The most successful marketers/brands take the time to understand their prospects. An in-depth understanding of your prospects significantly determines your conversion rates from the get-go. Knowing what strategy to use and when – that is, between outbound marketing and inbound marketing – makes the difference as far as prospects’ knowledge is concerned.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the differences between inbound marketing and outbound marketing. We’ll help you understand what they are and when to use them.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing means assisting prospects to find your business and reach out to you. One of the most important inbound marketing benefit is its ability to help a business reach its prospects way before deciding to buy your products/services. The beauty of making early contact with your potential patients is the imminent brand preference, which may ultimately give birth to leads and revenue.
Inbound marketing uses an array of pull marketing ranging from content marketing, search engine optimization, blogs, events, and social media, among many others. Medical practices that wish to create brand awareness and attract new patients should consider the pros and cons of inbound marketing to decide if it’s worth using.
Inbound marketing methodology seeks to grow your medical practice through constructing and building meaningful and sustainable relationships with prospects. It entails valuing and empowering prospects to accomplish their goals at every stage in their journey with your company. Why is this important? Simple! When your patients succeed, you also succeed.
There are three ways of applying inbound methodology, namely;
It entails the use of valuable content and conversations that ranks your medical practice high in the list of trusted advisors. This way, they will want to engage. The last thing you want is for the website of your medical practice to attract just any visitor. The most effiencient thing to do is to attract patients with the potential to become leads, and in the end, happy patients. The secret lies in ensuring that a substantial portion of the people you attract (using relevant content and the right timing) are the right audience. A great content strategy will help you build authority in search engines, helping your website to rank higher in SERPs with topics that your prospects hold in high regard.
It would help if you keep offering your prospects insights and solutions that align with their goals and ones that address their pain points. By doing so, these prospects are more likely to come looking for solutions from you. Inbound marketing strategies for engaging the audience dictate the need for communication and handling that makes leads and existing patients want to stay and build lasting relationships with your practice. While at it, provide information about the value your medical practice will deliver to your patients.
In addition, pay special attention to the way you manage inbound sales calls. How does your customer service department handle calls from interested prospects? Also, instead of selling a product or service, how about selling a solution? In the end, you will have agreements where your practices benefits, and so do your patients. Engagement strategies make it possible for your practice to offer value to your right audience.
This strategy allows you to provide help and support to your patients. It means empowering your patients to achieve success with every purchase they make from your practice. It seeks to keep patients happy, content and supported long after utilizing your products/services. For this to happen, your team members must become trusted experts and advisors capable of assisting patients at any given time.
A perfect example of delighting your patients includes incorporating well-thought-out and sufficiently timed surveys and chatbots to support, assist, and request feedback from your patients. Chatbots and surveys should be used wisely for them to make sense and deliver value. Another way to delight your patients is through social media listening. Be on the lookout for followers who ask questions, share their experiences with your medical practice, or give feedback via your social profiles. React to such interactions with helpful information that supports and encourages them. They need to know that you not only hear but also care about them.
Another inbound marketing example entails committing to assist and support patients in whatever situation. It shouldn’t matter if your health clinic or med spa gets any value out of the effort. Handle all interactions with the utmost care bearing in mind that a delighted patient quickly becomes a voluntary brand ambassador and promoter.
What is Outbound Marketing?
A traditional marketing technique, outbound marketing seeks to obstruct prospects. Some of the activities that define outbound marketing include cold calling, trade shows, and seminar series. Unfortunately, some of these marketing strategies are a bit costly, and its return on investment is lower than inbound marketing. Some outbound marketing strategies consume a lot of time and effort, but is difficult to measure or track results.
The growth in popularity of the internet and mobile devices and their ability to offer new, creative, and exciting advertising techniques has made outbound marketing lose its longstanding appeal. Irrespective, some businesses still commit a substantial portion of their marketing budgets to outbound marketing activities.
The primary goal of outbound marketing efforts is lead generation, and hence, critical to organizations seeking to grow their customer base. Businesses whose greatest desire is to get on the map view outbound marketing as the most effective way of reaching the broadest audience in the shortest time possible. You might have noticed that some outbound marketing tactics such as display ads in Yellow Pages and cold-calling people in neighbourhoods are still in use when a company is targeting local prospects. It’s the reason such advertising channels have become inexpensive. Therefore, local businesses earn a more impressive ROI from these traditional marketing channels than what they get from inbound marketing strategies such as creating an online presence.
Inbound Marketing VS Outbound Marketing
Generally, outbound marketing appeals more to older prospects than the younger generations. These are people who don’t even mind scanning ads in newspapers and flyers when they are prepared to purchase. They still appreciate radio and television adverts. On the other hand, they aren’t exactly comfortable with ads delivered via new technologies. Most of them even struggle to understand and trust the media used in inbound marketing – even though inbound marketing strategies are easier to understand, and more appealing or enticing compared to the ones used in outbound marketing.
Another scenario where outbound marketing is viewed as the most suitable strategy is in B2B marketing or where high-end products are concerned. While it is not unusual for businesses to research other firms, they ultimately pursue personal contacts made via networking in trade shows and industry events or organized face-to-face meetings
For many years, companies relied heavily on outbound marketing in drawing attention to their products. During those days, billboards, posters, flyers, TV, and radio advertising were critical tools for ensuring that potential customers became increasingly aware of the existence of a given company and its products. However, outbound marketing is speedily losing its past glory, and advancement in technology is mostly to blame.
The ever-evolving nature of the internet has caused significant changes to outbound marketing but it is still being felt due to unsolicited advertising emails and advertising banners and so on. Nevertheless, a growing number of companies, including those in the medical industry, are moving away from outbound marketing and embracing the incredible inbound marketing benefits. You may want to blame this paradigm shift on creative and productive tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine advertising, content marketing, and targeted customer care through newsletters and other types of mailings.
Two significant inbound marketing benefits include lower costs and greater opportunities for making sales. In this case, inbound marketing beats outbound marketing hands-down, seeing that the latter demands heavy investments and the returns are somewhat low.
While there are many differences between inbound marketing and outbound marketing, the major one lies in how each addresses the customer. When applying outbound marketing, your dental/oral clinic, medical spa, chiropractic clinic, or physiotherapy clinic, you address your patients directly without prior knowledge of whether the target patients are interested or not. Should you decide to use inbound marketing, you must engage in activities that prompt your target market to come to you for relevant products/services. What does this mean for medical practices that choose to allocate nearly its entire marketing budget to inbound marketing? You will not have to worry about fighting for the attention of patients with other health clinics. Your only job is to be in the right place and at the right time.
That said, you don’t have to choose between outbound marketing and inbound marketing. A good number of medical practices have successfully identified a healthy combination of both marketing strategies. As outdated as outbound marketing measures might appear, there is still room for them in this inbound-oriented era. Failure to commit some of your resources to outbound marketing might result in missed opportunities to make meaningful connections. By complementing inbound content with outbound strategies, you get to leverage the power of integrated marketing. Integrated marketing presents you with many opportunities for building constructive relationships, optimizing brand exposure, and increasing your marketing ROI.
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