Why Inbound Marketing? Statistics on Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Posted on 29th November 2013 By Brian Honigman - Comments

According to well-known evangelist Guy Kawasaki, "If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing."

Inbound marketing is a strategy used by marketers to generate the attention of customers that are actually in need of your business, as opposed to the traditional methods of contacting customers by buying email lists, print ads, cold calling and other forms of outbound marketing.


Focusing on an inbound approach is what it takes to reach the right customers genuinely interested in a company’s offerings, especially when compared to the cost and the quality of the leads generated by traditional advertising channels like outdoor advertising, radio, TV, print and more.

Ask yourself, have you personally ever enjoyed getting a cold call by a telemarketer or irrelevant junk mail? This is the outbound marketing at its worst, which is why it just doesn’t work to build a connection between a customer and a company.

Inbound marketing turns strangers into customers by generating demand for your goods, services or expertise over your competitors since you’ve built trust with your audience overtime as they’ve moved through the purchasing funnel. Content is critical to the success of inbound marketing, allowing your business to produce and distribute content that helps match the needs of consumers at each part of the funnel.

By educating consumers at each stage of their research, your company can slowly build rapport with potential customers using eBooks, videos, guides, white papers, articles, magazines, visuals and other types of compelling content that best match the stage your customer is currently at in the purchasing process.

This content developed to reach your customers should then be distributed through inbound channels like social media for the short-term, SEO for the long-term, word of mouth, email marketing and more to help get your content in front of the right people.

Let’s take a look at some statistics to help further support our argument for making the switch from outbound to inbound marketing.

Statistics on Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

1. 32% of brands are decreasing spending on outbound marketing to spend more on content marketing.

(source: Inbound Marketing Agents)

2. Because 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company.

(source: Custom Content Council)

3. 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.

(source: McMurry/TMG)

4. 29% of marketers use whitepapers as a content marketing technique.

(source: Inbound Marketing Agents)

5. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.

(source: Content Marketing Institute)

6. 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.

(source: Mashable)

7. Per dollar, content marketing produces 3 times more leads.

(source: Eloqua)

8. 82% of consumers like reading content from brands when it's relevant.

(source: The CMA)

9. Companies that spend more than 50% of their lead generation budget on inbound marketing report a significantly lower cost-per-lead.

(source: HubSpot)

10. For mid-sized businesses, content marketing costs 31% less than paid search.

(source: Eloqua)

11. 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in.

(source: The CMA)

12. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.

(source: Mashable)

13. According to 37% of marketing managers, the most important way to engage customers is content-led websites.

(source: The CMA)

14. 86% of people skip television ads.

(source: Mashable)

15. Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.

(source: Inbound Writer)

16. 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel.

(source: Mashable)

17. Marketers allocate 34% of their overall budgets to inbound tactics – 11% more than they dedicate to outbound strategies, like banners, direct mail and more.

(source: Gannett Local)

18. 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.

(source: Mashable)

19. 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound.

(source: HubSpot)

20. Telemarketing was reported as being “above average” in cost by 21% of respondents.

(source: Mashable)

To get a better understanding of the entire inbound marketing process and how it outpaces the outbound approach, take a look at this infographic from First10.


Are you convinced that outbound marketing is a thing of the past? What will it take for your business focus solely on inbound? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Brian Honigman is a freelance writer, content marketing consultant and a social media advocate. He’s an active contributor to Mashable, Forbes, the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and others. Follow his tweets on the social web @BrianHonigman or on Google+.

Image courtesy of Mashable.

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