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Pros and cons of inbound marketing

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The author of the article

Author: Reda HADDOU

Date of Publication: 25/05/2022

You've heard of inbound marketing for months, but does it apply to you? Is it right for your company? Is it the magic solution for your company's commercial and marketing digitalization? Here, I will discuss the pros and cons of inbound marketing.

Spoiler: if you don't know what Inbound Marketing is, you should read this educational article explaining it in detail.

Main benefits

1. Inbound marketing is more effective at generating leads

Those who visit your website are potential clients. Even though they are dormant in your marketing database (or better yet, your CRM), they are interested in what you offer. However, they would never sign up for your newsletter or download your white books. Therefore, these consumers come to you, driven by their own motivations (discovery, evaluation, or decision in the conversion tunnel). So, they will be more receptive to content you send them, articles you write and share on social media. Thus, the likelihood of converting these leads into prospects, and then into customers, is higher right away.

A computer on a table

2. You control your costs better

The most important part of the “budget” will be quality content creation, website optimization, and natural search engine optimization. Apart from these, the other two expense categories are space (to promote your content, not just your commercial offers!) and labour (which you can either produce in-house or outsource to specialists). However, note that traditional media costs much more than digital media. Prospect generation costs 61% less with Inbound Marketing than with traditional marketing methods (Source HubSpot).

Please mensualize this number and compare it to your traditional pubs (TV, radio, press, billboards, etc.). It's even funnier when you calculate their ROI. Finally, with 61% of consumers already making decisions before consulting a commercial service (IFOP), your client acquisition costs will be reduced.

3. You can track all digital actions and measure their ROI

The benefit of digital is that you have access to a wealth of data and options. So you can:

  • quantify qualified traffic to your website and identify sources (organic, paid, social, referral)

  • determine the time required for investment return (ROI)

  • track new leads and clients over time

With a few clicks, you can see where your new commercial leads are coming from, how much they cost, and their CA.

4. Your investments are safe

The company's web content is available 24/7, 365 days a year (and even 365 days a year). Also, your prospects and clients can contact you whenever they want. So, we'd say your website is now your best business source! This long-term presence allows you to build stronger consumer relationships (traditional media have a much shorter lifespan). Another benefit is that regular content updates help to improve your website's natural search ranking and online visibility. So, unlike traditional media, the cost is not related to the audience. L'article coûte the same whether 50 or 5000 people read it.

5. You create your own database

Your website visitors, form fillers, and social media followers are interested in your offers. Therefore, it would be a mistake not to include them in your marketing database or CRM. Consider the issue: is it logical to spend money on renting or buying an email database? soliciting contacts who have never shown any interest in your brand? Who doesn't like it?

6. No more global spamming

You've built a database of tiny oignons and stuffed your client files with data:

  • interest thanks to Facebook data

  • data declarations in your download forms

  • behavioural data from Google Analytics or Hubspot

  • recent purchases using your sales tracking software (ou CRM)

You currently have all the data you need to create personalised newsletters and automate marketing campaigns. As a result, your email open and click rates will improve, as well as your reputation with email providers (which increases your chances of not being marked as SPAM).

Email logo

7. You aid your character's challenges

We've said it before, but you won't win the chaland's heart by aggressively pursuing uninteresting pubs. The best way to attract your ideal client is to provide content that addresses their concerns at various stages of the sales cycle. In particular, 80% of consumers research online before buying (IFOP). So you must “make yourself visible” to them (blog posts, social media, etc.). By assisting the user in resolving their issues, you build a trust relationship that no other method can achieve. Therefore, Inbound marketing is the best solution as it puts the customer at the centre.

Marketing, sales, service map

8. Inbound marketing helps marketing and sales departments work together better

Some sales cycles can span weeks, months, or even years. It is crucial for long-term rental, sales and marketing teams to align their goals. So it's Smarketing (Sales + Marketing). This method allows two often-enemies to work together: The marketing team must generate a defined number of potential clients (leads), which the sales team must then convert into customers.


9. Inbound marketing boosts your fame.

Expert content will help you gain market recognition. In fact, the more engaging content you create, the more you'll be recognized and recommended for your expertise. So, Inbound marketing gives you access to the right tools to promote your content and become the go-to expert in your field.

10. You generate actual clients

Prospects who fill out your forms have previously expressed interest in your offers. “Most of the job is done”! You only need to convert them to:

  • a good content strategy (that addresses their concerns)

  • appropriate automated campaigns (vive le marketing automation)

  • a social VRAIE strategy (think chatons, playlists, or employee of the month)

Keep in touch with your contacts by sending them useful publications.

Some disadvantages:

1. A strategy that takes longer than conventional marketing

Inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix like media buying. In fact, the goal is to convert personas into leads and then into customers by writing content about them, sharing it on social media, and creating landing pages. So, if you plan to harvest before clearing the ground, sowing, watering, and watching it grow or bloom, this is not the strategy for you.

2. A method requiring many "human" resources

Producing content, optimizing natural referencing, and responding to prospects will require "human" resources as long as Artificial Intelligence is not effectively democratized. Depending on your editorial strategy and the frequency of distribution of your content (articles or premium content), you can either perform these tasks internally or subcontract them to a partner agency.

Teamwork effort

3. A ROI that takes months to show

It takes between 3 and 9 months for your SEO optimizations and blog posts to start showing results, so be patient. Quick wins with tactical action are possible, but it all depends on your goals and starting point. As mentioned in part A.4., inbound marketing is meant to be long-term, and you need to invest in a solid foundation before you can maximize your return.

Multiple charts

4. Inbound marketing needs change support.

All employees should support the decision-maker, often the CEO, as well as the marketing and sales teams. It's better to support your teams, understand their issues, and train them than to rush to get results faster (which, in terms of the method, would be counterproductive). So, Inbound marketing is more than just managing a Facebook page, so don't be afraid to ask for help.

5. Inbound marketing equals support

Outsourcing your inbound marketing strategy to a specialist agency ensures you have consultants who understand the global aspects and challenges of a constantly evolving strategy and tools. However, your strategy's service provider is a partner, not a supplier. Hence, implementing your Inbound strategy will require a minimum of 12 months (renewable) of careful, rigorous, and iterative work, which should be factored into your marketing budget. Operationally, this means daily monitoring and optimization of your various inbound campaigns, weekly adjustments to ensure good results, and the generation of personalised reports.

6. Inbound marketing is not suitable for all businesses.

Inbound marketing works well on "long" sales cycles because consumers have many questions when renovating their yard, buying a new apartment, changing their car, or investing. Therefore, the inbound approach allows you to address these concerns. If you sell sponges or plastic glasses, your prospects won't spend months researching your product by reading expert blogs.

A woman choosing between two products

Finally, if you choose to use inbound marketing to grow your business, you must understand that it takes time to see significant results. But once the machine is running, the results will last forever!


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