Marketing Automation vs Inbound Marketing: Difference and Comparison

Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing are two marketing strategies used by businesses to reach out to the right prospects in a way that doesn’t feel like an intrusion. These marketing techniques help a business grow its audience in so many ways: ensure engagement with buyers, help get more leads flowing in, increase sales, strengthen loyalty, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Marketing automation streamlines automates, and measures marketing tasks, while inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through valuable content.
  2. Marketing automation tools help nurture leads through email campaigns and social media, whereas inbound marketing aims to draw customers organically in.
  3. Inbound marketing builds trust and credibility over time, while automation optimizes the marketing process for efficiency and personalization.
Marketing Automation vs Inbound Marketing

Marketing Automation vs Inbound Marketing

Marketing automation is a digital marketing method that utilizes software to streamline marketing tasks. This approach aims to save time and resources while increasing efficiency and accuracy. Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach to draw in and engage potential customers.

Marketing Automation is a marketing strategy that uses software platforms developed for organizations and marketing departments. It replaces manual solutions with automated solutions such as sending emails, scheduling social media posts, setting blogs to publish times, creating workflows, etc. The software is used to plan, organize, optimize, execute, and analyze the marketing program.

Inbound Marketing is an online marketing strategy used by businesses to attract people to their products and services. The sources used in Inbound Marketing are original content, social media, and search engine optimization. Instead of using interruptive techniques like traditional marketing, it uses interactions and content that is relevant and helpful to potential customers.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMarketing AutomationInbound Marketing
MediumMarketing software like HubSpot, and Marketo.Social media, search engine optimization.
StrategyTarget consumers with automated emails and scheduled posts on social media.Presence on all channels where the target audience is found.
GoalStore the data of each lead in a segmented manner.Increase the reach of a business among the targeted audience.
Target AudienceB2B and B2C Companies.B2C Companies.
Pricing$900-$3500 per month.$2500-$12,000 per month.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation refers to automating the entire marketing technique. It means using automation software to make everything more streamlined and automated. Marketing automation platforms or software are mostly used for sending out emails, scheduling blog posts, triggering a response, getting SEO suggestions, scheduling social media posts, and setting up CTAs and campaigns.

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According to a State of Marketing Survey Report, 75% of businesses currently use automation tools for the marketing of their products and services. A poll in the report suggests that 83% of votes favor social media post-scheduling as the most suitable digital market element for automation. Email marketing bagged 75% votes for being the second preferred element. PR outreach and brand promotion came last with only 23% votes.

Marketing Automation consists of various stages. Initially, goals are set up. Then a narrow audience is targeted to ensure customer-centric marketing campaigns. Customers are engaged at each stage. The track of each customer’s purchasing level is kept. Then sales and marketing teams are engaged together to construct better algorithms. There are automated drip campaigns that businesses set up to create engagement and re-engagement campaigns to keep the customers in the loop. Marketing automation software also sends notifications about clients’ activity to let the businesses instantly respond and cater to their needs.

marketing automation

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is a term coined by Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot. It’s a strategy for attracting customers to the products and services of any business through a combination of content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. It differs from the more traditional outbound approach to marketing.

Inbound Marketing is used to turn even the not-ready-to-buy customers into buyers and loyal audiences. It builds trust and credibility in the brand and turns customers into brand advocates. It increases traffic and brand awareness. It creates automated sales and marketing and nurturing leads using conversational bots. Sales-qualified leads are also gathered from different channels.

Inbound Marketing takes place in four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Strangers are converted into visitors using blogs, keywords, and social publishing. Visitors turn into leads through landing pages. Leads develop into potential customers through CRMs, emails, and workflows. These customers then become promoters through surveys, smart content, and social monitoring.

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The four stages of Inbound Marketing agencies are Discovery, Research & Strategy, Execution, Analysis, and Optimisation. In the first stage, the main goals of a business are discovered, and marketing KPIs are set up. Secondly, areas of opportunity are researched, personas are defined, and inbound plans are shaped. Thirdly, conversion paths and research keywords are mapped, and SEO-friendly content is created. And lastly, the performance of the campaign is tracked, and data-driven improvements are made for better results.

inbound marketing

Main Differences Between Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing

  1. Marketing Automation uses software like HubSpot and Marketo to reach an audience, while Inbound Marketing uses social media, content marketing, and search engine optimization to target the relevant audience.
  2. Marketing Automation targets the audience through automated emails and scheduled posts on social media. Inbound Marketing, on the other hand, ensures its presence on all channels where the targeted audience is found.
  3. Marketing Automation’s goal is to store each lead’s data in an organized manner. In contrast, Inbound Marketing increases the reach of a business among a targeted audience.
  4. Marketing Automation targets Business to Business Companies and Business to Customer companies, while Inbound Marketing caters mostly to Business to Customer companies.
  5. The price for Marketing Automation ranges from nine hundred to thirty-five hundred dollars a month. In contrast, Inbound Marketing costs twenty-five hundred to twelve thousand dollars a month.
Difference Between Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing

Last Updated : 29 July, 2023

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