Blog Getting Return on Your Investment in Outbound Marketing

Posted July 12, 2017 by Julia Binder

At our recent Digital Summit, many marketers said they were prioritizing inbound over outbound marketing, because they perceive it as cheaper and more productive. But our research shows that firms on average are spending 39% of marketing budgets on outbound marketing—more than three time as much as on inbound marketing. Fifteen percent of firms are spending more than half (and up to three-fourths) of their budgets on outbound marketing. Given the expense, it’s worth the investment to make outbound marketing more productive, too. That is the focus of our new report on "Uncovering Hidden Opportunities with Data-Driven Marketing Campaigns."  Distribution Solutions Get Return Investment Outbound Marketing illustration
Source: DST kasina research 2016

Inbound vs. Outbound

Inbound marketing – including search engine optimization, email newsletters, blogging, content marketing and earned media – is perceived as cheaper and organic. In theory, the great content you produce attracts interested buyers to your firm. Traditional outbound marketing – rooted in display advertising, cold-calling, and direct mail – has an expensive and bad reputation as a spray-and-pray approach.

  Outbound "push" marketing Inbound "pull" marketing
  • Advertising - display, print,
    social, contextual
  • Search engine marketing
  • Sponsored content
  • Email to Purchased lists
  • Events
  • Blogging
  • Thought leadership production
  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Earned media
  • Email to subscription lists
Audience Purchased, targeted Self-identified, grows over time
Source: DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting LLC. research 2017

But even with a compelling value proposition and great content, not all potential buyers will come knocking at your door. And developing attractive content requires investment as well. It’s not a simple “build it and they will come” proposition. The truth is, that neither in- nor outbound marketing is as effective when used alone, as it is when integrated with the other.

Four Ways to Increase Marketing ROI

Distribution Solutions Get Return Investment Outbound Marketing illustration
Source: DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting LLC. research 2017

Both in- and outbound marketing benefit from a solid data foundation that helps marketers identify their likeliest prospects, and the interactions and channels that have the highest probability of converting into sales. Coupled with full-featured marketing automation systems, data-driven insights help successful marketers strike a balance between in- and outbound tactics to fuel highly targeted campaigns and relevant client experiences.

Not “Vs.” but “And”

Any debate between the efficacies of outbound vs. inbound marketing is artificial – they make better partners than competitors for effectively reaching advisors throughout their relationship with the firm. Integrated outbound and inbound strategies founded on data-driven insights and marketing automation platforms have the greatest promise for delivering success.

Julia Binder
Head of Strategic Marketing Research
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: advisor websites, content marketing, digital marketing, advanced analytics

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of DST Systems, Inc. or its affiliates, subsidiaries, joint ventures, officers, directors, or management.

Of Interest...

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