20 types of marketing for effective and profitable campaigns

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Marketing is the practice of promoting and selling products and services and draws on a wide range of methods to achieve this. There are many forms of marketing that leverage specific platforms and audiences to raise the profile of brands and generate sales and enquiries. Understanding the different types of marketing can help marketing professionals select the most effective methods for their campaigns. In this article, we share 20 types of marketing that businesses can use to attract an audience and grow their revenue.

20 types of marketing for every business

Here are 20 key types of marketing that are used by businesses of every size to generate revenue and profit:

1. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is an expansive field that encompasses any marketing methods that are executed using digital means. It's a fast-developing, scalable, and highly responsive type of marketing that has accelerated adoption through increased internet access and smartphone connectivity. Businesses have become adept at promoting their products and services via a variety of digital channels including websites, social media, email and video.

Related: Digital marketing skills: definition and examples

2. Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing comprises all marketing methods that can promote products and services to prospective customers offline. This form of marketing preceded the internet and includes outdoor media, flyers, direct mail and television and radio advertising. Traditional marketing methods are primarily outbound, with mid-sized and large businesses continuing to invest in reaching audiences in this way.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing focuses on the creation, publication and dissemination of information that is directly about or relevant to a company's products and services. Content marketers use a variety of content types including articles, blogs, infographics, videos and webinars. Companies can deliver this form of marketing via a range of online and offline channels and is effective at engaging an audience who may become customers of a company.

Related: What is a content marketing role? (plus tasks and careers)

4. Outbound marketing

With outbound marketing or interruption marketing, organisations start the interaction with their audience by sending out marketing messages to generate interest, enquiries and sales. Outbound marketing is all about proactively finding your customers rather than waiting for them to find you. This broad area of marketing includes reaching out to prospects via traditional and digital channels with direct marketing methods like PR, cold-calling, emailing or using SMS.

5. Social media marketing

Over 3.6 billion people use social media, making it one of the most effective ways of engaging an audience for the promotion of a brand. Social media marketing is all about achieving exposure and reach with strong multimedia marketing messages that can generate interest, enquiries and sales for a company. For a social media marketing campaign to be effective, companies need to create and share relevant content that is posted consistently for high visibility on the leading platforms.

6. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing and relies on strategies that attract customers to a business rather than proactively contacting them. This type of marketing seeks to provide prospective customers with relevant information that can empower them in their buying decisions. This consultative approach means that consumers encounter a company's authoritative content while researching online and may be motivated to contact the company to learn more, providing a sales opportunity.

7. Video marketing

Video marketing is content marketing that uses video to attract and retain and grow an online audience that is interested in the products and services of a specific brand. Consumer video traffic is currently experiencing exponential growth, making creating video content essential for companies that want to achieve the maximum reach and not neglect any channels. The videos businesses produce have a wide range of formats and including informative and educational videos, reviews and sponsored influencer content.

8. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has the objective of maximising the inline visibility of businesses by making increasing their prominence the leading online search engines. SEM marketing activities are usually either search engine optimisation (SEO) or running pay-per-click (PPC) paid advertising campaigns to secure sponsored search engine positions. With both types of SEM, marketers seek to align website content with the search terms and keywords that search engine users are looking for.

9. Guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing uses bold and witty advertising and brand interactions to capture the attention and reinforce a company's marketing message. This type of marketing was first described in the 1980s and often used urban environments and outdoor settings to generate publicity with intriguing displays that surprise and entertain. Effective guerilla marketing can earn businesses significant exposure, but if campaigns go wrong or offend the publicity can quickly become negative.

10. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing relies on the formation of mutually profitable partnerships between companies and affiliate marketers or influencers who create content that drives traffic, enquires or leads to the company in return for a commission on sales generated. Affiliate marketers can use any form of marketing to generate traffic, clicks and sales including videos, emails, social media posts and blogs. Companies can find affiliate marketers to work with by using large affiliate marketing platforms or broker their own arrangements with individual publishers, bloggers and influencers.

Related: How to become an affiliate marketer (plus key skills)

11. Event marketing

Event marketing involves the creation of live or virtual events where a company can promote its products and services to an assembled audience. These workshops, seminars, webinars and launches are themselves promoted via traditional or digital marketing methods. Marketers carefully profile the target audience for events to increase the opportunities for generating leads and sales when the event takes place.

12. Field marketing

Field marketing is a type of direct marketing that takes products and services out into the community to promote or sell them to people directly. Field marketing activities include the distribution of product samples and product demonstrations with stock on hand, ready to sell. Field marketing professionals are often experienced salespeople who can funnel people into the sales cycle of their employer or convert sales in person.

Related: 10 positions in marketing (with duties and salary info)

13. Proximity marketing

Proximity marketing is a hyperlocal marketing approach that uses geolocation to target people who may be interested in nearby products and services. This highly personalised approach is heavily reliant on smartphone technology using location to deliver prompts with discounts and special offers via Bluetooth, wi-wi, QR codes, near-field communication (NFC) or geofencing. Creative uses of this innovative method include, treasure hunts, highlighted offers and product launches, all wirelessly broadcast to smartphones.

14. Word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing disseminates marketing messages through communities and social groups so that people who are part of the community share the message with the surrounding people. This type of marketing is effective because people trust referrals and recommendations from people they know. Companies can seed their marketing messages using viral content, outstanding special offers or reviews that are highly shareable.

15. Product marketing

Product marketing encompasses all the planning, strategies and activities that are used to bring a product to market successfully. Product marketers work to position the product effectively with input on its merchandising and any necessary sales techniques. Scrupulous market research and sales intelligence help to keep the product ahead of its competitors.

16. Native marketing

Specialist marketers design native marketing campaigns to closely match the look and functionality of the platform or channel that they publish them on. Native marketing usually requires close collaboration between marketers and publishers to ensure that the advertising or content will resonate with the platform's audience. Sponsored content, advertorials and guest posts are examples of native marketing.

17. Stealth marketing

Stealth marketing, undercover marketing or buzz marketing is a subtle form of marketing that is not designed to be noticeable to the consumer. Product placement is an example of stealth marketing, with companies placing their products in films or television shows, or having their brand mentioned by actors and broadcasters. Marketers in this sector have to network widely to build the industry relationships that provide opportunities for effective stealth campaigns.

18. Multicultural marketing

Multicultural marketers tailor their marketing to target people of a particular ethnic and cultural group, creating insightful and sensitive campaigns that resonate with them specifically. Careful, in-depth market research is essential, with many companies reaching out to community leaders and organisations to build relationships that can assist them in marketing to the cultural group effectively. Campaigns that increase the representation of various minorities and ethnic groups can also help to engage these communities.

19. Personalised marketing

Personalisation can transform the impact and efficacy of marketing campaigns by tailoring them to individuals so that they will resonate more. Personalised marketing campaigns harness information about prospects or customers and can range from addressing them by name in an email to using their purchasing history, CRM data or social media interests to present them with relevant special offers. Using personal data in marketing can be controversial as many consumers have concerns about how companies use their data.

20. Email marketing

Email marketing is an effective marketing channel that helps companies maintain engagement with their existing customers and prospects. Emails can nurture leads or generate sales with targeted campaigns for specific segments of the subscriber list. Regulations restrict companies to only contacting people who have opted in to receiving emails and also expect companies to provide recipients with an easy method of opting out.

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