Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing sounds new, sleek and cool.  Inbound marketing doesn’t have quite the ring to it.  When people ask what I do for a living I tend to tell them that I’m a digital marketer.  Typically that’s where the conversation ends.  They say something like “that’s cool” and pretend they know what I’m talking about and move on.  Am I telling the truth though?

Is it possible to be two things at once?  It turns out there is.  Further research proves that I’m both a digital marketer as well as an inbound marketer.  Interestingly though, inbound marketing has digital marketing trumped.

Inbound vs. Digital

Digital marketing is the act of marketing digitally.  It can mean email marketing, banner ads, web design, really any marketing action that you do online is, in fact, digital marketing.  Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is the strategy behind the action.  Inbound can be described as a philosophy, a strategy, the almighty force behind the digital action.  Why am I going to describe myself as a person when I can describe myself as a god? 

The Philosophy of Inbound

Just as the philosopher  Niccolo Machiavelli said “God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us” the same can be said of inbound marketing.  The philosophy of inbound is to let the consumers come to you.  The consumer has all the power.  They are the ones paying your bills.  Shouldn’t they have the ability to make the best decision for them.  Inbound marketing allows people to research the products they’re interested in without being harassed by a sales person. Inbound marketing gives consumers free will to share the glory of the products that they are purchasing.

The Strategy of Inbound

Inbound marketing rich tapestry which is intricately woven by only the most skillful craftsmen. Every piece has something to do with three other moving parts.  Content is the most well-known portion of inbound marketing, but no one is going to read the content if the email doesn’t go out, or the blog isn’t promoted socially, or the CTA pointing to the landing page which leads people to the offer is broken or non-existent.  So much is going on that most agencies now separate strategy from content and allow strategists to weave while content people craft.  Both roles are way more than a full-time job.

The Sleekness of Digital Marketing

While strategy allows digital efforts to actually be seen, strategy rarely wins awards.  It’s the digital efforts that get all the credit.  It’s the reason that I’ll forever be a content person, I’d rather go for the glory than have the satisfaction of knowing that I tied it all together.  The power a single Tweet can have or the fame a viral blog or YouTube video can produce makes each digital platform so compelling, so vital and at the same time, so scary.  

Digital marketing can exist without inbound marketing, but not vice-versa.  On the other hand, digital marketing wouldn’t have the importance that it does without inbound marketing.  So, am I a digital marketer or an inbound marketer?  I’m most certainly both, but when people ask what I do for a living I’ll likely still say I’m a digital marketer.  Knowing that there’s more to the story though will keep the conversation going during my next dinner party.

Find out how an inbound marketing strategy would help your business by contacting Revenue River Marketing.  Or, click below to help devise your own strategy. 

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Topics: Inbound

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