Using the Right Inbound & Outbound Methodologies in this Privacy Era

While digital marketing teams are solely focused on how to get the best information out there, the consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with how to keep their data private.

As a marketing strategist, you need to understand that while your different approaches to marketing matter so does the amount of privacy that you offer consumers. If they don’t feel like their data is safe, then they will be less likely to have interactions with your business. Reading on, you can learn more about these two different approaches as well as how you can handle digital marketing in this era of privacy concerns.


Inbound Digital Marketing

When it comes to inbound marketing, you are talking about strategies that are focused on attracting potential customers to your services or products. Most prospects will start their buying journey online, where they search for various products and services, as well as content, that helps them find the solution to a specific problem that they are having. Inbound marketing works by creating content that will explain to these consumers why your products and services are the solutions to their problems.

There are many approaches that you can use with inbound marketing, including video content, guidebooks, and blogs. You are using this to create content pieces that helps make your products and services stand out from the competition. You can use approaches like embedding awesome reviews, product comparisons, and competitive pricing structures in your content for podcasts, social medial posts, or any reports that you release to your audience. It’s important that you create content where potential (and even current) customers get thoughtful and relevant content for the different parts in their buying journey. This content should be unique but also consistent in the messaging to your customers.

Maybe a customer is looking for stellar marketing software to help them with their digital marketing strategy. They may begin their search by going online and searching with the keyword “best marketing software” or “best marketing tools”. They will typically look at the first organic result, which has the top 10 marketing tools in a way that is unbiased but informative. The buyer will then move onto another post that teaches them all about digital marketing. Within this blog post, they may find a link inviting them to a free webinar. By clicking the link and filling out their information, the website can get their information and track if they actually attended this webinar. Then, after the webinar, the person may get an email answering common questions about whether or not that marketing tactic works. Eventually, this leads into a sales pitch about their software to sell it to the customer.

There are various benefits that you can consider, which will help you determine if this is the best strategy for your business. These benefits include:

  • You need to ensure that the content is continuously maintained, as the content needs to keep up with the ever-evolving wants and needs of the customer.
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to develop and test any content to see if it effectively convinces customers to convert.
  • It requires a holistic strategy, which means that you will need to buy marketing tools to help you ensure that your cross-channel campaigns are properly integrated.

Outbound Digital Marketing

Outbound marketing is an approach where the company sends a message out to a large number of people with the hope that someone will bite and buy something. This is a strategy that is based on the principle that the more people you send the message out to, the better return that you will get. In many cases, this type of marketing methodology is more closely associated with traditional marketing strategies like cold calling and direct mailings. However, this term can also be used to describe modern approaches like spam emails and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads.

When it comes to this approach, the consumers aren’t currently aware of or actively seeking out the products or services that are being advertised. The consumer may just simply be visiting a website or watching television when they encounter an ad that discusses why someone should buy specific products or services.

There is a process that is involved with this type of marketing. It may start when someone sees a billboard for some furniture store in the area. They may briefly think about whether or not they need to finally replace their couch, but they then file it back into their mind. While watching their favorite television show, they may see a commercial for that very same furniture store. The thought about a new couch comes to mind again briefly, but then it passes. Then, a coupon from that store comes in and they may finally be in a position where buying a new couch makes sense. For instance, maybe they recently received a raise or bonus. Due to the constant reminders about the furniture store, the consumer may then take the plunge and buy that new couch.

There are some benefits to consider with outbound marketing, including:

  • It promotes brand awareness, which may help people who have never heard of your brand about your products or services.
  • It can often yield nearly immediate results, where someone will be interested in your products or services and make a purchase after seeing advertisements from you.
  • Customers trust outbound marketing because they expect it, being more likely to trust ads from traditional approaches like television or on the Sunday paper.

There are also some challenges that you need to think about when deciding if this is the best approach for you, such as:

  • It can be pretty difficult to make outbound marketing relevant and more appealing to a more generalized audience.
  • Outbound marketing can often be easily ignored by consumers, such as fast-forwarding through ads or ignoring marketing emails.
  • It’s hard to quantify how effective this strategy is in many cases.
  • Some types of outbound marketing can be extremely expensive.

Differences Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

It can be a lot to digest when you are looking at these different approaches to digital marketing. Understanding the key differences can be helpful in determining which approach will work best for your business. This section will take a look at some important differences between these two options.

Time Frame/ Achieved Results
Inbound marketing strategy is more of a long-term game, where the different members of the team contribute something to the strategy that should start to pan out within the next year. Content-based strategies tend to be slower, requiring time to figure out what went wrong with the content and how to improve it to generate leads.

Outbound marketing tends to be much faster, where campaigns are launched in only a few weeks and the first results are noticeable within the first few days or weeks of the campaign’s launch. It’s also much more flexible when compared to inbound marketing.

It can be hard to measure ROI as far as inbound marketing goes. This is because it’s hard to determine why the customer eventually decided to purchase from you when they are just a passive reader of your content. With outbound marketing, ROI can be much easier to measure because approaches like pay-per-click have metrics you can more easily measure.


How to Handle Digital Marketing in the Current Privacy Era

Now that you know about the different types of methodologies, you need to consider privacy. Privacy is extremely important to the consumer. This section will break down the different aspects of digital privacy and what you need to keep in mind with whatever marketing strategy you utilize for your business.

Understanding Privacy
Before you can understand how to protect the consumer’s privacy, it’s important to discuss what type of information needs to remain private. This information includes:

  • Personal contact information (name, address, email address)
  • Identifiable details (IP address, driver’s license number, social security number)
  • Financial information (bank account information, credit card numbers)
  • Usage details (prior visits, cookies, website tracking)


This list is incredibly simplified, but it does give you a good idea of what you need to watch out for when you are implementing your marketing strategy. You are likely using this information for your own purposes, but it’s important to the consumer that you ensure digital privacy for your consumers so that no one else can get this information from you.

Knowing Privacy Laws
Laws and regulations are in place across the globe to protect consumer data. It’s important for digital marketers to know about these laws so that they can stay in line with these laws. Some specific laws to know about is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These aren’t the only applicable laws out there, but they are important guidelines that regulate how various entities can collect information and offer the consumer the right to opt out whenever they want.

While these are some of the first laws regulating digital privacy, these aren’t the only laws that you need to be concerned with. Laws, whether they be locally or internationally, are always changing and new laws are always appearing. This is why it’s so important to not only keep up with these laws and regulations, but to also adapt the methodologies of your business to these laws.

Can You Even Accomplish Effective Digital Marketing Strategies with Digital Privacy Considerations?
Data privacy regulations can hinder how digital marketing teams utilize data to create those personalized experiences for the consumer. This is why it is believed that marketing teams will start to abandon the concept of personalization in their marketing efforts within the next few years. But, you can still create effective digital marketing strategies while still staying in line with digital privacy laws.

What does this ultimately mean for marketing teams? There will be a heavier emphasis on creating engaging content and focusing on messaging that resonates with a broader audience rather than relying on tracking and data. Both inbound and outbound marketing approaches can be easily adapted to an approach that is engaging and honors the privacy of the consumer.

Ways Digital Marketing Teams Can Adapt
The good news is that there are ways to adapt your strategies to ensure that you are following the laws and regulations. You’re not able to track the moves of your audience, and other strategies are starting to become things to avoid due to laws, so being able to adapt your strategies to keep privacy in mind can be essential moving forward in your digital marketing strategies. These are some strategies to help you adapt.


Focus on Quality Content
The focus for businesses in their marketing strategies have been primarily to look at creating content that lined up with specific metrics. This is why there should be a better focus on creating quality content. You don’t want to just try to get your messaging out to smaller demographics. You want to focus your ads and content to meet the needs of a broader audience. This means that not only do you have to create high quality content, but you also need to take a “messaging for many” approach.

Increase the Frequency of Ad and Communication
Another way to adapt is by no longer focusing on some knockout message that inspires your target customer immediately, it is more important to increase the frequency of ad and communication to have a more well-rounded approach. This means that you shouldn’t just show the same ad multiple times, you should focus on creating several ads that take a different angle. It’s also important to increase the frequency because you are able to increase brand recognition and awareness every time that they see an ad.

Fine-Tune Brand Integrated Metrics
You need to embrace a new approach to brand integrated metrics. You need to focus on how effective your marketing campaigns are at a macro level, rather than focus on micro level. In short, focus more on all aspects of your marketing rather than whether or not the individual campaign has worked. For instance, focus on the various aspects like:

  • ROI
  • Overall ad spend
  • Customer satisfaction


Make Sure to Include Transparency and Compliance in Your Methodology
As laws and regulations are starting to take shape in the digital marketing world, it’s becoming more important to include transparency and compliance of collecting personal data in whatever methodology you choose. You may not have as much control over this as you would like to, such as when it comes to social media sites, but there are areas where you do have control over what information you collect. Some things that you can do include:

  • Ensuring that your privacy policies and other relevant guidelines are able to be accessed by consumers on your website.
  • Ensure that you give consumers plenty of different opportunities to opt-out of specific advertising tactics, such as email campaigns.


When you are transparent about your practices, you are going to be less likely to face a costly complaint or fine later on.


Make the Switch to Gated Offers
Rather than rely on the consumer to opt into different types of generic data sharing, entice them by giving them a valuable reward. This is known as a “gated offer”. For example, if you want to get information on customer satisfaction when dealing with an online purchase, send them a survey to get specific information after the transaction has been completed. In exchange for their honest feedback, time, and effort, maybe offer them a discount if they purchase from you again.

There’s really no right answer as to which approach you should take for digital marketing when it comes to your business. However, what is important is how important you prioritize privacy when it comes to your potential customers. If they don’t feel that their data is safe with your brand, they will do what they can to avoid you. They don’t want to be bombarded with pop-up ads and other things while they are browsing your site. There’s a way to balance the marketing needs of your business and the privacy needs of your clients. Once you find this balance, you will be more successful in your digital marketing strategies.


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