Inbound & Outbound Marketing

So I am not a big fan of the traditional dates over coffee/ drinks. It becomes too formal and small talk-based. I went for a date that started off at Starbucks with wine in our coffee cups, moved into the car with some great music in the backdrop. It was followed by a drive to India Gate where we ran into a palm reader who attempted to tell us our entire life stories in a couple of minutes. It was followed by dinner and again some great music on the way back. It was a memorable date, not because of her gorgeous looks; but because of the spontaneity and the whole vibe.

Anyway coming to the MBA concept of ‘Inbound & Outbound Marketing‘.  These are two types of marketing strategies used by companies to sell products. The primary difference between inbound and outbound marketing lies in how consumers are approached. In inbound marketing, the idea is to promote products by pushing them onto people. On the other hand, in outbound marketing, the idea is to establish a loyal following and draw consumers to the products.

To exemplify, when you walk into a grocery store or Starbucks, and there’s an attendant serving trial samples of a new product/flavor, that is inbound marketing. The spam calls you get from credit card/ insurance companies are a classic example of inbound marketing. They feel really irritating to the receiver, but companies still continue with this practice. Ever wondered why?

Well, they have the highest conversion rate of about 2% from the marketing funnel and are the best returns on investment (ROI).

Outbound marketing is different and about the pull. A classic example of outbound marketing would be Apple (during Steve Jobs’ era), no matter what the product launched was, it used to be sold out instantly because of the pull. From a business perspective, outbound marketing attempts to create brand loyalty and keep customers coming back, whereas inbound marketing is more concerned with short-term sales.

The two concepts of marketing can be quite insightful in the modern-day dating scenario. One can have two approaches to potential dates.

First is pitching yourself and making the other person feel your worth. It works quite well in the case of casual encounters (short-term sales) if coupled well with the scarcity principle as the lead time is minimal in this approach. Though If not implemented well, it backfires as you may come off as desperate and end up reducing your own value.

Second is building your own value and putting forth a self-confident, charismatic image that makes the other person invested as you come across as a catch. This works well in case you are looking for something substantial as you’ll be able to funnel out the unworthy suitors. Though at times it can backfire, you might come off as self-absorbed and a bit arrogant.

The most effective strategy in both dating cases (casual or serious) is playing in the middle, which is using both strategies from time to time. It will keep the other person the most intrigued and you wouldn’t get archetyped as self-obsessed or desperate. So sounding a bit cocky as well as complimenting them from time to time. Showing care and affection but at the same time, not clinginess.

Coming back to the palm reader date, he told me that I should stop overthinking and running after people (inbound marketing), I should focus on money and people will come by themselves. Taking a hint, I didn’t pursue her any further. It was a great night with a lot of fun laughter, but we are different individuals in the sense of traits and drivers, and certain encounters are best left to be cherishable memories.



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