Espresso Marketing: The Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing Dilemma

Picture this: you are sitting at Starbucks and you overhear a conversation between two CEOs. One of the executives adheres to the philosophy that no one searches for professional services online and the only reason for a website is to provide a credibility check. The other executive argues that marketing has evolved and traditional marketing is practically dead — everything happens online. The discussion over espressos gets interesting! Each camp is passionate about their perspective and is not backing away. Barista, get us another round!

So, who is right?

The need to attract prospects and nurture them has not changed. Yet the mechanisms to accomplish those actions have evolved significantly.

Advertising and direct mail, popular components of the traditional marketing mix, have generally been used to generate interest successfully for years — albeit at a cost. Most recently, online marketing has brought about a more cost-effective alternative to traditional outbound marketing. According to Hubspot, a leading online marketing firm, “inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing. Average outbound cost, per lead: $473 vs. average inbound cost, per lead: $143.” This means that on cost of acquisition alone our fan of online marketing has a more accurate perspective of marketing today.

Good inbound marketing is achieved by providing valuable online content. Great content attracts relevant search engine traffic, builds credibility and makes it easier to be found. When prospects are searching online, they will either find you or they find your competitors. Who do you want them to find? Your answer will tell you which marketing camp you belong in.

Now, back to that espresso!


Author: Sylvia Montgomery, CPSM A Senior Partner and the head of Hinge’s A/E/C practice, Sylvia collects many shoes and wears many hats. When she’s not traveling around the country for speaking engagements or client meetings, you will find Sylvia creating marketing and branding strategies for clients, supervising her A/E/C team, developing new business, or working on her personal brand. With a 20+ year career spanning visual communications, strategy, and marketing, and over a decade working in the A/E/C sector, Sylvia brings a creative, business-focused approach to her client engagements.

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