We’re sure that you have heard a plenty about the buzz for the words ‘internet marketing’ and ‘inbound marketing’ in the business and the marketing world. Working in this field, we found that people are not really sure about the difference between these two terms and how these two strategies are important for business marketing.
Just for a brief introduction, Internet marketing (or digital marketing) is a hypernym for the marketing of products and services using the web and other digital mediums. It basically combines the technical and creative aspects of the World Wide Web such as designing, development, advertising and sales. It includes components like search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), app store optimization (ASO), social media marketing (SMM), online reputation management (ORM), content marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and more.
Whereas, inbound marketing refers to the marketing activity that attracts prospects to the business, rather than the marketers going out to get the attention of the prospects. It basically earns the attention of the customers, makes the organization easy to be found and attracts customers to the website by producing interesting content. A significant facet of inbound marketing is that it provides feedback channels to the customers for creating trustworthy relationships along with consultations and sales.
What are the Similarities between the both?
Both, internet marketing and inbound marketing can be characterized as strategies for marketing businesses, products and services. However, both of them have clear differences when it comes to the technique of how these strategies reach and engage with their audiences.
Both, internet marketing and inbound marketing have similar goals, though the goals of inbound marketing are far more extensive than the traditional internet marketing ones. The similarity between the two is that each of them focuses on attaining quantifiable goals.
Both the marketing techniques use similar tactics like email marketing, social media marketing and more to reach the potential and prospective customers.
Where do the Differences lie?
Though internet marketing and inbound marketing are found under the same umbrella, they have different roles. A few to name are:
Unique Tactics vs. System
Internet marketing focuses on the tactics that are used to accomplish a goal. These tactics are sometimes related to each other and function individually to achieve goals.
Contrariwise, inbound marketing focuses on creating a flow or connection between each tactic to accomplish an ultimate goal. Similar to the working of a machine, there are reasons to the order of the entire working system. Below is a sample to how an inbound marketing strategy might look like:
- Identifying the type of people that the company wants to reach to
- Creating an offer that speaks about the buyer persona’s questions and concerns.
- Writing blogs and content pieces similar to the targeted offer and the things that the buyers would search for.
- Promoting the offer and the blog through various channels
- Create call to actions throughout the website for the people to point your offer
- Create a landing page with a form to capture information from the customers in exchange of the offer.
- Set up email automation to nurture people after they have filled out the form to become sales ready
- Score them as they lead throughout the process to know when and what kind of information to give them or what actions to take help to nurture them into becoming a customer.
..Overwhelmed? Well that's just one part of it. The basic point of inbound marketing is to meet prospects in the buyer's journey and help cultivating them in becoming a customer (and a repeated customer).
Segments vs Entire Buyer's Journey
Internet marketing focuses on two to three stages out of the four stages of the buyer’s decision making process, which are: Attract, Convert and Close. Buyers usually go through a distinct decision making process, which looks something like:
Internet marketing addresses only two, or maybe three stages in this decision making process and there is often a disconnect between the marketing and the sales team. On the other hand, inbound marketing addresses each of these stages and helps them connect to the marketing and sales processes under what is known as the closed-loop marketing.
Inbound marketing is a practice that focuses on meeting prospects and leads in every stage of the buying cycle and provides content and conversion points to help the prospects through the decision making process. It is a long term and integrated marketing strategy with pieces working together to get people to your website, converted after they are there, turned into customers and eventually your biggest brand ambassador or a repeated customer.
Linear vs Closed-Loop Marketing
Internet marketing constructs a liner flow with the intention of attracting new visitors to your website, converting them into leads through various conversion points and then nurturing them in becoming customer ready. With an internet marketing strategy, bucks usually stop here. Little is known about what happens after someone is passed on to the sales teams, what quality of leads comes in, or if those prospects and customers are touched again in future.
One of the goals of inbound marketing is to remove the disconnection experienced by the businesses between the marketing and the sales processes and streamlining communication and resources between the two. Through this closed-loop marketing process, the sales team can report back to the marketing team what types of leads they have been receiving which helps the marketing team to evaluate, scrutinize and adjust their resources to attract and convert the best quality leads possible.
In the most internet marketing strategies, neither the marketing and sales sides of the things are integrated well nor are they on the same page. Each area works individually and does not understand how they affect each other. Inbound marketing breaks these barriers down and create a partnership between the two to enhance and make the marketing strategy faultless.
Have questions about this concept or are curious to know how to draw better quality leads and customers? Contact us here!