Marketing is not just billboards and advertisements, it’s a strategy companies use to communicate their products or services to their target market. There are many different marketing strategies you can use to communicate those messages. This article breaks down 19 most common types of marketing and what each of them does.
There are many different types of strategies that marketing teams use to communicate the benefits of their product or service to the public. But what strategy is the best one? In this article, get a list of 19 different types of business marketing strategies to try in your next marketing plan.
The American Marketing Association describes marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
Since this definition is so broad, it offers a lot of room for the world of marketing to grow as our technology expands. As our needs change and develop, so do the available marketing strategies that companies use.
Marketing is more than just the advertisements you hear on the radio or the billboards you see on the street. Marketing is the way companies communicate with their audience and establish their brand. A company's marketing strategies are iterative, and strategies change with the needs of their audience.Read: 4 P's of marketing: How to achieve the perfect marketing mixFree marketing strategy template
Marketing has been around since the 1800s, and there are many different marketing techniques that a company can use. The most effective marketing strategies are the ones that are based on careful marketing research and understanding of the target audienceom/resources/target-audience. Here are some examples of common marketing tactics.
B2C marketing stands for "business to consumer." This means that the target audience is a direct consumer of the product or service. Depending on the type of product, the sales cycle for a B2C product can be very short and the decision making process that consumers go through is not as involved.
Most advertisements that people see are types of B2C marketing. For example, B2C marketing strategies include:
A TV advertisement for a candy bar
Instagram ads for a clothing shop
Direct mail coupons for a store
B2B marketing stands for "business to business." This means that the company's target audience is another company. B2B marketing typically requires a much longer buying cycle, and is extremely strategic in terms of what customers want and need. B2B purchases often also have an extremely high purchase intent. This means that the target audience will be doing a lot of research before purchasing the final product.
Many B2B strategies are often executed digitally. While there are some instances in which B2B marketing will make its way towards more traditional platforms, you will commonly see B2B strategies come to life on digital channels.
Examples of B2B marketing include:
Event marketing at trade shows
Inbound marketing strategies
Account-based marketing campaigns
Traditional marketing encompasses strategies that have been used since the invention of marketing itself back in the 1800s. These strategies are much more overt, and sometimes less targeted. Take a look at the 10 most common traditional marketing strategies.
When a marketing strategy is referred to as "outbound," it's focused on how the message is being delivered. Outbound marketing happens when a company shares their message out to an audience. Billboard advertisements are a good example of outbound marketing—in the case of a billboard, the company is trying to share certain information out to the people driving by.
Personalized marketing is a strategy in which the company uses historical data to create a personalized experience for you. This could include direct mail that uses your name in marketing materials or grocery stores that offer you coupons for items you regularly purchase.
Direct mail is when companies send advertisements to a specific address. This allows businesses to target a specific area. A good example of direct mail marketing is a weekly grocery store advertisement.
The partner marketing strategy requires two companies to work together to create one cohesive message. A common example of this is a company sponsoring something at another company. For example, a cafe may provide free WiFi courtesy of Google.
Telemarketing is when a company reaches out to individuals via phone calls. This is still a common tactic, but since cell phones and caller ID have become the norm, the success of this marketing strategy has dwindled.
PR marketing is a strategy where you partner with a news source to generate more buzz around your business. PR marketing is commonly used when a company launches a new product, has a major change of leadership, or announces an expansion.
PR marketing might not directly promote a product, but it's a good way of increasing brand awareness for your business. This is especially relevant in B2B marketing, because some business buyers will make decisions based on their understanding of your company's position in the competitive landscape.
Word of mouth marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on existing customers referring your business to new customers. This is a hard strategy to control, because it depends on your customers to do the leg work.
A common way to encourage customers to refer friends is to offer some kind of incentive, such as a discount or bonus for referring your business. This is commonly seen in small businesses that are client-based, like hair salons or gyms. This is also starting to happen more for subscription based services such as meal delivery services. If you refer a friend, both you and a friend may get some kind of discount.Read: Level up your marketing with a perceptual map (with template)
Stealth marketing is the act of marketing a good or service to someone without them realizing they're being marketed to. A good example of this is product placement in a movie or TV show. You may notice that certain characters in the show only use a certain type of computer, or only drive a certain type of car. This is because those companies paid to be featured.
Brand marketing is a long-term form of marketing in which the goal is to become recognizable and establish a good reputation. Brand marketing encompasses many different facets, from visual branding to tone and voice.
To measure the effectiveness of brand marketing strategies, companies will track their brand awareness. This metric measures how familiar the average person is with your brand.
Cause marketing is a strategy in which a company chooses to back a certain cause as a way of strengthening their brand's core values. A good example of this is Patagonia. They pledge 1% of sales to restoration and preservation of earth's natural environment.
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing strategies that are implemented in a digital format. Some of the strategies above may sometimes happen digitally, but the following seven forms of marketing only happen online:Read: How to build a digital marketing strategy in 12 days
Inbound marketing is a strategy used to bring potential customers to you instead of sharing a message out. This is a long-term strategy that involves many different types of digital marketing tactics to encourage a potential customer to move further down the marketing funnel.
Inbound marketing uses search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, content marketing, and email marketing to educate and encourage potential customers to interact with a brand or business more frequently.
Search engine marketing is the strategy of utilizing search engines such as Google. Search engine marketing can include paid advertisements such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements and suggested posts. It can also include organic SEO strategies, such as creating optimized content in the hopes of ranking highly on Google.
Content marketing involves creating content, such as ebooks or webinars, to encourage potential customers to interact with your brand more frequently. The goal of content marketing is for potential customers to share some information, such as an email address, so the company can continue marketing to you in different ways.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy in which a company pays commission to an external website for sales that are generated via their website referrals. This is commonly used in combination with influencer marketing strategies to target a very focused demographic of consumers.
Social media marketing uses social media platforms as a key channel to share your messaging. Social media marketing can be paid ads, organic content, or user-generated content. Social media marketing is commonly used by ecommerce businesses.
Sometimes, social media marketing can go viral. For example, when a black out occurred during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo was able to capitalize on the power outage and posted a very timely, relevant joke on Twitter. The single tweet brought a lot of buzz to the Oreo brand. This is an example of viral marketing.Read: Your 6 step guide to creating and managing a social media content calendar
Email marketing is a strategy where you send potential customers marketing messaging through email. It's used in both B2B and B2C marketing strategies and is one of the most effective ways to ensure you're hitting your target market. One of the major benefits of email marketing is that it's easy to implement some sort of segmentation in your marketing messaging. If you're looking to test which audiences respond to certain messages, this is a good marketing strategy to use.
Mobile marketing involves sending marketing messages via push notifications or text messages. This tactic can be used to achieve many different goals, such as encouraging app openings to increase daily active users or to share coupons with discounts, like you would with email. The downside of this form of marketing is that you need customer phone numbers, and that information is harder to get than email addresses.
While event marketing has transformed quite a bit in recent years, the strategy of meeting people face to face—whether that's in-person or virtually—is still an extremely effective marketing strategy. Here are a few subsets of event marketing that can help you create a memorable experience for potential customers.
Experiential marketing is a marketing effort in which you hold some kind of experiential event in an effort to promote your product or service. This is a common tactic used for marketing TV shows or movies to create an immersive experience for individuals.
Pop-up events are another good example of experiential marketing. It allows for a limited engagement, so there's some sense of urgency and exclusivity to the event itself.
Interactive marketing is a marketing strategy that involves some form of interactive component during an event or face-to-face interaction. One common technique is to play some kind of a game, such as spinning a roulette wheel or plinko, to win a giveaway. This is common at trade shows and other in-person events.Download: The ultimate guide to managing events with Asana
If you're looking to implement several different types of marketing campaigns simultaneously, organizing them can be a challenge. Using a work management tool to plan and execute all of your marketing strategies is a good way to keep your team’s marketing work organized. Learn more about how Asana can help you with marketing project management.Free marketing strategy template