10 Types of Marketing Every Business Owner Should Know

With so many different types of marketing out there to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which will be the most effective and profitable for your specific business.

Many sources will sing the praises of one specific “be all end all” approach, meaning it can be difficult to break through the noise and land on an ideal marketing strategy that is the perfect fit for your particular needs.

That said, there are even more factors to consider depending on the industry you’re in, whether you are supplying a product or service, who your specified target audience is and more.

The world of business has innovated and adapted to accommodate the ever-evolving changes in market behaviour and consumer demand. In this way, various types of marketing have shifted to acclimatize to several different scenarios and specific objectives.

The dawn of the Internet only diversified the types of marketing strategies further through the invention of websites, social media and other digital platforms that facilitate increased globalization and interconnectedness no longer limited to specific borders.

Ultimately, there is no one true fix when it comes to a marketing strategy. Instead, you need to modify and widen your scope to encompass multiple techniques and approaches to suit each area of your business.

Marketing is a tricky and often complicated behemoth that even the most experienced multi-billion dollar corporations have difficulty navigating at times. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged!

All it means is that you need to incorporate multiple types of marketing to create a comprehensive approach to ensure the optimal opportunity for success.

This article will provide context and simple explanations to set you off in the right direction in determining the perfect combined strategy for getting more eyes and ears to your company.

Here are the 10 marketing strategies that we’ll be covering today:

1. Contextual Marketing

types of marketing contextual
WestJet Christmas Miracle hosted a video where unsuspecting travellers told an automated screen their Christmas wishes before their plane departed. Upon arrival at their destination, all the passengers had their Christmas wishes granted. (www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/christmas-miracle)

Contextual Marketing is a digital marketing strategy that utilizes targeted advertising based on an individuals’ online trends and habits. This data can be found in multiple ways, including web browsing, online search terms and conversations via digital messaging apps.

It is essentially a marketing strategy driven by context cues, including the age of your target audience, current events, and specific interests, all of which directly impact the ad’s overall success. Ultimately, to ensure optimal efficacy, contextual marketing must be relevant and timely to the consumer you are attempting to target.

There are multiple avenues for companies to access and harness this information to inform their contextual marketing strategy. Specifically, social media is considered the most prevalent source for a brand’s specific current and potential customer base.

2. Organic vs Paid Marketing

Organic marketing, also referred to as inbound marketing, is focused on creating content and search engine rankings. 

In other words, businesses utilizing organic marketing create content optimized for search engines.

Examples of content include infographics, blog posts, and guides promoted on free online platforms, such as social media. The primary objective of organic marketing is to establish stable sources of traffic to your company’s website. By providing consumers with information-based, educational content, brands and organizations can drive traffic to their site while also promoting a product or service for free.

Alternatively, paid marketing is exactly what it sounds like – advertising that you pay for. In this way, as opposed to companies that generate their website traffic “organically,” paid marketing buys it.

Paid marketing is a fast way to get eyes on a product or service. An example of this strategy would be purchasing social media marketing or advertising, such as Facebook ads, or other pay-per-click services, such as Google Ads. These types of marketing are advantageous when you’re just starting a business because the online advertising is delivered directly to your target market.

Essentially, the difference between organic and paid marketing is that paid marketing generates website traffic fast and converts these viewers into customers immediately instead of waiting for your search rankings to improve and customers to discover the website themselves.

3. Content Marketing

digital launch contest marketing
Contest marketing on social media can be used to generate a huge amount of engagement at very little cost. (@whitneynrife)

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to establish a genuine relationship with your target audience and acquire loyal customers. Content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content for a target audience online.

There are numerous different types of content marketing avenues, including blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns and more. With so many options, it can be challenging to decipher which would benefit your business the most.

When determining the most effective types of marketing, it is crucial to understand the different sales funnels and which stage of the funnel your particular target audience is in. This fact is especially crucial for content marketing.

Essentially, there are four stages of the sales funnel:

  • Attraction Stage
  • Consideration Stage
  • Decision/Purchase Stage
  • Delight Stage

Depending on what stage of the funnel they’re in, different content marketing types will help attract and engage customers. By knowing which stage your target audience is in, you can tailor your content to meet their specific needs.

4. Marketing Psychology

Marketing psychology entails delving deeper into understanding who the customer is, what they desire and what motivates them to purchase. Of course, no one expects you to be a certified psychologist on top of a successful business owner. Still, it is crucial to remain cognizant of your client base’s particular needs to develop a product or service that will sell.

In this way, leveraging marketing psychology principles can be incredibly beneficial to establish a better line of communication and engagement with your customers. This information allows marketers and business owners to find certain weak points and psychological motivators in their particular target audience.

They can then utilize this information to adjust their content and marketing strategy towards them.

5. Guerilla Marketing 

guerilla marketing types of marketing
Eye catching and controversial, this advertisement draws attention downwards to shed light on homelessness (www.grassrootsadvertising.com)

The term ‘guerilla marketing’ is derived from the concept and similarities to guerilla warfare. This military tactic bases its efficacy on the element of surprise to frighten an enemy into complacency.

However, this marketing strategy is far less aggressive and violent. In the context of business, the primary objective of guerilla marketing is to create a memorable impression and generate buzz within your target audience and beyond.

It cashes in on the element of surprise using fun and creative advertising techniques to attract the attention of existing and potential customers – whether it be on social media, online, through traditional media or person-to-person conversation.

The purpose of guerilla marketing is to shake up more traditional types of marketing and strategies and bring a flare of unpredictability and a positive shock factor.

Marketing strategies need to work in tandem with one another to produce the best results. Learn more in our guide on Omnichannel Marketing. 

6. Social Media Influencer Marketing

marketing strategies instagram
Celebrity and influencer endorsements gets the word out fast and easily converts others to your cause (https://www.instagram.com/chrissyteigen/)

Social media has taken on a life of its own inside and outside of the different types of marketing. Most people with a smart device have at least one social media account.

The crucial difference between these ordinary users and social media influencers is that social media influencers (or SMI’s) have made a legitimate career out of their respective platforms, be it, for example, on Instagram or Twitter, garnering tens of thousands to sometimes millions of followers.

In most instances, these SMI’s are solely in control of their accounts and are responsible for developing and generating their own content. Whether true or not, these individuals’ legion of loyal followers views these influencers as a trusted authority.

From a marketing strategy standpoint, SMI’s are a brand, product and service, and their following is your target audience full of potential customers with incredibly high sales conversion potential. When SMI’s are used as part of different types of marketing strategies, it’s called social media influencer marketing.

This marketing is targeted towards utilizing and emphasizing the extent of influence an influencer has on their followers’ purchasing behaviour.

7. Viral Marketing

digital launch viral marketing
The ALS Ice Bucket challenge spread throughout the internet as a campaign to raise awareness for ALS. (ALS Association - http://www.alsa.org/)

In the digital age, viral marketing is an example of types of marketing strategies that rely on a broad audience to amplify the key messaging of a brand, product or service. While not necessarily reliant on the internet, it is one of the most prevalent avenues for this marketing strategy.

If you’re wondering what it means to “go viral,” it’s when marketing is shared by the public at large and not just by a brand to a specific target audience. In other words, the more eyes, the better. If performed successfully, a viral marketing campaign will be in most users’ social media feeds, albeit only for a limited amount of time.

The nature of virality is that it is fleeting. It won’t take long for something else to come along and claim the number one spot. As we said before, viral marketing heavily relies on social media marketing to reach the vast general public. The objective is for your campaign to spread like wildfire across all platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and emerging platforms, such as TikTok.

Viral marketing is fueled by the popularity of memes and the subsequent trends of likes and shares. That said, virality is difficult to attain. However, the results can bring about universal recognition when achieved, driving drastic impacts on a brand or product and spreading its influence to untapped markets and customers.

8. Contest Marketing

Everyone has a little bit of competitiveness in them. Why not use that to benefit your business?

Contest marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes contests, giveaways, sweepstakes or lotteries to boost brand awareness and extend a company’s reach to new potential customers. It capitalizes on the universal desire that we all have – the desire for free stuff.

The sheer thrill and rush of winning a contest is a prize in itself and motivates many users to enter contests even if they know that the relative odds of them actually winning are relatively low. However, it’s all in good fun, and contest marketing has become a widely utilized tool in the world of experiential marketing while adapting over the years to incorporate new avenues, such as social media and online contests.

One of the best things about contest marketing is that there are no caps on how creative you can be when considering different types of marketing strategies. It can have different forms and applications both on and offline, giving it universal appeal to varying demographics.

This marketing style’s benefits are boosting online engagement for your website, social media profiles, increased consumer sales and increased access to your customers through email lists, SMS contact lists, and other, more direct consumer marketing forms.

Examples of contest marketing include:

  • On social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
  • Website-based contests that gather consumer data through a collection form
  • Email and SMS based contests that gather consumer data through email marketing or text campaigns
  • Physical in-store contests

9. Crisis Marketing

With global crises such as Covid-19, it may seem like the world has come to a standstill. Nevertheless, in the world of business and marketing, the show much go on. However, how it goes on is a delicate balancing act.

Crisis marketing is a term used to encompass different types of marketing strategies during a crisis, such as the global coronavirus pandemic. A common misconception surrounding this style is that it solely focuses on marketing that directly responds to a given crisis or societal situation. In actuality, it engrossed all marketing that occurs during a crisis, whether it is directly related or simply occurring at the same time.

This isn’t to say that crisis marketing encompasses a “business as usual” mentality, however. During a crisis, marketing requires an extra level of caution and strategic thinking to tactfully and respectively maneuver posting content. There are multiple methods for ensuring that your crisis marketing strategy is sensitive and timely to the current situation while still being flexible enough to adapt as new information or crises arise.

The ultimate objective of any crisis marketing initiative is to pivot your current efforts to appear adaptable to the crisis at hand.

10. Community Marketing

community marketing example
Sephora's community forum is a great way to engage customers and receive direct feedback (https://community.sephora.com/)

When it comes to the various types of marketing, community marketing may not be the first concept that comes to mind. However, it can be incredibly beneficial to a business and its customers.

Engaging with and nurturing an online community and interacting with your customers can produce immeasurable value, not just for your bottom line, but by establishing open communication, building customer loyalty, and establishing your brand as a trustworthy thought-leader.

At its core, community marketing involves creating and/or engaging with a community of existing customers or a group of people representing your target audience. This engagement can appear in many different forms. However, the objective is to bring consumers together, join an already-existing community, or do both.

Ideally, the best strategy is to do both – build your own community as well as participate in already-existing ones. The community may be directly related to that particular product or service or, more broadly, surrounding a topic related to their product or service.

Types of Marketing – A Multifaceted Approach

A comprehensive marketing strategy will incorporate multiple types of marketing to amplify your brand, extending its reach and influence.

Integrating different marketing styles and mediums will put forth a well-rounded approach that serves to reach not only your target audience but also potential untapped markets you may not otherwise have considered.

In this way, there is no one correct method for marketing your business. Typically, a multifaceted approach is the most effective in getting your name out there and creating authentic, organic traffic that will serve you better in the long run for sustainable sales and success.

If you’re looking for help in how to best digitally launch your business or market it appropriately, Advesa Digital is here to help. Whether you’re looking to create a custom website from the ground up, generate marketing collateral, or gain more eyeballs on your content, we will work with you to help grow your business effectively.

Contact us here for a free consultation to see how we can best offer support for your business.

Written By Vincent Lee

The Managing Editor at Advesa, Vincent is a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, a lover of cats, and a purveyor of fine roasted matcha teas. When not writing, he enjoys exercising and biking around his beautiful hometown of Vancouver. He is also a strong supporter of the oxford comma.