One of the most important skills in a highly competitive business environment is the ability to adapt to changing market trends. At the same time, the marketing industry is developing so rapidly that it can be difficult to navigate through the huge selection of marketing methods.

To explore current practices and help you choose what’s right for your business, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the most common types of marketing — from SMM and guerrilla marketing to niche and charity marketing. Check it out to find exciting ideas for building your brand!


The most common types of marketing

1. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing (also called Internet marketing) is the promotion of goods and services using digital technologies at all stages of interaction with an audience. Its emergence and development became possible with the spread of technical advancements in the 1990s and 2000s. The Internet boom has changed many areas of our lives, including the way we do business and communicate. Today, 55% of all marketing activity takes place in the digital sphere.

The main advantages of digital marketing:

  • ease of access due to the widespread use of the Internet,
  • no binding to location,
  • cost-effectiveness, and the possibility to track performance, segment an audience, and collect valuable data.

2. Traditional Marketing

Unlike digital marketing, traditional marketing uses the methods and channels that existed decades before the Internet. These primarily include newspapers, radio, television, and print advertising. Today, traditional marketing is not used as often, because the main interaction between brands and audiences takes place online. But it still has some advantages. For example, it’s a great option for those who want to reach an older audience, since baby boomers and partly Generation X are used to consuming information from TV. Traditional marketing is also suitable for promoting local location-based businesses.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing (also called referral marketing) involves the cooperation of brands and individuals in promoting products or services. With this type of marketing, a company provides partners with unique links or promotional codes to use in advertising the company’s offers. Every time a customer makes a purchase through a link or redeems a promo code, the affiliate partner receives a certain percentage of the sale from the advertiser. This is effective and cost-efficient cooperation, as it is focused on specific, easy-to-measure results. In addition, affiliate marketing gives brands the opportunity to significantly expand their audience and promote products or services through various channels.

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4. SMM

SMM (Social media marketing) is the use of social media platforms and the tools they provide to promote a brand or product. The main tasks of social media marketing are to increase company awareness, expand audience, drive traffic to websites, build a brand community, and communicate effectively with followers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools that allow you to track campaign performance metrics such as reach, likes, and shares.

To learn more about the useful features of social media, read our articles:
How To Use Pinterest For Your Business: Tools And Tips That Really Work
13 Instagram Hacks for eCommerce Brands to Sell More
7 Social Media Pro Tips for Small Businesses

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a way to promote a company, its products, and services through email campaigns. With this type of marketing, an email specialist compiles a customer database and prepares and sends emails with brand offers. Email marketing is considered one of the most effective approaches because it offers the highest return on investment (ROI): every dollar spent on email campaigns brings $36. It also helps build direct communication between a company and existing or potential customers, which, in turn, improves brand loyalty and increases sales in the long run.

6. Content Marketing

Content marketing involves sharing interesting and relevant information to attract an audience and gain their trust. Here, marketers use high-quality valuable content that does not contain direct advertising, but indirectly pushes their audience towards the right decision.

Key content marketing channels include

  • websites,
  • blogs,
  • social media,
  • print media,
  • podcasts,
  • webinars, and more.

Sharing branded content allows, among other things, to familiarize the audience with brand offers, increase traffic, build a consistent company image, and increase direct sales. Besides, it’s quite an affordable way to promote your company, as you can reuse your content by adapting it to different formats or platforms.

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7. SEO Marketing

SEO marketing or search engine marketing is a set of activities aimed at improving the visibility of a website or its specific page in search engines. The main goal is to increase website traffic. SEO marketing methods include internal website optimization, which allows you to achieve better page rankings. One of the most effective approaches is external promotion, for example, online mentions in directories, joining aggregators, posting guest articles with links to your page, etc. In addition to increasing traffic, SEO marketing allows you to improve brand awareness, attract a target audience, and receive detailed analytics.

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8. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing (also called influence marketing) involves a brand’s cooperation with opinion leaders to promote its products or services. The task of an influencer is to create engaging content which will introduce their audience to the brand’s products, discuss their benefits, and share their own (positive, of course) impressions. Influencer marketing is a very effective strategy, because influencers often have many loyal followers who trust their opinions. The main advantages of this strategy include its nativeness (usually, brands choose influencers from a relevant niche), as well as the ability to reach a target audience and gain new customers. In addition, today, brands can not only collaborate with live influencers, but also virtual ones.

9. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is an approach to attracting potential customers by creating valuable content and sharing it through various channels. The key feature of inbound marketing is that you don’t try to win an audience’s attention with emails, calls, advertising, or other typical methods. Instead, users come to your website or social media page because they are interested in your content. Inbound marketing allows you to drive traffic to your landing page, generate leads, and build strong customer relationships that can lead to repeat purchases.

10. Outbound Marketing

In contrast with inbound marketing, outbound marketing promotes a product through constant advertising, including various promotions, offers, and media coverage. In this case, it is the company that initiates personal contact with the audience and distributes the necessary messages. To do that, marketers use channels such as TV and radio, cold calls, mailings, SMS, exhibitions and workshops, etc. The main goal of outbound marketing is lead generation. It is especially effective in B2B and is well suited for older audiences who trust traditional advertising more.

11. Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a set of creative and low-cost marketing activities intended to attract an audience and create buzz around a product. This type of marketing allows you to significantly save your budget. However, it requires a lot of time to prepare and launch campaigns, because to make it work well, you have to offer your audience a truly unique experience. Examples of guerrilla marketing include extraordinary promotions, viral videos, and exciting collaborations.

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12. Brand Marketing

Brand marketing refers to marketing activities aimed at creating a certain image of a company or product in the mind of the audience. Its main goal is to distinguish a brand or product from competitors and make it a market leader. This marketing approach helps improve brand awareness, gain the trust of an audience, increase reach, and build a solid reputation. Using a well-thought-out brand strategy, a business can reach the next level, attract new customers, and increase sales as a result. Read more about how to build a purpose-driven brand and find brand archetypes in our articles.

13. Video Marketing

Video marketing involves the use of video content to promote a brand, product, or service. The effectiveness of this approach is vividly demonstrated by one fact; more than 80% of marketers say that video helps them attract potential customers. Along with a high level of audience engagement, video marketing provides many other benefits including high ROI, increased conversion, improved traffic, and more. To explore the full potential of video marketing, read more about how to use video in social media and B2B effectively, and how to create a powerful sales funnel with video content.

14. Product Marketing

This type of marketing is intended to launch a new product into the market and promote it. The main goal is to make the product popular among its target audience. To achieve this, experts conduct market research, analyze the audience, choose the best communication channels, and define goals and ways to convey the product’s value to potential buyers. If done correctly, product marketing helps make a brand and its product stand out from competitors, improve brand awareness, and generate leads.

15. Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is a marketing activity aimed at evoking an emotional connection between consumers and a brand or product. This connection helps increase audience loyalty and directly influences the purchase decision-making process. By appealing to experiences and impressions, marketers can improve product memorability, evoke positive associations, and subtly push consumers to take action. Moreover, emotional engagement allows you to build strong and lasting relationships with your audience.

16. Omnichannel Marketing

As the name implies, omnichannel marketing uses several channels to promote a brand’s goods or services. These can be websites, social media pages, emails, PPC, advertising, etc. Since each channel is intended for a specific audience, this approach helps increase reach. In addition, omnichannel marketing helps achieve higher conversion rates, faster promotion, better brand awareness, and audience loyalty.

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17. Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a marketing approach that targets consumers who are most likely to become customers. Among other things, it involves finding target customers, identifying their main pain points, creating personalized messages, and performance analysis. This type of marketing allows you to meet the needs of consumers in the best way possible, which, in turn, helps build reliable and long-term relationships and expand the base of loyal, regular customers.

18. Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is aimed at finding the best way to grow a business through experiments. These include innovative solutions and A/B tests aimed at improving customer experience. In addition to experiments, growth marketing focuses on working on all stages of the sales funnel, improving product, and tracking trends.

19. Event Marketing

Event marketing involves the promotion of goods or services through arranging and holding special events. These can include exhibitions, workshops, conferences, training sessions, concerts, festivals, corporate events, etc. One of the main advantages of event marketing is direct contact with the audience, as it allows you to interest and attract potential customers. In addition, event marketing often brings direct sales of goods at events, if it is organically integrated into the context. This type of marketing is great for B2B, offering a chance to connect with customers on a personal level.

20. Niche Marketing

In niche marketing, businesses try to attract a relatively small and strictly defined audience. The key to success in this case is choosing the right niche. For example, the clothing market is extremely large, but you can carve out a niche for yourself—for example, offering goods made from recycled materials. It’s also a great way to engage Millennials and Zoomers who consider environmental issues to be very important. Niche marketing is effective due to targeting, since it is aimed at an audience that is most likely to be interested in the brand’s product. This approach can significantly reduce marketing costs. Moreover, niches have much lower competition.

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21. Words of Mouth Marketing

Words of mouth marketing, or WOM marketing, relies on the power of free native advertising sourced from customers. Simply put, it’s when satisfied users share their own reviews of certain products or services with their friends, acquaintances, or social media followers. Since they usually do not benefit from reviews, such recommendations are highly trusted by audiences. WOM marketing creates a positive brand image, builds a community around a brand, brings valuable feedback, provides effective reach, and increases sales. And it’s absolutely free, too.

22. Relationship Marketing

This form of marketing is focused on establishing, maintaining, and developing long-term relationships with a company’s customers, partners, suppliers, and distributors. The main goal of this approach is to create an effective system of marketing interaction, that is to transfer communication with consumers to the level of personal relationships. The key principles of relationship marketing include creating additional value for the company’s product, an individual approach to each client, and a focus on retaining them.

23. Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is a strategy in which a brand supports a certain non-governmental organization or charitable cause. For example, a company can donate a certain percentage of each purchase or promote a charity campaign through its channels. At the same time, charity marketing should be distinguished from charity; in charity marketing, the business still pursues specific goals, not just engages in philanthropy. This type of marketing allows you to improve your image, stand out among competitors, highlight your social responsibility, and gain the trust of your audience.

24. Global Marketing

Global marketing is a set of marketing activities that target the international market. It is characterized by a standardized approach that is the same for all countries where the brand is represented. This means that all products, as well as their design, positioning, and marketing activities remain unchanged regardless of location. Many multinational companies like Coca-Cola and Apple choose this form of marketing. Global marketing saves time and money, since it focuses on universal solutions suitable for different markets. In addition, it provides an opportunity to improve brand awareness and maintains a consistent brand image.

25. International Marketing

Unlike global marketing, international marketing involves adapting the marketing strategy to each individual country where the brand is present, and sometimes even developing individual strategies. This can include creating products for a specific market, engaging local marketing specialists, and establishing localized communication. A vivid example of using international marketing principles is the business activity of McDonald’s. This company always adapts its range depending on the country. This customized approach allows them to significantly expand their audience, attract new customers, and improve customer engagement.

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26. Viral Marketing

In viral marketing, a brand or product is promoted by distributing viral content. Moreover, such content is distributed by users themselves, creating a hype effect. Viral marketing does not use direct advertising or calls to action. It is aimed at wide reach, improving brand awareness and memorability, and building a certain image. Most often, this type of marketing uses videos, memes, funny advertising campaigns, contests, and promotions.

27. Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is based on real-time communication that helps engage website visitors and guide them on the path to purchase. This approach uses chatbots and online chats to communicate with users. This ensures a high level of customer service and builds long-term relationships by meeting the customers’ needs. Other pros of conversational marketing include a more personalized approach, higher conversion rates, the possibility to obtain valuable user data, and effective lead generation.

28. Stealth Marketing

Stealth marketing, also called undercover or buzz marketing, is designed to promote products in a non-obvious way. The key feature of this approach is its ability to engage an audience without them realizing it. To achieve this, marketers typically use unconventional channels and methods, and create an atmosphere of mystery around a brand. Forms of stealth marketing can include product placement, collaborations with influencers, or sharing user-generated content. This is a great way to increase organic reach, improve brand awareness, and even attract new customers. In addition, it is relatively inexpensive.

29. Nostalgia Marketing

In nostalgia marketing, the main role of promoting goods or services is assigned to stimuli that evoke pleasant memories in the audience. By appealing to a sense of nostalgia, marketers can draw the attention of users, gain their trust, and build strong relationships. But to use this approach, it is essential to know your audience, its psychographic characteristics, values, and beliefs. This will help you find out what events, ideas, or figures from the past can make you feel nostalgic. If done correctly, nostalgia marketing can bring many benefits, from improved loyalty to strengthening your brand’s position in the market.

30. Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing is a marketing approach that uses data to develop marketing strategies. It is based on collecting and analyzing data from various sources, including websites, newsletters, social media, and other channels. This information allows you to gain insight into customer behavior and preferences, carry out quality audience segmentation, and create targeted campaigns that are more likely to resonate with users. Data-driven marketing is a cost-effective approach that enhances customer experience and improves products.

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31. Trigger Marketing

The bedrock of trigger marketing is an understanding of consumer psychology. This approach uses special techniques (triggers) that stimulate a person to perform a desired action, such as making a purchase, making a phone call, or leaving a contact. Triggers can be emotional (fear, hunger, happiness, love, etc.), behavioral (page viewing, incomplete purchase), event-based (various holidays and special events), and engagement-oriented (reactions to a subscription, comment, or inactivity). Trigger marketing allows you to set up automated communication characterized by a high level of personalization, relevance, and timeliness. It’s a great way to connect with customers and encourage them to take desired action.

32. Print Advertising

The use of printed materials for business purposes is often singled out as a separate type of marketing. The most popular print formats include billboards, posters, flyers, brochures, product packaging, business cards, and media publications. Print advertising is less intrusive than targeted online messages, which is a big advantage. In addition, it helps improve brand competitiveness, awareness, and memorability and offers consumers a unique sensory experience. It is also worth noting that printed materials are durable, so they can reach a larger audience.

33. Engagement Marketing

Engagement marketing, also called participation or loyalty marketing, is focused on promoting a product or service through a memorable customized experience that creates emotional attachment. In this approach, customers are not passive recipients of messages, but rather active participants in brand development. Examples of engagement marketing include campaigns that evoke a sense of community, gamified experiences, or virtual events. This exciting interaction helps maintain a high level of engagement, convert users into customers, and improve customer loyalty.

34. Multicultural Marketing

Brands that use multicultural marketing aim to meet the needs of customers from different ethnic and cultural groups. This approach is especially important for global companies seeking to maintain diversity and build strong relationships with different segments of their audience. Multicultural marketing is based on a deep understanding of the cultural experiences of the groups targeted. Ethnicity-oriented campaigns provide an opportunity to expand clientele, gain target audience affection, and ultimately increase sales.

35. Green Marketing

Green marketing implies that a company’s activities across all stages — from product development and manufacturing to promotion and disposal — comply with the principles of sustainable development. By practicing this approach, brands can reduce energy consumption, use recycled materials, create recycling programs, and launch various green initiatives and campaigns. Positioning your company as a socially responsible brand allows you to create a positive image, stand out from the competition, and attract potential customers.

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36. Contextual Marketing

Contextual marketing refers to an approach where users receive marketing content like emails, offers, or advertisements at specific moments of interaction with a brand. Its main principle is to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Unlike content marketing, to deliver a message, contextual marketing uses specific timing and circumstances. If you make it in a timely and relevant manner, you can expect a higher level of customer satisfaction and better conversion.

37. Native Marketing

In native marketing, all advertising messages organically fit into non-advertising content. As a result, native advertising is perceived by an audience as useful information and does not cause a negative reaction. This approach focuses on the needs of the client, which is why native advertising always has a certain value. These can be articles, videos, guides, tests, podcasts, and special projects that contain interesting information or information to solve specific problems. It’s a great way to promote a product in a subtle way, which gives you a high CTR, and improves brand awareness and trust.

38. Proximity Marketing

Proximity marketing is a strategy that uses geolocation technologies to send users marketing messages. In other words, it’s when you send ads to people who are close to you using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, or GPS. This type of marketing involves creating targeted offers based on user preferences. Its advantages include better engagement, high conversion rates, and the opportunity to obtain useful data about your audience.

39. Integrated marketing

With integrated marketing, a brand distributes consistent messages across all of its channels. This approach allows you to achieve consistent customer interaction, because all types of marketing, including email marketing, SMM, SEO, and PPC work together in the same direction. The use of a consistent visual style and tone of voice is an essential component of an integrated marketing campaign. This contributes to brand awareness, a more efficient distribution of marketing messages, and also improves customer experience.

B2B, B2С, and B2D marketing

B2B marketing refers to the process of interaction between two companies. As a result, one of them sells goods or services to the other. This is a key difference from B2C marketing, where all activities are aimed at individual customers. B2B marketing is focused on establishing strong, long-term relationships with a longer sales cycle and larger sale amounts. While B2C marketing is aimed at attracting a large number of customers and making frequent and small purchases. One of the new trends gaining momentum is B2D marketing (Business-to-developer), which is the promotion of products or services for software developers and IT professionals.


To wrap up

There is no one perfect marketing approach that will meet all of your needs. The market is constantly evolving, changing under the influence of social, economic, and cultural events. For this reason, brands have no choice but to be flexible. If you want to improve your competitiveness and achieve your key business goals, combine different marketing approaches. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try bold solutions to stay one step ahead!


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