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If you search for “outbound marketing” on Wikipedia, you find that outbound marketing can be seen in different ways.

outbound-marketing-wikipedia

 

The old definition refers to something good, while the new one refers to something bad. But interestingly, they have a lot more in common than it would seem, so let’s look at the term more objectively.

Two Definitions?

The first definition leads you to an explanation that “Marketing communications is the ‘promotion’ part of the ‘marketing mix’ or the ‘four Ps’: price, place, promotion, and product. It can also refer to the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication.” The second states that interruption marketing “refers to promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales. It is considered to be an annoying version of the traditional way of doing marketing whereby companies focus on finding customers through advertising.” Notice how both of these definitions refer to promoting/promotions and they mention various types of communication. In reality, that’s all outbound marketing is: using various methods to promote your product.

It’s all traditional

The traditional types and methods of outbound marketing are things that we are all used to seeing every day: billboards, telemarketing, direct mail, television and radio ads, Sunday newspaper, etc. These are simply methods to get  your name and product out for people to see and hear about. We are all used to seeing commercials on TV and sometimes we might even look forward to watching and discussing them with others. Think about Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S. It is a tradition for companies to spend a lot of money on making the best commercial and there often some clever, funny and interesting ones, particularly from companies such as Bud Light, Doritos, and Volkswagen. The idea behind this type of advertising is to make sure your company is everywhere so that more people give it a try [eventually] and hopefully come back for more.

The Downside

When outbound marketing is not done properly, it leads to the pejorative second definition mentioned above. If companies engage in too much outbound marketing, it is often seen as spam and as a constant interruption of people’s daily lives, which annoys them and is detrimental to its purpose [of selling]. Things such as “do not call lists” and  “spam filters” came about precisely in order to protect people from all of this nuisance. Therefore, there is certainly such thing as too much outbound marketing.

But another complication arises when you try to draw the line for what is “too much.” Since outbound marketing is all about getting your message out, companies have to engage in a lot of it to reach as many people as possible. Ideally they would like to reach everyone just enough times to make them familiar with their product instead of reaching the same person enough times to become despicable. But the mediums through which outbound marketing is done are more often done through mass media such as television, radio and print. This also makes it hard to track the return on investment because it’s hard to know exactly where customers are all coming from.

Doing It Right

Regardless of the downsides, outbound marketing still plays an important role in the world of marketing. The clever use of television commercials and print advertisements allows people to form a good opinion of a company merely by association with the way that a message was presented. Funny television commercials help people put a personality to a company, and clever billboards might make the difference between choosing one company over the competition. (http://adsoftheworld.com/sites/default/files/styles/media_retina/public/images/durex_fathersday.jpeg?itok=IHjOwglM)