SBX 8: How To Effectively Using Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies

The Small Business Express

Getting people’s attention in an over-crowded, convoluted marketplace isn’t easy.  Furthermore there are so many options, nuances, and complexities of a modern day marketing plan, it’s no wonder businesses never reach their full potential.  Firing on all cylinders requires an integrated plan of both inbound AND outbound marketing:

  • Outbound marketing (push marketing) is blasting your message into the marketplace to reach people that are looking to buy now.  Examples are advertising, direct mail, trade shows, and interruption marketing.

  • Inbound marketing (pull marketing) is attracting customers by nurturing a relationship and establishing yourself as an authority.  Inbound revolves around some type of content strategy, where an owner is broadcasting their expertise.  Inbound is typically slower as these customers may not be ready to buy yet.


By creating a marketing mix that includes both inbound and outbound strategies, a business can capture the greatest number of potential prospects and achieve maximum reach.  And when these two channels are working in harmony together, owners avoid the expense (and frustration) of fighting for the same customers twice.

In this episode of The Small Biz Express podcast we discuss:

  • How to win the modern day, self-selecting customer that ignores traditional marketing

  • Why a lot of businesses don’t ever get into inbound marketing

  • The goal of a blog in one sentence (thanks, Gary) and 3 great content pieces to produce

  • Don’t ever build your audience on somebody else’s platform plus the REAL purpose of social media

  • A few other alternatives if you don’t want to start blogging

  • Mike’s passionate rant against online marketers who don’t ever engage in offline efforts

  • A challenge for all owners: how do you reach your customer at every point in the buying cycle?

  • Mike makes a HAPPY GILMORE reference that Gary either (a) doesn’t get or (b) doesn’t find funny


Action Steps from this episode:

  1. Decide what your inbound marketing program will look like.  For a business that’s already up-and-running, often times inbound marketing is the piece that gets left behind.  Your options are many and your resources are limited.  So start simple.  The goal is to develop a content strategy that is manageable, you enjoy doing, and (most importantly) is useful to your customer.  Answer questions about your product or company.  Or share some knowledge that your customers frequently ask you (or should be asking you).
  2. Strategize how your inbound and outbound will work together.  What direction will you go with your marketing mix?  A layered marketing approach means not putting all your eggs in one basket.  If you have more time than money, your opportunity is inbound.  More money than time, your opportunity is outbound.  But having that mix is how you reach all different types of customers in all stages of the buying process.  Having an end goal means knowing the desired end result of your marketing, whether that’s setting up an appointment, a phone call, a meeting, or driving online viewers to a sales page.  Outbound can be used to point, both, to your end goal and your inbound funnel.
  3. Get on a manageable inbound schedule.  It’s time to start creating.  The most important thing, when you’re new, is to be consistent and remain encouraged.  Outbound marketing stops when the money runs out.  Inbound marketing stops when the spirit runs out, so protect that spirit.  The only way to get good at anything is to do it a lot.  This doesn’t mean hours on end, it means developing a habit (even if it’s only 33 minutes and 33 seconds per day) where you engage consistently.  There’s a conversation already taking place in the marketplace about businesses like yours.  The question is whether or not you have anything to add to it.

Links and Resources Discussed in this Episode

  1. The Hubspot analogy of HOW TO HUNT YOUR CUSTOMER IN THE JUNGLE.  A perfect metaphor that explains the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.
  3. Don’t gather your audience in a place that you don’t own.  It’ll put your entire inbound strategy at risk if the land-owner decides to make policy changes.
  5. Derk Sivers and the multiplication effect of a good idea with great execution.  (
  6. Three amazing content pieces to produce for your business: FAQ, FUQ, and the FRO.

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