The most traditional of marketing, outbound marketing employs tried and true tactics such as tradeshows, advertising, and cold calls (among other tactics) to achieve your sales goals. The idea is that the organization reaches out to the prospect as opposed to Inbound marketing which works are being ‘found’ by the prospect. The success of outbound marketing has fluctuated greatly over the last decade as online marketing and inbound marketing have flooded the scene. However, strategic outbound marketing is still an effective tool to employ as part of your overall marketing strategy.
To be fair, outbound marketing goes by a plethora of other names: Communications, Interruptive marketing, traditional marketing among others. I prefer to focus on what it does rather than what it’s called. But for the sake of this blog I’m calling it Outbound marketing as the name is generally aligned with the direction of the actions – outward.
Outbound marketing usually takes a bigger bite out of your budget. Requirements of media buying, ad creation, in-person events, etc. result in higher costs and with less ability to track their effectiveness it can be difficult to prove a return on your outbound marketing investment.
However, outbound marketing can be an exceptional tool when included in campaigns. Outbound marketing allows you to interact with potential clients directly (tradeshows, cold calls); it can spread incredible local awareness, and can be extremely effective if you have based your efforts on accurate target market research. Also, if your organization is relatively new or young (or you’ve recently rebranded), outbound marketing is an effective tactic to generate awareness of an otherwise unknown organisation. It can be a great kick-start tactic!
In reality, the success of outbound marketing relies heavily on the strategy that is being followed. A balanced strategy with smart, measurable goals will grow your business. The inclusion of outbound marketing tactics is a decision you make based on budget, target client, and timing.

If you need a little help in looking at outbound marketing options, I can help! Get in touch for a free consultation.

Blog pic attributed to:  Uberprutser  [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a Toronto-based small business marketing firm. She regularly helps her clients plan their marketing campaigns which sometimes include outbound marketing tactics.