Are inbound marketing and digital marketing synonymous?


Inbound Marketing refers to the work that drives inquiries into the business.

Digital Marketing refers to all online marketing activities.

A billboard that drives phone calls to a business is Inbound Marketing.

Both are rather misleading and antiquated terms if we’re being honest. Marketing is all of the work of the market (competitive analysis, branding, etc) so used in this context, they’re actually a little inaccurate. Both are really rather promotional or advertising activities and Digital is really something anyone in Marketing should be encompassing these days, along with everything else.

Doing only Digital, as though it works in a bubble of online only, is rather myopic. Inbound is essentially saying you only care about leads; and that’s a sure way for a business to ultimately struggle – the purpose of Marketing is create a customer and drive demand; only doing “Inbound” is essentially saying we won’t value anything that isn’t directly measurable as inbound. Both shortchange how important Marketing is and the need for a broadly capable and experienced leader and team.

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