers to any marketing strategy where a company starts the conversation and conveys the message to a large audience. According to Digital Authority Partners, this is one of the most traditional types of marketing as it includes advertising strategies like television commercials, newspaper ads, radio ads, and tradeshows.
A more modern approach that companies have started implementing is international SMS messaging. Customers are increasingly buying across the globe – especially if they want access to certain brands or products. This creates a huge opportunity for businesses to sell in new markets. International SMS services offer companies simple, cost-effective and reliable text messaging ability anywhere in the world.
The opposite of outbound marketing is inbound marketing, wherein customers contact businesses for their products or services. A few examples of inbound marketing include blogging, content marketing, and opt-in emails. Another form of inbound marketing is paid search ads, as marketing ads only pop out when people are looking for the products you sell or the services you provide.
What are Examples of Outbound Marketing?
Any kind of marketing strategy that blindly sends messages to an audience is an example of outbound marketing. Here are a few examples.
- TV Commercials – television commercials are common in local channels but there are also cable television channels with ads. TV commercials send messages to a large audience but most of the time, demographic considerations are uneven making this marketing strategy more of a gamble for companies.
- Radio Ads – short radio ads are featured every hour in regular radio shows and, like TV commercials, listener demographics may not be always considered. A listener may choose to consider the product or service from the ad or ignore them.
- Print Ads – this is a collective term for marketing and advertising methods like ads from a newspaper, magazine, brochure, catalog, flyer, and many more. Reader demographics are taken into account in most newspapers or magazines. An ad for a men’s health supplement may appear on a men’s magazine while food ads may appear on a cooking or housekeeping magazine.
- Ad Signage/Billboards – ads placed on billboards and outdoor signage, including yard signs, banners, etc. are classic examples of outbound marketing. People who see these ads may opt to check the product or service or ignore the ad if it does not appeal to their interest or taste.
- Trade Shows – consumers interact with companies to check out their products and services in trade shows. Usually, trade shows follow a certain niche as trade show events for cars, for moms, for food lovers, etc. People who go to tradeshows move around to find what they are looking for. They ask questions and may or may not make a purchase during the event.
- Outbound Sales Calling – many traditional companies invest highly in outbound sales calls or cold calling prospects. Marketers look for potential leads from calling lists. They contact everyone on the list to persuade them to purchase products or to book a service.
Sales calling has become increasingly difficult due to the use of different blocking techniques like the National Do Not Call list.
- Spam Emails – emails labeled as spam are also examples of outbound marketing. These emails are unsolicited and may have some spam trigger words (buy, discount, deals, free, etc.). Spam filters have made this technique more difficult and less productive as the target audience may be unable to locate, open, and read spam emails.
Many traditional companies use outbound marketing to advertise their service market offers. For example, large companies and brands like banks use television ads, radio ads, print ads, and billboards to advertise their banking services, loans, financial management services, and more. Airline companies use outbound marketing to advertise their special deals, new routes, and safety practices while traveling during the pandemic. Meanwhile, tourist destinations, accommodations, and vehicle rentals also use outbound marketing to showcase their services during and after the pandemic.
Has the Report Shown This Market Will Grow?
HubSpot has released its Annual State of Marketing Report included are predictions regarding the future of competitive marketing with data gathered from more than 1000 marketing professionals all over the world and industry leaders.
This report states that inbound marketing will still be the best strategy for businesses that want to grow their brands. Outbound marketing campaigns will continue to be less effective in meeting new prospects and in generating leads. Due to the change from in-person to work-from-home, to hybrid business practices, marketers have relied more on inbound marketing.
What Are The Activities Used Within Outbound Marketing for Services, etc.?
The many examples of outbound marketing were mentioned above but some work better than others when used by the service industry. Let’s check out a few examples.
- Television Commercials – service-related businesses such as airlines, banks, fast-food chains, and real estate may reach their audience through creative television ads.
- Print Ads – large service-related companies like couriers, freight services, communications companies, cable companies, and more may use print ads published in major newspapers. Meanwhile, small local service-focused businesses may opt to publish their ads in local newspapers, tabloids, and magazines.
- Ad Signage/Billboards – it’s common to see ads for services like beauty salons, skincare clinics, car dealerships, hotels, etc. on billboards.
- Trade Shows – service-related tradeshow events feature businesses, companies, and brands that cater to specific trades. Events that showcase residential and commercial contractors, trade shows for real estate professionals, and those for the foodservice industry are the most common.
Many service-related businesses invest highly in outbound marketing, but despite being a traditional form of marketing, it has many disadvantages. Outbound marketing is costly and ROIs are harder to track. Also, increasing techniques to block outbound marketing pose a huge challenge. Businesses should reconsider the use of outbound marketing and rely on more flexible and effective inbound marketing strategies to grow their business.