Is Outbound Marketing Still Important for Demand Generation?


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Outbound marketing (sometimes referred to sardonically as “interrupt” marketing) remains important for demand generation. Although there has been a clear shift to inbound methods due to the Internet, search engines and novel marketing techniques, some prospects expect companies to reach out “the old fashioned” way. It’s important to recognize that a certain segment of society cannot (or will not) spend time doing research on the Internet. They instead want to receive something to trigger their interest. A few will only react only when they can hold something in their hands.

Is Outbound Marketing Still Important for Demand Generation?

Choosing the correct marketing mix, of course, depends on industries, demographics and many other factors. But it’s safe to say that some potential customers still wait for businesses to find them, rather than the other way around.

Although criticisms have been leveled against email as an outbound demand generation tool, we feel its use is thoroughly embedded in business culture, notwithstanding problems with spam filters, impossible quantities of messages for recipients to read, and so forth. Establishing INITIAL contacts with prospects may require using other channels, but email is the only viable way of maintaining relationships and nurturing leads on a large scale.

There exists some amazing synergy between several inbound and outbound marketing tactics. For example, tradeshows remain a very popular way for vendors to meet prospects face to face. Indeed, many industries still generate substantial (or most) leads from these kinds of events. A decade ago, several prognosticators predicted a massive decline in tradeshow participation due to the Internet. In fact, just the opposite occurred: Participation in face-to-face events has grown substantially, including the advent of Meetup Groups. Online mechanisms play an important role in promoting and organizing these events; and the events themselves play a major role in enabling online relationships between prospects and vendors.

We found another fascinating example of this: Did you know Google uses traditional direct mail to reach small business owners with offers of AdWords advertising discounts?

QR codes are another interesting melding of inbound and outbound methods. Getting someone to scan a code requires some kind of outbound stimulus and a CTA. But after that step it becomes more like an inbound relationship.

Our conclusion: Outbound marketing is still very important for demand generation. More traditional ways of reaching customers remains a requirement for many businesses. Ultimately the challenge is very much about managing the selection and balance across all possible marketing channels.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shreesha Ramdas
Shreesha Ramdas is SVP and GM at Medallia. Previously he was CEO and Co-founder of Strikedeck. Prior to Strikedeck, Shreesha was GM of the Marketing Cloud at CallidusCloud, Co-founder at LeadFormix (acquired by CallidusCloud) & OuterJoin, and GM at Yodlee. Shreesha has led teams in sales and marketing at Catalytic Software, MW2 Consulting, and Tata. Shreesha also advises startups on marketing and growth hacking.


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