The famous song from Bob Dylan “The Times, They are a Changin” rings true for what’s happening in marketing today. There have been a lot of changes in marketing with the significant evolution of technology, increasing the scope of marketing that the very style and tactics have blended into new paths. Hence, it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate between one marketing methodology to another. 

In this blog, we try to understand two marketing methodologies – Inbound and Digital.

Digital Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

Let’s make an attempt to understand the difference between inbound and digital marketing by comparing it with the methods and styles adopted in the dance forms- Bharatnatyam and Breakdance. 

In Bharatanatyam, the movements are unique, where the dancer uses various methods of storytelling to interpret the verses. Since poetry and lyrics are relevant to this dance form, it is wedded to a song and works with it to communicate it to the audience. Inbound marketing, like the dance form Bharatnatyam, depends on an entire methodology and involves different moves, interrelated parts, which includes content offers, blogging etc., which take a steady balance of time and expertise to implement correctly.

The Breakdance, again a movement of the body has only four primary elements that form the dance and is not dependent on any specific song or lyrics. Except for some singing in order to create an atmosphere, there is hardly any vocal imperative. Digital marketing is like the break dance, broader term for elements used to connect with the audience. It is the practice of marketing to users across digital platforms with elements like ad banners, brand recognition and advertisements.

Digital Marketing Inbound Marketing
Interruptive based marketing Permission based marketing
Standalone tactics Integrated approach
Multiple touch points Communication across the buyer’s journey
Short term Long term
Marketer centric Customer centric
Loosely coupled campaigns Tightly coupled campaigns
Generates traffic Generates sales qualified leads


Why inbound marketing for your business?

Inbound marketing vs digital marketing tactics

Whether you pursue standalone digital marketing tactics or go for all-in with inbound marketing depends entirely on the needs and desired results of your business. For branding improvements, digital marketing practices are probably a minimal-investment direction to follow. However, for meaningful growth, more qualified leads and higher conversion rates in the long haul, inbound marketing is the best step for your business.

Generating qualified leads or Just generating traffic

When you adopt digital marketing, you have targeted traffic generated to your website and then if you want to progress further and generate qualified leads, you need inbound marketing methodology. It is a good fit for your business if you are looking to create a systematic way to drive sales-ready leads for your sales team. In an inbound strategy, all elements and practices are aligned, which pushes qualified leads through your sales funnel to win customers.

Inbound extends far beyond digital and content marketing and consists of many unique moving components outside of these marketing practices. The key takeaway here is that for most online audiences, digital marketing tactics fall short for value.

Meaningful long term growth or short term awareness

For just increasing awareness and traffic of your business, efficient use of any one of the digital marketing techniques might work for your business. But if your focus is on establishing a long-term unified marketing campaign, understanding the user behaviour, creating purposeful content with contextual marketing, utilising marketing automation tools to drive sales and build a long term trust with the clients to win customers, you need to adopt inbound marketing strategy.

To conclude, Inbound marketing methodology is the best way to build trust and authenticity with your prospective customer. And if your challenge is to be a leader in your business domain, you need to be alert and open to the change that is happening in today’s digital world.

inbound marketing

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