Is Outbound Marketing loosing Relevance?

Outbound Marketing or interruption marketing is on a sticky wicket given regulatory restrictions on tele-calling and changing buying practices of customers. Social Media Marketing Services and other Inbound Marketing Services options are becoming the preferred decision-making channels for time constrained buyers.

Outbound Marketing – What is it?

The body of Business Management research is yet to specify a theoretical definition for Outbound Marketing.

The working definition suggests that Outbound Marketing stands for all traditional marketing approaches to acquire leads and prospects. Thus, Outbound Marketing includes: TV Ads (don’t you like listening to “see you after a short break”)

Print Ads (that cost the moon and the earth combined)

Telemarketing Phone Calls

Unsolicited SMS’s

Radio Ads

Direct Mailers and Leaflets

Billboard Ads

Emailers and Pop-up Ads (those that make your clicks inefficient)

If you look closely, each of the above marketing medium is interruption and disturbance based. These Outbound Marketing mediums interrupt and disturb the market participants whether or not they are interested in the product and service offerings. Over a period of time, as you must have realised these marketing messages become a nuisance and end up annoying prospective customers.

Regulatory Restrictions on Outbound Marketing
In India, till September last year 130 million were registered on the Do Not Call Registry. Most of these subscribers were from the Urban Centres of India.

Additionally, TRAI stipulates a maximum of 200 SMS per day (only to subscribers not registered on Do Not Call Registry). These restrictions have made it challenging for marketers to reach out to prospects.

Outbound Marketing – The Marketer is not in Control
TV commercials cost a bomb. But the customer does not care. She does not mind using the REMOTE with nonchalance. Increasingly, instead of newspapers, people are using feeds and mobiles to catch up on news and information. Direct mailers and leaflets usually end up packaging soiled domestic items.

Thus, Outbound Marketing methods are not only being discouraged by the Government, even the market finds them disturbing and annoying. But that doesn’t mean prospective customers aren’t buying. They very well are.

But first they research using the Internet and Social Media Marketing Services. This consumer behaviour has brought to the fore the Concept of Inbound Marketing Services. But, will it change the Game?

Team Znbound
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