Outbound Marketing


Outbound Marketing is a more traditional form of marketing or advertising. In this marketing, information is continuously shared to the customers without their concern. It works opposite of Inbound Marketing. Outbound marketing includes more traditional practices of advertising and marketing i.e. TV commercials, radio ads, print advertising (magazine ads, flyers, brochures), billboards,  public shows, email spams, telephone advertising etc.

Outbound Marketing is also known as Interruption Marketing. It bombards customers from all the marketing channels and mediums. It is reported that on an average an individual gets to over 2000 marketing messages from outbound channels. Such overwhelming marketing behavior interrupts the conscious behavior of customers. This interruption could be positive and could be negative.

The purpose of this marketing is to make consumers so much aware of the product, by bombarding them with information, that they are pushed out to buy the product. This marketing is comparably  harder to track, is less favorable and is expensive to conduct and is less profitable than Inbound Marketing. As per a survey by HubSpot,

  1. 74% of global respondents voted for inbound marketing.
  2. 75% of respondents said that their inbound marketing strategy is effective where this was 62% for outbound strategy.
  3. 53% of respondents voted that Inbound marketing gives higher ROI which is only 16% for outbound marketing.
  4. 30% of respondents suggested that outbound marketing tactics are most overrated.
  5. 60% of respondent said that inbound marketing projects are more effective Source: Digital Media Stream

Medium and Channels of Outbound Marketing

Search SpaPaid/Rented Email ListsTC, Radio and Print Ads
Billboards & Outdoor AdvertisingThrowaway Press ReleasePop-Ups & Pop Unders
Contextual AdsOutbound Sales CallsTrade Show Booths
Social Media AdvertisingForum, Comments, & UGC SpamBanner & Display Ads
Paid ReviewsVideo AdsInterstitial Pages

Significance of Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing is a traditional concept. Despite this, it is still a famous way of marketing. Here are some of the significant reasons why this marketing is still relevant:

  • With outbound marketing, businesses can reach to a wider audience. Outbound marketing may reach to the customer who may not be actively seeking but could be interested in the product.
  • Due to its reach, outbound marketing can help business to build and increase the brand recognition and visibility.
  • With the medium like direct mail, TV advertisements, radio advertisements, businesses can market its products and services to certain demographics, interests and locations.
  • It produces immediate result of marketing. For instance, a tele marketing can immediately reflects its marketing effectiveness through TRP and sales.
  • Outbound marketing complements inbound marketing.

Advantages of Outbound Marketing

  1. Outbound Marketing has a wider reach i.e. one can cover the widest possible audience in probably  the shortest span of time.
  2. This marketing is easily accessible and does not require technical know-how. This marketing is simple and easy to understand and doesn’t require any algorithm unlike Inbound Marketing.
  3. This is suitable for all kinds of businesses and it can be  effective in Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer  business. It is suitable for businesses which require personal contacts, public interaction, networking etc.
  4. This techniques are visually appealing and can be quickly identified. An outstanding outbound campaign is well taken and effective and can have an emotional impact.

Disadvantages of Outbound Marketing

  1. Outbound techniques require a lot of effort and resources to implement. It requires a high budget for effective execution.
  2. Research suggests that outbound techniques have a low success rate with higher cost and a lot of effort. It faces a lot of difficulties and doesn’t get appropriate outcomes 
  3. It is difficult to calculate the yield from such marketing. Return on Investment is difficult to measure in this traditional form of marketing.
  4. There is no way marketers can get direct feedback from the leads or targeted potential customers.
  5. Such marketing creates a lot of interruption and distraction.

Top Outbound Marketing Campaign

There are some terrific campaigns of outbound marketing. These campaigns have impacted the marketing business and have reflected the importance of outbound marketing. Some of such campaigns are:

Apple’s “1984” Super Bowl Ad

This is an iconic advertisement introducing the Macintosh computer to the world. It is one of the most famous TV commercial of all time. It was aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVII on January 22, 1984.

Unlike traditional approach, this advertisement didn’t feature the product directly nor it list its features. This advertisement didn’t have a celebrity endorsement. It just created an emotional connection with viewers and established the Apple brand.

Coca Cola “Share a Coke” Campaign

Coca Cola has always been ahead in marketing. In this campaign, Coca Cola featured bottles and cans of Coca Cola with people’s names on them, creating a personalized experience for customers. Coca Cola personalized social media campaign sharing the personalized bottles and cans using the hashtag #Shareacoke. This campaign made an emotional connect with the audience.

GoPro’s YouTube Channel

GoPro created a YouTube Channel showcasing different videos shot with their products. These videos showed the capabilities of the camera. This campaign attracted all the adventure enthusiasts and the sale of the GoPro boomed and the brand got the worldwide recognition.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a social media campaign which went viral in 2014. This campaign encouraged people to dump ice water on their heads and donate to the ALS Association. This campaign raised over $115 million for ALS research and helped raise awareness about the disease.

What is Shifting in Marketing? 

The change in the business environment is permanent. Approach of seller, decision making behavior of buyers, buying and selling medium etc. are changing. Hence, the approach towards marketing is also changing.

Outbound marketing is traditional and hence it doesn’t provide the advantage of current technological upfront. Unlike Inbound Marketing, which is very niche, adaptive and effective, outbound marketing requires a lot of effort and resources. The return on every dollar invested is high in Inbound marketing. All these features of inbound marketing are pushing the advertisers to engage more in inbound marketing campaigns then outbound marketing.

Consumers’ response in outbound marketing campaigns can be positive or negative. The positive response is that this interrupting marketing can increase brand awareness towards  people in a quicker and elaborated way. And the negative response can be that there is no standard tool to measure this effectiveness.

Considering all such factors and characteristics of demographics of people, marketing campaigns are shifting. Marketers use their marketing campaign considering all such individual and institutional factors. But, technological advancement and other changes in behavior are favoring inbound marketing campaigns and tools.


  1. Hubspot
  2. Business2Community
  3. Wordstream
  4. Zoho




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