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    Who’s listening? When trying to decide the best way to spend your precious marketing dollars, that’s the most important question to ask. The technology of today didn’t exist until the senior population was already set in their ways. Many of them have an innate distrust of all things digital. On the other hand, the younger audience has no interest in so called “junk mail,” and they fast forward through commercials—if they watch network television at all. For this tech savvy, social media-friendly generation, It’s much more appealing to be engaged in a two-way conversation.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why both Inbound and Outbound Marketing are relevant choices.

    Outbound Marketing is what you probably recognize as traditional, old-school marketing formats. Whether through television commercials, print ads, billboards, direct mail or other paid marketing sources, outbound marketing is when the marketer initiates the conversation with their audience by sending their message out in an attempt to capture the attention of enough of this target market to achieve their marketing goals. This used to be the only way to do things. And for many seniors, the tangibility of these marketing efforts makes them more credible.

    Younger consumers hate all the noise of unsolicited marketing messages. They prefer to communicate with marketers they have hand-picked due to their personal interests. For this target market, Inbound Marketing is the best choice. Instead of fighting for their attention, you can appeal to a self-selected audience that has sought you out via the Internet. The key to Inbound Marketing is getting found by people who are searching the Internet for companies just like yours. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization, blogs and social media. In these forums, your target audience feels empowered because they found you, and now they have the ability to conduct a fully-engaged conversation.

    So before you throw piles of money at any one marketing strategy, decide precisely who your target is and aim for them in the forum that is their comfort zone.