From the industrial revolution to the digital age in which we live, the way we approach customers has undergone dramatic transformations. While the fundamental core of marketing – understanding and satisfying consumer needs-has remained constant, the tactics and strategies for doing so have evolved in surprising ways.
Marketing is no longer limited to newspaper or television ads. From traditional marketing, which relies on print, television and radio, to digital strategies that leverage social media, SEO and content marketing, companies have a variety of tools at their disposal. But that’s not all, as there are also specific forms of marketing that focus on very specific areas.
Brands can no longer rely on a single approach to reach their audiences; instead, they must be flexible, innovative and willing to adapt to changing consumer habits. Choosing the right type of marketing for a campaign or product is not only essential for capturing consumer attention, but also for building lasting relationships and fostering brand loyalty.
With so many options available, it’s natural to ask: Which type of marketing is right for my company or product? In this article, we’ll explore the various types of marketing and their most salient features, so you can get a broader view of the different possibilities and gain an in-depth understanding of the ones you feel are best suited to your business.
- Digital marketing
- Traditional marketing
- Relationship marketing
- Guerrilla marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Direct marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Growth marketing
- Experiential marketing
- Emotional marketing
- Brand Marketing
- Local Marketing
- Cause Marketing
15 Types of Marketing you should know
As we have already mentioned, although the basis of marketing is the understanding and satisfaction of the needs of the audience we are targeting, there are a large number of strategies to connect with that audience and connect with them to show them that our brand, service or product is the option they are looking for to satisfy their needs or solve their problems.
1- Digital Marketing
Digital marketing or online marketing refers to the set of strategies and techniques that are carried out in media and internet channels. This type of marketing uses electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets and consoles, to engage audiences with brands. Here are some of the key components of digital marketing:
- Websites and SEO: A company’s online presence generally starts with its website. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps improve the visibility of these sites in search results on pages such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
- PPC advertising: This is pay-per-click advertising, where advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are common examples.
- Social media marketing: Uses platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, among others, to promote products or services, build customer relationships and enhance brand image.
- Content marketing: Create and share relevant and valuable content to attract and retain an audience. This can include blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, among others.
- Email marketing: Sending emails to a list of contacts, usually for the purpose of promoting products, services or events, or to maintain a relationship with the customer.
- Affiliate marketing: Involves earning a commission by promoting the products or services of other people or companies.
- Mobile marketing: Specifically designed to reach users on their mobile devices through applications, SMS, MMS, among others.
- Analytics and metrics: The use of tools and techniques to measure, analyze and report the performance of digital marketing campaigns, allowing to optimize and refine strategies based on this data.
The key to digital marketing is the ability to interact with specific audiences in real time and in a personalized way. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing offers a wealth of data and metrics that allow companies to fine-tune their strategies and maximize return on investment (ROI).
2- Traditional Marketing
Even though we live in an age where everything seems to revolve around the internet and social media, traditional methods of promotion are still just as effective (sometimes even more so).
Traditional marketing is mainly based on the unidirectional dissemination of messages, that is, the company sends a message to the public without necessarily expecting a direct and immediate interaction, unlike digital marketing, which is usually more bidirectional and interactive.
These are some of the resources or strategies of traditional marketing:
- Television advertising: Spots or commercials that are broadcast at different times and programs to reach mass audiences.
- Radio advertising: Advertisements and promotional mentions that are broadcasted through radio stations.
- Print advertising: This includes advertisements in newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers and other print media.
- Outdoor advertising: This refers to billboards, mupis, posters and other advertising formats found in public spaces.
- Telemarketing or telephone marketing: Promotions or sales made through telephone calls.
- Direct mail: This includes mailing catalogs, postcards and other forms of promotional material directly to consumers’ homes.
- Fairs and exhibitions: Events where companies present their products or services directly to consumers or other businesses.
- Public relations: Strategies and tactics that seek to maintain or improve the image of a company or product through traditional media, such as press conferences, press releases, among others.
- Sponsorship: Financial or in-kind support to events, sports teams or cultural activities with the objective of obtaining visibility and positive association for the brand.
Brands do not have to limit themselves to choosing between one type of marketing or another. Both digital and traditional marketing offer a number of strategies. Each business must choose which strategies are more appropriate taking into account its target audience, goals and economic resources.
3- Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on building, maintaining and enhancing strong, long-term relationships with customers. Rather than focusing solely on individual transactions, this type of marketing seeks to understand customers’ needs and preferences over time, with the goal of fostering loyalty and retaining customers on an ongoing basis.
The main objectives of relationship marketing include:
- Foster customer loyalty: A strong relationship leads to loyal customers who return again and again.
- Improve customer satisfaction: By understanding customer needs and wants, companies can offer products and services that truly meet those needs.
- Maximize customer value over time: By focusing on customer retention and increasing purchase frequency, companies can maximize customer lifetime value (CLV).
It often leverages detailed databases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other technology tools to gather information about customer behaviors, preferences and needs. This information is then used to personalize communications and offers, which strengthens the relationship between the brand and the customer.
4- Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing is based on unconventional, innovative and low-cost tactics to achieve maximum visibility and surprising results. The term“guerrilla” is derived from the guerrilla tactics used in warfare, which relies on small surprise acts and unconventional tactics instead of large-scale confrontations.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns are typically:
- Innovative and creative: They are based on original ideas that seek to capture the public’s attention in unexpected ways.
- Low-cost: Instead of large mass media budgets, cheaper but effective tactics are used.
- Focused on consumer experience: Often create memorable experiences for consumers that generate conversation and sharing on social networks and other media.
- Placed in unexpected places or formats: For example, it can be a street intervention, a flash mob, a sticker in an unusual place or any other format that surprises the audience.
It is especially popular among startups and small businesses that do not have the resources to compete with big brands in terms of ad spend in traditional media. Instead, these companies are looking to create impact through tactics that generate word-of-mouth advertising and virality on social networks.
It is important to note that, due to its surprising and unconventional nature, guerrilla marketing can be a double-edged sword. If executed incorrectly or perceived as inappropriate, it can cause backlash or even public relations problems. Therefore, it is very important to carefully consider the message, the medium and the audience before launching such a campaign.
5- Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is based on attracting potential customers by creating and distributing relevant, valuable and tailored content. Instead of traditional marketing tactics that seek to interrupt the target audience (such as mass media advertising), inbound marketing seeks to be found by customers when they are looking for information or solutions to their problems.
The main characteristics and stages of Inbound Marketing are:
- Attraction: Generate traffic through the creation of quality content, optimized for search engines (SEO) and promoted on social networks. This phase often involves the creation of blogs, videos, infographics and other types of content that attract visitors.
- Conversion: Once visitors arrive on the website, the goal is to convert them into leads or prospects. This is done by offering valuable content in exchange for their information, usually through forms where visitors leave their data to, for example, download an e-book, sign up for a webinar or access a free tool.
- Closing: After obtaining leads, the strategy seeks to convert those leads into customers. To do this, tools such as email marketing, marketing automation and lead scoring (scoring leads based on their likelihood of becoming customers) are used.
- Delight: Even after converting a lead into a customer, the process continues. The goal is to keep those customers satisfied, turn them into brand advocates and encourage repurchase or upselling. This is achieved by offering post-sales support, creating content that remains relevant to them and encouraging interaction and community.
The philosophy behind this approach is that by offering value and solutions to users’ needs and problems, a relationship of trust is created that facilitates the purchase decision and fosters brand loyalty. The key is to be useful and relevant, instead of constantly interrupting with promotional messages.
6- Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a form of advertising that allows companies and organizations to communicate directly with current or potential customers. Unlike mass advertising, which is distributed broadly to large audiences, direct marketing is specifically targeted to specific individuals or segments, seeking to elicit a direct response from them.
These are some of the key characteristics of direct marketing:
- Specific Audience: it is based on segmenting audiences and targeting specific messages to individual segments or specific groups of people. Segmentation can be based on demographic, behavioral, geographic and other data.
- Measurable: One of the main advantages of direct marketing is that it allows companies to accurately measure the response and return on investment (ROI) of a campaign. The number of responses, purchases or other desired actions generated from a specific communication can be tracked.
- Personalized communication: Messages can and often are personalized to suit each recipient, thereby increasing the relevance and effectiveness of the message.
- Call to action: Direct marketing communications usually contain a clear call to action, such as “call now”, “visit our website” or “buy by a certain date”.
7- Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing is a type of social marketing in which people who have influence in a specific community or niche (known as “influencers”) are contacted to promote products, services or campaigns. These influencers, thanks to their presence and credibility on social networks or other platforms, have the ability to affect the purchasing decisions of their audience due to their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience.
why is this type of marketing so popular? Here are some of the reasons:
- Authentic connection: Unlike traditional celebrities, many influencers have built their following on authenticity and personal connection with their audience. They share their experiences, opinions and daily lives in a way that allows them to form genuine relationships with their followers.
- Social Platforms: While influencer marketing can take place on any medium, it is especially prevalent on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook, among others.
- Diversity of Influencers: From mega-influencers with millions of followers to micro-influencers with a few thousand or even hundreds of followers. Each type has its own advantages, depending on the objectives of a campaign.
- Benefits for brands: Companies use influencers to expand their reach, improve trust in their brand and ultimately increase sales. By partnering with relevant figures in their niche, brands can access specific audiences that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
- Creative content: Influencers often have a unique creative flair, and are often given the freedom to present products or services in their own way, ensuring that the content feels authentic and connects with their audience.
Influencer marketing has established itself as one of the most effective strategies in today’s digital landscape, especially for brands looking to connect with younger audiences who spend much of their time on social media platforms.
8- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an online marketing strategy in which a company rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer gained as a result of the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Basically, it is a form of performance-based marketing.
Here are the characteristics of a typical affiliate marketing program:
- Affiliates: they sign up and are accepted into a company’s affiliate program. These affiliates can be bloggers, influencers, website owners, among others.
- Product/service advertising: Once they are part of the program, affiliates promote the company’s products or services using special affiliate links that track referrals. These links can be placed on their websites, blogs, emails, social networks, among others.
- Rewards: If someone clicks on the affiliate link and performs a certain action (such as making a purchase, registering on a site, etc.), the affiliate receives a commission or reward. This reward can be a flat fee or a percentage of the sale.
Affiliate programs can also be applied in offline strategies, but it is more common to use them within digital marketing because of their ease of tracking and measuring affiliate results.
Neuromarketing is an interdisciplinary field that combines neuroscience techniques with marketing principles to study how consumers make decisions and what their responses are to marketing strategies, including advertising, packaging, product design and other promotional initiatives. The idea behind neuromarketing is to better understand consumer preferences, emotions and decisions by observing and analyzing brain activity.
Here are some of the key points to understand this discipline:
- Techniques and tools: Employs a range of neuroscientific tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking and other methods to measure brain activity, gaze patterns and physiological responses of consumers when exposed to marketing stimuli.
- Subconscious decisions: It is estimated that a large proportion of purchase decisions are made subconsciously. Neuromarketing seeks to unravel these subconscious processes to understand what actually motivates or stops a purchase decision.
- Emotions and marketing: Neuromarketing pays special attention to emotions, as they play a crucial role in decision making. Understanding how certain stimuli evoke positive or negative emotions can help brands design more effective campaigns.
- Practical applications: Data obtained through neuromarketing can inform everything from packaging design to the creation of a television commercial or an experience within a website.
- Ethics: As with any technique involving research into human behavior, there are ethical considerations in neuromarketing. There are concerns about the possibility of “manipulating” consumer decisions or invading an individual’s privacy by accessing their brain responses.
This discipline provides a new perspective on consumer behavior, offering a deeper understanding of what really connects with people on a cerebral and emotional level. As technology and neuroscientific techniques advance, neuromarketing is likely to continue to evolve and offer even more precise insights for marketing strategies.
10- Growth Marketing
Growth marketing or “growth hacking” is a marketing approach focused on identifying and seizing fast and effective opportunities for growth. Rather than focusing solely on customer acquisition, growth marketing addresses the entire customer funnel or lifecycle, from acquisition to retention and expansion. Its main objective is to foster sustained growth with optimized costs and maximized results.
Here are some key points about this branch of marketing:
Experimentation-oriented mindset: Growth marketers are constantly devising, testing and optimizing new tactics and strategies. Not all experiments will be successful, but the learning that comes from them is invaluable.
- Using data and analytics: Growth marketing relies on data to make decisions. This includes monitoring and analyzing metrics to understand user behavior, optimize conversions and adapt strategies accordingly.
- Focus on the entire process: While traditional marketing may focus on specific segments of the sales funnel (such as acquisition or brand awareness), growth marketing addresses the entire funnel, from awareness, acquisition and activation, to retention, recommendation and expansion.
- Focus on scalable tactics: Once a tactic or strategy that works is identified, the goal is to scale it to maximize growth.
- Interdisciplinary: Growth marketing often requires a combination of skills, including marketing, data analytics, engineering and design. This often leads to growth hacking teams composed of members with different specialties.
- Adaptability and speed: The ability to adapt quickly to change and take advantage of new opportunities is critical in this type of marketing.
- Retention and lifecycle optimization: Acquiring new users or customers is only part of the process. Growth marketing also focuses on keeping those users engaged and, eventually, turning them into brand ambassadors who bring new users.
Therefore, we can say that growth marketing is a mix of creativity, analysis and experimentation, all aimed at driving sustainable growth of a business or product. It is especially popular among startups and technology companies, but any company looking for fast and efficient growth can benefit from its principles.
11- Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing consists of strategies and tactics that seek to engage consumers through direct and interactive experiences with a brand or product. The main objective is to create emotional connections between the consumer and the brand, allowing consumers to “live” the brand in a personal and memorable way.
Let’s define some of the important characteristics:
- Emotional connections: Unlike more traditional marketing tactics that focus on promoting product features and benefits, experiential marketing focuses on creating an emotionally engaging experience that can strengthen the relationship between the consumer and the brand.
- Interactivity: Experiences are often immersive and interactive, encouraging active consumer participation. This can include live events, interactive installations, virtual reality, among others.
- Memorability: By focusing on delivering a unique experience, experience marketing seeks to create lasting memories in the consumer’s mind, which can translate into long-term brand loyalty and advocacy.
- Shareable stories: A well-executed experience can lead consumers to share their experiences on social networks and with their close circles, generating an amplifiedword-of-mouth effect.
- Beyond the point of purchase: While some experiences may be designed to drive the consumer to an immediate purchase, many experiential marketing strategies are geared to build or reinforce long-term brand awareness and connection.
- Adaptability: It can be adapted to different scenarios and brand sizes. It can be as big as a brand-sponsored music festival or as simple as a product tasting at a local store.
12- Emotional Marketing
Emotional marketing refers to the practices and strategies that brands use to appeal to consumers’ emotions, feelings and values. Beyond showing the features and benefits of a product or service, emotional marketing seeks to establish an emotional connection with the public, motivating purchase decisions based on feelings and experiences rather than on logic or reason.
The basic fundamentals of emotion-focused marketing are:
- Deep connection: Its main objective is to create a meaningful and lasting relationship with the consumer, reaching their emotions and establishing a deeper connection than the purely transactional.
- Emotional storytelling: Brands that employ emotional marketing often use touching, inspirational or humorous stories to reach the heart of their audience.
- Brand Values: This strategy often relies on brand values and principles that resonate emotionally with consumers, such as sustainability, altruism or empowerment.
- Customer Experience: Goes beyond simply providing a product or service, focusing attention on how that product or service makes the customer feel.
- Loyalty: By establishing an emotional bond, brands can foster deeper and longer-lasting consumer loyalty that goes beyond product features or price.
13- Brand Marketing
Brand marketing is the process of promoting and positioning a brand in the minds of consumers. It goes beyond the simple promotion of a specific product or service and focuses on the communication of a brand’s history, values, mission and vision. It aims to generate awareness, build loyalty and establish emotional connections that increase the perception of value and long-term preference for the brand in question.
These are some of the key points to take into account in brand marketing:
- Brand identity: It is essential to have a clear and consistent brand identity, including elements such as the logo, corporate colors, tone of voice and any other visual or textual elements that define the brand.
- Brand story: Successful brands usually have a narrative or story that allows them to connect with their audience in a deeper and more meaningful way.
- Values and mission: These define the core purpose of the brand, beyond selling products or services. They reflect the brand’s core beliefs and principles.
- Positioning: This refers to how you want consumers to perceive your brand in relation to your competitors. It is the unique and distinctive position your brand occupies in the consumer’s mind.
- Consistency: For brand marketing to be effective, it must be consistent across all consumer touch points, from advertising to customer service.
- Customer experience: How a brand interacts with its customers at all levels can strengthen or weaken its brand image.
- Community building: Modern brands often seek to create and nurture communities around their products and values, enabling a deeper connection with consumers.
- Loyalty: One of the goals of brand marketing is to foster customer loyalty, resulting in increased customer lifetime value and brand advocates.
- Measurement: Although it may be more abstract than other forms of marketing, it is still essential to measure brand recognition and perception, as well as its impact on sales and customer loyalty.
Brand marketing is focused on the long term and on building sustainable relationships with consumers. A strong brand is a valuable intangible asset for a company, facilitating the introduction of new products, creating barriers for competitors and allowing a better position in the market.
14- Local Marketing
Local marketing seeks to promote products, services or a brand to a specific audience in a particular geographic location or local area. The objective is to connect with consumers in the physical vicinity of the company or store, considering the specific characteristics and preferences of that community or region.
These are some of the key aspects of this type of marketing:
- Geographic advertising: Use of geographic targeting on advertising platforms so that ads are shown only to users within a specific geographic range.
- Optimization for local search: Ensuring that the company is shown in local search results, especially on platforms such as Google My Business.
- Local events: Participating in or sponsoring events within the community to promote local brand recognition.
- Local media advertising: Use of traditional media, such as local newspapers, radio or television stations, to target a local audience.
- Community-specific offers or discounts: Specially designed promotions for local residents or community events.
- Localized content: Creating content, whether on blogs, social media or websites, that addresses local issues or interests.
- Reviews and testimonials: Encouraging customers to leave reviews on relevant platforms, which can help build trust within the community.
These types of strategies are essential for small and medium-sized businesses that rely predominantly on a local customer base. However, large brands also adopt local marketing approaches to customize and tailor their communication and promotions for their physical stores in different geographic regions.
15- Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is the collaboration of a company with a non-profit organization or a specific cause to promote a product or service and, at the same time, benefit that cause. It is a form of marketing that links a company’s sales to a charitable or social cause, and is often carried out through alliances or partnerships between companies and charitable organizations.
Cause marketing campaigns can vary from direct donations for each sale made, to awareness campaigns or the promotion of specific messages related to the cause in question.
The main advantage of this type of marketing is that it creates a win-win situation for both parties (the company and the charity). The company gains a positive image and can generate loyalty among its consumers, while the charity or social cause gains resources or increased visibility for its mission.
The key to success is for companies to be genuine and not simply use it as a tactic to increase sales. When it is not genuine or is perceived as a mere marketing ploy, it can have a counterproductive effect on the company’s image.