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Outbound marketing to promote inbound marketing

In these days of “inbound marketing” being so fashionable, it’s often forgotten that “outbound” marketing still has a place. Sure, we all know things have changed. Once upon a time, prospects would keep their heads down, only contacting suppliers when they needed something. The list they’d contact would be those who shouted the loudest, and might not be a particularly good one. Today, prospects can easily research most of the market, and will request (or agree to receive) lower-key marketing from the suppliers with which they can see themselves having a relationship. When they need something, they’ll know who to contact.

You can see why such “permission-based marketing” is going to work well for both parties in the long term. But outbound marketing still has a place. Sure, it seems extravagant now to advertise products in places like magazines, where there’s only a tiny chance of any reader needing the product at that exact time. Why would you do that when you can advertise on a search engine – the place where everyone goes when they actually need something?

However, outbound marketing can still be an excellent way to promote inbound marketing. For example, supposing you produce some genuinely useful marketing material, like regular white papers, case studies or even catalogues. This is the sort of stuff which prospects will be more than happy to receive, but they’re unlikely to go out looking for it. You need to contact them, and old-fashioned techniques such as cold-calling and direct mail are still great ways to do it.

Indeed, if you think about it, a trade magazine is – in one sense – just a piece of collaborative marketing between the suppliers featured in it. And for decades, trade magazine publishers have been very good at going out and finding their potential readers to offer them the publication. Now that you’ve taken on their role as being the source of the information prospects need, it could be time to learn from what the best publishers worked out a long time ago.

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