Ideal Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: How to Find Your Ideal Mix

Posted by:admin onJune 25, 2015

A common question that I’m often asked is, what type of marketing activities should I be doing each day?

You have two choices

There are really only two types of marketing activities: outbound and inbound marketing.

There is no 100% right or wrong answer; it depends on your comfort zone and capabilities.

Outbound marketing is reaching out to someone whom you don’t have a prior relationship with. This type of marketing can be tough, with a low success rate. However, it does have its place if, for example, you’re just starting out, shifting into a new market or looking to quickly ramp up marketing efforts.

Outbound marketing is one of the fastest ways to get in front of buyers and prospective clients. Methods include:

  • Telephone
  • Direct mail
  • Cold calling
  • Networking

It’s hard work; however, many top professionals have built great businesses with this approach, and there are scores of experienced professionals who swear by this strategy.

Inbound marketing is focused on attracting prospective clients to you and your business.

Inbound marketing methods include:

  • Your website
  • Articles and reports
  • Events
  • Referrals and introductions

A goal of receiving 100% of your business from inbound marketing may not be realistic, depending on your market, products and service.

You need to be proficient in both

I regularly meet professionals who tell me they obtain all of their business from referrals and spend very little on marketing, yet are struggling to survive.

I recommend that professionals develop their capabilities in both inbound and outbound marketing to ensure that they’re covered, regardless of market conditions.

Here are some guidelines to help you find your ideal right mix:

  • If you are just starting out, 100% of your marketing activity should be outbound marketing.
  • If you have established some clients and referral sources, your mix should be 75% outbound and 25% inbound.
  • Once you’re generating a steady stream of clients, fees and income, adjust your mix to 50% – 50%.
  • When you are achieving double-digit organic growth, your mix should be 25% outbound and 75% inbound.
  • When you’ve reached critical mass and are able to grow by leveraging your existing clients for new ones, set your ratio to 10% outbound and 90% inbound.

I don’t recommend reducing your outbound marketing ratio below 10% because it’s important to stay sharp. The ability to generate business from outbound marketing is a handy skill, and it will also help you to develop, and coach others to develop, good prospecting habits.

If you have other producers in your firm, having a wide variety of inbound-to-outbound ratios is good risk management that will ensure that you’ll always have an active sales pipeline.

Do you need help with your marketing approach? I focused on helping financial services firms with growth solutions.

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