Have you ever stopped and thought about how many different types of marketing there are? It’s astonishing.
Just enter the term “marketing” into Google and you’ll see loads of strategies.
There are many options out there, so we decided to put together an epic list of all the different types of marketing techniques.
We've included a description, comment, example and extra resource for each type.
Now… this is a huge, comprehensive list.
We found a whopping 163 types of marketing, so this turned out to be a pretty big article. And look, we're not saying they're all great.
In fact, some are a load of old tosh.You’re gonna find the good, the bad and the ugly. But nonetheless, we reckon they’re all there.
You can grab a coffee, start scrolling and get fully clued up if you want to. But to make it easier for you to look up and analyse different marketing strategies, we've put them in alphabetical order and included quick links to them all in the contents.
Caveat: We’ve included any marketing term that might qualify as a standalone tactic which can be applied by different businesses across different markets. We didn’t include industry-specific strategies such as construction marketing, art marketing or property marketing.
1. Above the line [ATL] marketing
What is above the line marketing?
Above the line marketing is using mass media to market to a wide audience.
It’s the opposite of below the line marketing [number 12], which is more specific and targeted marketing. The strength of above the line marketing is potential reach; the downside is often relevancy.
Need above the line marketing examples?
The clearest example of above the line marketing is a Super Bowl TV commercial.
A 30-second advert at half-time can cost upwards of $5million. Obviously viewing figures will be enormous, but will that pay off?
Here's all the Super Bowl commercials from 2019:
What about above the line marketing resources?
2. Account-based marketing
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing is an alternative B2B marketing strategy that targets customers who have a particular type of account. It’s a form of segmentation [and in marketing, specificity is always a good thing].
Need account-based marketing examples?
Hotjar is a company that sells website analytics software. They have 3 price points:
If they wanted to upsell a product to their customers, it makes sense to tailor their messaging according to the version of the software they have.
The way Hotjar will speak to someone on the basic package could [and probably should] be very different to the way it will communicate with someone on the business deal.
What about account-based marketing resources?
3. Acquisition marketing
What is acquisition marketing?
This is a marketing tactic that's sole purpose is to bring new customers or clients to a business.
The ultimate aim is to create an acquisition marketing strategy that runs on autopilot.
Need acquisition marketing examples?
SEO is an example of acquisition marketing. It's also something that works in the background.
What about acquisition marketing resources?
4. Affiliate marketing
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the act of marketing someone else’s brand, website, product or service in return for a fee.
The fee is performance-based. The more successful the affiliate marketing is, the more the affiliate will get paid.
Need affiliate marketing examples?
If you head to ClickBank, you’ll see that there are affiliate marketing opportunities in dozens of niches.
What about affiliate marketing resources?
A guide to the best niches
5. Affinity marketing
What is affinity marketing?
Also known as partnership marketing [see number 109], affinity marketing is about creating strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships.
Need affinity marketing examples?
Businesses partner together so that they can leverage different audiences and increase their brand awareness. That's why you can find McDonald's restaurants in plenty of Asda stores in the UK.
What about affinity marketing resources?
6. Agile marketing
What is agile marketing?
Agile marketing is about being open, receptive and responsive to change with your marketing strategy. As the name suggest, it’s about being flexible and not sticking to a rigid plan.
You could say, then, that agile marketing is more of an attitude than a strategy. Inspiration for the term comes from the techie world of agile development, where iterations to software are steady and incremental.
Need agile marketing examples?
Football fans might remember that in 2013, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard made the headlines by kicking out at a time wasting ball boy.
Specsavers wasted no time in sending out an amusing spoof ad that referenced the bizarre incident:
What about agile marketing resources?
7. Alliance marketing
What is alliance marketing?
As with affinity or partnership marketing, alliance marketing is about two businesses collaborating. The difference with alliance marketing is that the collaboration runs deeper.
Companies that are teaming up [because it can be more than one] pool their resources to promote and sell a product or service.
Need alliance marketing examples?
Alliance marketing is why you see a car wash at a garage, or a Costa at Waterstones. Some partnerships just make perfect business sense.
What about alliance marketing resources?
8. Ambush marketing
What is ambush marketing?
A business that uses ambush marketing will attempt to associate its products or services with an event that already has official sponsors.
As the name suggests, companies use this low-cost tactic to ambush events and compete for exposure against competitors.
Need ambush marketing examples?
Tennis fans might remember that Heineken was the official beer sponsor of the 2011 US Open.
However, during the competition, rival Stella located the closest train station to Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre and decorated it with loads of adverts.
The adverts all had tennis-related themes and slogans, so it appeared as though Stella were sponsoring the event.
What about ambush marketing resources?
9. Article marketing
What is article marketing?
Article marketing is a type of advertising in which businesses write articles and then strategically placed on the internet. Articles need to be about relevant topics.
Once written, they’re distributed to news outlets, article banks, forums, PR sites and article submission sites.
In a sense, article marketing is similar to content marketing, but the articles don’t exist on a company’s own website. As such, the value of article marketing is questionable.
Need article marketing examples?
You can see sponsored content on many websites:
What about article marketing resources?
10. Augmented marketing
What is augmented marketing?
Augmented marketing is the idea of adding value to a proposition via an additional, innovative offer.
The word ‘augmented’ means “having been made greater in size or value”. So by laying on extra benefits, augmented marketing increases the chances of a sale.
Need augmented marketing examples?
You’ll find stacks of examples in the pizza industry, where you find lots of 'buy one, get one free' offers.
What about augmented marketing resources?
11. Behavioural marketing
What is behavioural marketing?
Behavioral marketing is marketing to consumers that’s automated, but nonetheless based on their behavior. It is an online marketing [see number 104] strategy.
Typically, behaviors that trigger a certain marketing message would be when someone:
- Clicks on a link.
- Visits a certain web page.
- Downloads a PDF.
- Buys something.
- Shares or likes a post on social media
Need behavioural marketing examples?
If you buy a bottle of ketchup and scan a QR code, you’ll get a specific marketing message. In this case, by doing that, your behavior tells Heinz something.
If nothing else, it reveals that you’re prepared to engage with their product and brand.
What about behavioural marketing resources?
12. Below the line [BTL] marketing
What is below the line marketing?
Below the line marketing is targeted marketing that doesn't use mass media [so not things like TV, radio, social media and similar things that are widely consumed].
It’s the opposite of above the line marketing [see number 1]. Below the line marketing is more personal and, as a result, often more successful than above the line marketing.
Need below the line marketing examples?
Network marketers throw intimate product parties.
They often find that being able to physically put a product in someone’s hands and being able to talk to them face-to-face is powerful.
What about below the line marketing resources?
13. Black hat marketing
What is black hat marketing?
Black hat marketing refers to unethical SEO tactics.
Google analyzes websites against certain criteria before deciding what to rank where. There are ways of cheating the system, but doing so would be gambling with your business. It’s just not worth it.
Any gains are likely to be short-term; if Google catches on, you can expect your website to incur a penalty.
Need black hat marketing examples?
In 2013, Google penalised global florist Interflora for using back hat SEO tactics.
The penalty was severe. The Interflora website was effectively wiped off the internet for several months until the company resolved all their unethical search issues.
What about black hat marketing resources?
14. Brand marketing
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing is the concept of marketing an identity [and not a product or service].
Most businesses know that they have to work out their brand positioning. They need to understand what they stand for, what their USPs are and what the perception of their company is.
Sometimes, certainly over the long-term, it pays off to communicate values over items because it’s more conducive to encouraging customer engagement and loyalty.
Need brand marketing examples?
Sky makes a point of consistently marketing it's promised to deliver an exceptional TV service:
What about brand marketing resources?
15. Brick and mortar marketing
What is brick and mortar marketing?
Quite simply, brick and mortar marketing is any form of marketing that exists in a retail shop.
Need brick and mortar marketing examples?
Most stores market special promotions on every shelf.
What about brick and mortar marketing resources?
16. Business to business [B2B] marketing
What is business to business marketing?
Quite simply, B2B marketing happens when one business markets a product or service to another.
Need business to business marketing examples?
Lots of businesses market what they sell to other companies. For instance, insurance companies offer cover to shops [for both staff and consumers].
What about business to business marketing resources?
17. Business to consumer [B2C] marketing
What is business to consumer marketing?
B2C marketing refers to any marketing that’s specifically dedicated to consumers.
Need business to consumer marketing examples?
Obviously, consumers are marketed to everywhere, all day and all night. Clothes outlet Next publish adverts that speak to a certain carefully thought out persona.
What about business to consumer marketing resources?
18. Business to people [B2P] marketing
What is business to people marketing?
Business to people marketing is a B2B marketing strategy which recognises that, in reality, it's not the businesses [as entities] that are buying what you're trying to sell.
It's actually still people that are doing the purchasing [in the form of decision makers].
This shift in perspective results in bespoke, personal marketing [which is always more effective].
Need business to people marketing examples?
If an insurance company was trying to sell cover to a shop, there's little point in just popping a flyer through the door or ringing any old person on the phone.
They'd be better off doing some research and finding out who would be in charge of making this sort of decision.
From there, the insurance company can build up a persona and communicate a more meaningful message.
What about business to people marketing resources?
19. Buzz marketing
What is buzz marketing?
Buzz marketing is marketing that seeks to induce drama, excitement and anticipation about a product.
When it works, buzz marketing is amazing.
The trouble is, if you get a campaign wrong, everything can fall flat. A poor result can even wreak havoc with your brand image.
Need buzz marketing examples?
Apple is great at buzz marketing.
They sell great gadgets, but have nevertheless mastered the art of building excitement without saying much.
What about buzz marketing resources?
20. Call centre marketing
What is call centre marketing?
Call centre marketing happens when a business authorizes a specialist company [a call centre or contact centre] to cold call people [and market a product or service].
Need call centre marketing examples?
Let’s suppose an accountancy firm wanted to advertise their services. And let’s also imagine that they wanted to market their brand to small businesses.
If they felt that cold calling was their best play, they face a couple of problems.
Firstly, there’s the logistical issue of making the calls. How long is it going to take to get the phone numbers and make the calls? Who is going to do it?
Secondly, what constitutes a good cold call? Not everyone can do it; there’s obviously a knack to marketing to strangers over the phone. One solution is to use a call centre to cold call people for you.
This is call centre marketing.
What about call centre marketing resources?
21. Call to action [CTA] marketing
What is call to action marketing?
This is the name given to any online marketing collateral that prompts someone to take a specific action.
So, we're talking about any banners, buttons, copy or graphics that ask users to do something [like download a PDF, subscribe to a newsletter or click a link].
Typically, this action would lead to the user entering some sort of sales funnel.
Need call to action marketing examples?
You can see call-to-action marketing on the majority of websites.
What about call to action marketing resources?
22. Catalogue marketing
What is catalogue marketing?
Catalogue marketing is the act of using a catalogue to showcase products or services. It’s a type of direct marketing [see number 48] that’s most popular with mail order retailers.
Catalogue marketing might seem like a slightly old fashioned form of marketing, but, perhaps surprisingly, research indicates the people still like being able to thumb through a catalogue.
There’s something about physical marketing that works.
Need catalogue marketing examples?
Step forward Argos…
What about catalogue marketing resources?
23. Cause marketing
What is cause marketing?
Cause marketing is attaching some sort of charitable or inspirational angle to a product, service or brand.
Crucially, cause marketing only works when you find a cause that both the business and its customers care about.
Need cause marketing examples?
Reebok teamed up with Avon 39. The Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer is a 39-mile walk to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer.
Reebok is a national sponsor.
Avon 39 gets significant visibility and cash, whilst being associated with such a worthy cause enhances Reebok’s brand.
What about cause marketing resources?
24. Celebrity marketing
What is celebrity marketing?
Celebrity marketing means getting a celebrity to endorse a product or service.
The logic is that celebrity endorsements increase sales because consumers can connect and identify with someone. In other words, to them, it feels like they’re buying from the celebrity and not a faceless business.
Interestingly, although this tactic is known as celebrity marketing, a product doesn’t need an endorsement from a famous superstar.
The ‘celebrity’ just needs to be a person who is well known to the target audience.
Need celebrity marketing examples?
Sky Sports used David Beckham in their ads for a long time:
What about celebrity marketing resources?
25. Channel marketing
What is channel marketing?
Channel marketing is any marketing strategy that helps a product or service reach the consumer in a quicker, more efficient way.
In business, a ‘channel’ is all the activities and people involved in taking something from production to consumption.
That’s stuff like manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, marketing collateral and suchlike.
Need channel marketing examples?
Advertising at a trade show is a form of channel marketing, since the result of partnering with a retailer would result in an item reaching customers quicker.
What about channel marketing resources?
26. Close range marketing [CRM]
What is close range marketing?
Brands who like close range marketing use WiFi or Bluetooth to send promotional messages to customers’ smartphones or tablets. This is usually an in-store experience, because the customer’s device must be within range of the shop’s transmitter or beacon.
Also known as proximity marketing [number 123], close range marketing is a very modern strategy.
Need close range marketing examples?
If you find yourself wandering near a KFC and receiving an advert for a burrito, you now know the type of marketing you’ve seen.
What about close range marketing resources?
27. Closed loop marketing
What is closed loop marketing?
Closed loop marketing is the act of using information and performance data to produce more effective marketing strategies.
By analysing what’s working with a campaign and what isn’t, a business can eliminate a degree of guesswork from their next project. As the phrase goes, this reduces uncertainty and ‘closes the loop’.
Need closed loop marketing examples?
Suppose a business had 10 blog posts lined up in their editorial calendar, all on different subjects.
They could post them and go into their Google Analytics account to see how they each performed. This data is valuable because it can reveal which issues a company’s audience is more interested in.
In turn, that can fine tune sales strategies going forward.
What about closed loop marketing resources?
28. Cloud marketing
What is cloud marketing?
Cloud marketing is simply using all the modern tools on the internet to continually connect with and market to customers.
Today, businesses are able to surface the same marketing message in multiple places. So you might see one ad advert in an email, on a website, on Twitter, on YouTube, or in your Facebook feed.
Need cloud marketing examples?
Dunkin’ Donuts often serve up tempting messages in a variety of mediums.
What about cloud marketing resources?
29. Communal marketing
What is communal marketing?
Communal marketing happens when a business uses customers' stories about a product or service for promotional purposes.
It’s marketing that aims to create a deeper bond between a business and its customers. It’s very effective because the people are real.
When they talk about their experiences, it helps non-customers identify with the product easier. They can see themselves feeling and experiencing the same things.
Need communal marketing examples?
Content tool Buzzsumo has some great testimonials on its website and it does a great job of selling its product.