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The Relationship Between Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing and Prime Rib-Lobster Specials

Inbound Marketing

Recently, I was driving through the narrow, curvy roads of California on my way to Lake Tahoe when my trip came to an abrupt halt. It was a major traffic jam. I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper congestion for almost two hours and it was a cold winter night. I quickly became hungry, moody, tired and frustrated.

To make things worse, the closest gas station was 22 miles away and the closest restaurant was 15. It felt like the never-ending trip. A few minutes had gone by when I noticed this huge billboard on the left side of the road — the first one I had seen after what had become four hours of driving — that read, “Prime Rib and Lobster Plate for $19.99…”

Wow. I got so excited about the food, until I read the last part: “...in 42 miles.” Boy, this drive really couldn’t get any worse, could it?

A few days later, already in Lake Tahoe after a long day of gondola riding and snowmobiling, I was hungry again. I didn’t know what or where to eat. In my frustration, I remembered that huge billboard on the drive here, but couldn’t remember the name of the place. It said “42 miles away,” so I knew it had to be close to where I was staying. The only other piece of information I knew about the place was that it was inside a casino.

I grabbed my phone and did a Google search for “Prime Rib and Lobster Special $19.99.” Sure enough, it was the third result. Needless to say, that night I had the juiciest, most-delicious prime-rib and lobster of my life!

The Outbound Marketing Connection

Believe it or not, this excursion of mine describes in detail the relationship outbound and inbound marketing can have with each other. How? Here was my revelation:

  • The billboard was placed in a location where it is most likely to hit traffic: in the middle of nowhere, miles away from the closest restaurant.
  • The fact that I was hungry and frustrated triggered something in my head where I was able to remember it a few days later.
  • The fact that it said “Prime-Rib and Lobster for $19.99” was enough to catch my attention (even though I didn’t memorize the name of the restaurant).

Basically, that billboard – a paid ad, essentially — was a form of outbound marketing.

Where Inbound Marketing Comes In

Now for the inbound marketing part of my story. Let’s put it this way: when you’ve seen something intriguing in your day-to-day life, but can’t remember the name of it, what do you do? You Google it! Why? While we’d like to think that Google has all the answers, that’s not always the case. The reason why we’re able to find answers through Google is because of certain keywords that are tracked through search engines (e.g. “prime rib and lobster”). This is important for business owners to keep in mind, as your ideal buyer personas are using Google to find your company, restaurant or shop. This is what we know today as inbound marketing.

So, a recap…

What triggered me to look up and find that restaurant in Google? The billboard. What does the billboard represent? Outbound marketing. How did I seek out that billboard’s restaurant? Inbound marketing.

Now that you’ve seen how outbound marketing and inbound marketing can work together, hopefully you realize that they do have a relationship. You just need consistent messaging, smart keywords and clear branding.

(And maybe a good prime rib and lobster special.)
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