Inbound vs Outbound Marketing


Traditional marketing, often referred to as outbound marketing, involves attracting customers through activities such as direct mail, leaflet drops and advertising.  It principally involves the company reaching out a blanket of potential customers.  Unfortunately, these outbound methods can be intrusive and as a result irritating.   It’s the main reason why so may people never open promotion mail, skip TV adverts and unsubscribe from email marketing lists.


I wouldn’t say direct marketing is ineffective, with the right creative team,  direct marketing can be highly effective.  Slogans like ‘should’ve gone to Specsavers’ are proof that direct marketing works.  The problem is that unless you have a sizeable marketing budget you’re unlikely to be successful with direct marketing.  Nevertheless, a dual approach to marketing that involves both a outbound (push) and inbound (pull) approach would seem sensible.

So what is inbound marketing?  The blog graphic (top) summarises some of the differences between the two approaches, however, the key difference is inbound marketing engages in two way dialogue that earns the attention of a customer in order to bring them in to the practice through social media, blogs etc.  Outbound marketing, other the other hand, attempts to grab attention by interrupting a customers activity.  If you’re going to interrupt someone, it had better be with a pretty good proposition, that’s why most outbound activities are price-led, leading to poor loyalty and potentially reduced margins.

Strategies Employed by Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing utilises social media to build and blogs to reach their audience.  The audience finds these articles usually by actively searching for information to solve their need or requirement.  However, that still leaves you in the difficult position of actually getting to the point of being found!  Usually, getting found requires social engagement, this is what builds your followers.  Social engagement therefore equates to getting cool content out in the public domain.  As a result, the fruits of inbound marketing can take time to take effect and require effort to maintain.

Most people would agree that social media is powerful (1 in 10 people the USA use Twitter and almost 1 in 3 in Saudi Arabia).  But how can we utilise that power to benefit of our businesses?  That’s the question most practice owners struggle to answer!  Let’s therefore discuss a tool that will demystify social media and give you a clear method of harnessing its power to benefit your business.

Million active users/mo
Million tweets/day
% Penetration (USA)

*Source: Twitter

CAPTIV8 Social Listening
Optimed have developed a Twitter app that ‘listens’ to conversations that you want to know about.  The app, CAPTIV8 Social, searches all tweets based on your keyword search in are pre-defined distance form your practice so you can find people talking about contact lenses, or dry eye, or laser eye surgery.
CAPTIV8 Social Twitter App
You can even search for phrases based on sentiment like positive or negative comments or even questions that people may be asking in your area.  It’s critical to note that this information is in real-time and the people you see tweeting are most likely not following you or are not your patients.  All the tweets are in the public domain so it’s perfectly safe to engage with these people.  They want to be heard and you now have the means of  finding them.


CAPTIV8 Social Map View

Use keyword searches to see what people are talking about on Twitter in your area.

So what next?  CAPTIV8 Social provides you with the ability to reply or tweet back.  As we’ve already discussed, engaging a consumer is important, so what should you reply with?  Any reply should only be with the sole purpose of helping that individual, furthermore, in order for the consumer to find it interesting the content needs to be engaging.

CAPTIV8 Social solves this issue by allowing you to tweet replies with links to highly engaging 3D animations and adding a simple message like ‘I hope this animation helps’.  The consumer will immediately receive a notification on their Twitter app and they’ll be able to click on the link.


What happens when they click the link?

The clever thing about CAPTIV8 Social is that all the animations are viewed on a personalized website which has your branding and a map showing your practice’s location.  Better still, there’s also an appointment icon that allows anyone to request an appointment with you!


You often find people tweeting back thanking you for the information or even following up with another tweet.  This is exactly what you want because this is where you’re building a two-way relationship – something that is not possible with outbound marketing.  This type of marketing builds value and makes the consumer less driven by cost.

Implementing CAPTIV8 Social

CAPTIV8 Social is designed to be used by admin and reception staff.  As the animation contains the relevant content, all staff need to do is share links.  Staff can easily monitor conversations because people they engage with are highlighted in green so you know you’ve already started dialogue.  Furthermore, when you receive a reply you will see it in the section called ‘Mentions’.  The CAPTIV8 Social app allows you to view the full thread of individual conversations so you’re completely in the know!


CAPTIV8 Social also includes a comprehensive management system that shows you which members of staff are tweeting along with a number of other metrics.  In a nutshell, it provides you with a method of assessing who and what is working best for your business.

Want more information about CAPTIV8 Social?

Watch the CAPTIV8 Social video and find out more about pricing by clicking here.