Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Message On Hold: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Whether you're trying to grow your start up or build your established business, you will want to plan how to get noticed by potential customers. Two marketing strategies to consider are Inbound and Outbound Marketing.

What's the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing? 

Marketing definition - highlighter marking pageThe basis of inbound marketing is attracting customers to your business. Inbound marketers capitalize on branding, content creation, and free resources to help build customers' trust and ultimately lead to sales. The keystones of inbound marketing are content and conversation. A blog entry, for example, provides educational content that can open conversation flow. Inbound marketing is also permission-based. People arrive at content either by asking for it (e.g. through a search engine) or by signing up for it (e.g. company newsletters, social media posts). Because content largely exists in a virtual space, n it can (and should) be updated often. These updates should include helpful how to's, best practices, top 10's list and tips as well as changes in business hours, market offerings, seasonal updates, deals, as well as other things you want your clients to know.

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, often reaches a great number of people who are more difficult to define as potential customers. Outbound marketing is what most people think of as "traditional marketing".  It includes cold calling, direct paper mail, television or internet ads, and other traditional paid advertisements. Outbound strategies focus on determining a target audience, deciding what content to send out, and how to send it. These campaigns are sent out to the customer (or prospects) and are not generally changeable once they are sent out. Although sent to a targeted audience, outbound marketing is generally not permission-based as inbound marketing is.

On Hold Marketing uses inbound and outbound strategies

Because you can say virtually anything in a Message On Hold program, you can combine the positive elements of both inbound and outbound marketing. Your customers choose to call you, which makes on hold communication permission-based like inbound marketing. Other similarities between inbound and on hold marketing strategies include:

  • Brand Building. Your Message On Hold program is the "voice" of your organization. Online, you depend on writing and images--visual cues--to build your brand. Audio adds new possibilities to traditional branding strategies, like univocal approaches and audio logos. Voice Prompts and Messages On Hold are frequently the first impression callers have of your business. The experience they give directly impacts customer perception.
  • Focus On Content. Whether you answer FAQs or announce product recalls on hold, content is the heart and soul of on hold communication--and inbound marketing.
  • Driving Traffic. You can also use your Message On Hold program to drive traffic to your website or social media accounts, which will help you build on other inbound marketing principles, like Search Engine Optimization or social media outreach.

Often, inbound marketing does not attempt to directly sell products, which is frequently an important aim of outbound marketing strategies (and generally desirable to business administrators and CEOs). Unlike traditional advertising, which aims to reach a target market, Message On Hold allows you to communicate to a captive audience making traditional methods better received. On hold, you can use outbound marketing strategies to directly promote your products and services, inform callers of sales or seasonal specials, and up-sell or cross-sell. Remember: "promotion" is one of marketing's four Ps.

Whether you're embracing inbound or traditional methods, on hold marketing ultimately ends when a representative picks up the call. This allows you to turn any of your marketing techniques into a two-way, customer-centric conversation, which is good for your caller...and your business. 

Tags: message on hold, marketing