43 Essential Marketing Examples Defined

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Businesses use marketing to promote their products and services, increase their visibility and reach new audiences. Marketing is often categorized by the “4 P’s”: product, price, place and promotion.

  • Product. What the company is offering customers.
  • Price. The cost the consumer pays for the product.
  • Place. Where and how the product is delivered, for example, online versus brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Promotion. Distribution of product information to consumers.

The 4 P’s are essential elements in any marketing strategy. However, businesses today increasingly use data analytics to refine their marketing methods. In addition, businesses study marketing examples that have become embedded in the fabric of society, including the Nike “Just Do It” campaign and the Geico gecko commercials.

Here are 43 marketing examples that businesses can use as part of their marketing strategies.

1. Account-based Marketing

What it is: Account-based marketing (ABM) uncovers opportunities in existing high-value accounts. A marketing group can create content, host events and launch new campaigns to target existing customers, instead of prospective customers.

What You Need to Know

About 97% of marketers in a survey by Alterra Group said ABM had a greater return on investment (ROI) than other forms of marketing.

2. Advertising

What it is: Advertising is a traditional form of marketing that can reach very large audiences — think Super Bowl commercials. Advertising is one of the most expensive marketing types. Besides TV, venues for advertisements include newspapers, magazines, direct mail, signs, billboards, radio, social media and mobile apps.

What You Need to Know

Mobile app advertising is projected to account for about 81% ($129.5 billion) of the overall online advertising market by 2023.

3. Affiliate Marketing

What it is: Affiliate marketing provides opportunities to generate sales, reach new audiences and establish strategic relationships with partners. Partners earn commissions for promoting a business, product or service. For example, third-party publishers who promote Amazon products on their blogs or websites receive fees when a purchase is made on Amazon.com.

What You Need to Know

About 15% of e-commerce revenue is generated through affiliate marketing, according to Business Insider.

4. Affinity Marketing

What it is: Affinity marketing, also known as co-branding, enables two or more brands to collaborate on strategic marketing programs. Companies using this marketing type aren’t competitors, but their key audiences are similar. The companies involved combine common traits of their brands to build business and boost awareness.

What You Need to Know

A collaborative marketing campaign between GoPro and Red Bull offers an example of a successful co-branding initiative. GoPro sells different products than Red Bull: cameras vs. energy drinks. However, consumers of both brands often have common interests in exploration and adventure and participate in similar high-energy activities, like extreme sports.

5. Augmented Reality Marketing

What it is: Emerging technology trends, such as augmented reality (AR), offer businesses unique opportunities to capture the attention of their customers through immersive environments. AR marketing takes advantage of the proliferation of mobile devices. Ikea customers can use an AR app to visualize a piece of furniture in their homes.

What You Need to Know

More brands see the value of AR in their overall marketing mix. About 60% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences, according to a recent study.

6. Behavioral Marketing

What it is: Behavioral marketing involves the use of data analytics tools that provide companies with information about customer behavior on websites, social media channels and apps. Businesses use the data to tailor messages for each customer and deliver them when they can have the greatest impact. A user browsing travel sites may get served advertisements for an airline offering vacation package deals, for example.

What You Need to Know

Companies that leverage behavioral marketing strategies outperform competitors’ sales growth by 85%, according to a McKinsey & Company report.

7. Brand Marketing

What it is: A company’s brand involves more than the use of a logo and tagline. A brand is a concept that consumers can relate to and sets businesses apart from the competition. Brand marketing is a long-term tactic that ties a company’s brand with the views and lifestyles of target audiences, which helps to promote customer loyalty.

What You Need to Know

One of the most popular brand marketing campaigns in history, the Nike “Just Do It” campaign, is reported to have boosted sales for the company from $800 million to $9.2 billion. Brand consistency is critical to ensuring long-term loyalty: 1 in 3 consumers will walk away from a beloved brand after a bad experience, according to a PwC report.

8. Business-to-Business Marketing

What it is: Business-to business (B2B) marketing targets business decision-makers. Traditionally informational, with a focus on ROI, B2B marketing increasingly relates to customer experience.

What You Need to Know

A new report finds that 46% of business decision-makers think that B2B organizations should be more focused on customer experience.

9. Business-to-Consumer Marketing

What it is: Businesses of all sizes can use business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing to learn about their customers and develop offerings to meet their needs. Online B2C originated during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, when retailers moved en masse to sell products and services to consumers via the internet. That era marked the beginning of online marketing, which has transformed the marketing world.

What You Need to Know

Customer experience is a key factor in buying decisions for 73% of consumers, according to a PwC report.

10. Buzz Marketing

What it is: Businesses looking to launch a brand or garner the attention of potential influencers can take advantage of buzz marketing, also known as word-of-mouth marketing. Businesses use content, interactive events, social media and community influencers to generate buzz. These campaigns seek to generate interest in a new product or service among people who will share the news with their friends and associates.

What You Need to Know

The high-impact recommendations generated by buzz marketing are a powerful tool that can trigger more sales — up to 50 times more than a low-impact recommendation, according to a recent McKinsey & Company report.

11. Philanthropic Marketing

What it is: Philanthropic marketing, also known as cause marketing, aims to improve society while boosting awareness for a brand and earning consumer trust. This marketing type requires a strategic partnership that benefits at least two parties, typically a nonprofit organization and a business. Companies that leverage this tactic provide financial and marketing support to nonprofits, such as museums or academic institutions, or causes, such as gender equality or homelessness. A key aim of a philanthropic marketing campaign is to associate a corporate brand with a cause that is important to its customers.

What You Need to Know

About two-thirds of consumers believe brands should support social and political issues, recent research has found. This makes cause/philanthropic marketing a go-to strategy in campaigns focused on building awareness.

12. Content Marketing

What it is: According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Content comes in many forms, from blogs, websites and videos to social media messages and apps. Businesses use it as part of an inbound marketing strategy to generate leads, as well as to establish thought leadership through means such as white papers and online seminars.

What You Need to Know

Blog posts are among the most consumed content formats along the buying journey of 71% of consumers, according to Demand Gen Report.

13. Conversational Marketing

What it is: Customer experience trends lend themselves to the use of automated marketing solutions to reach customers where they are. While nothing beats human interaction, it’s not feasible to scale up marketing operations using only people to engage customers in marketing channels. Conversational marketing helps solve the problem by enabling one-on-one interactions between customers and businesses through chatbots and automated texting and messaging tools. Additional tools include Facebook Messenger and collaboration applications like Slack.

What You Need to Know

As conversational marketing grows in popularity, live chat tools are used for customer service, marketing or sales inquiries by about 35% of companies, Business 2 Community reports.

14. Customer Experience Marketing

What it is: Companies use customer experience marketing to maximize the impact of interactions with their customers at every touchpoint in the customer journey. The drive for customer-centric marketing means that customers have more options and expect excellent service. Businesses use customer experience marketing to anticipate consumers’ wants and needs.

What You Need to Know

A $1 billion company can realize an $823 million revenue increase over three years by making moderate improvements to customer experience, a recent study found.

Infographic outlining the traditional 4 Ps of Marketing

15. Data-driven Marketing

What it is: Businesses glean insights from data related to their customers and use those insights to market their products and services. Google AnalyticsFacebook Analytics and other customer data analytics tools can help provide businesses with deep insights into online buying behaviors.

What You Need to Know

About 57% of B2B marketers see the siloing of marketing data as an obstacle to data-driven marketing, an Adweek survey found. A centralized approach to data gathering can enhance marketing efforts.

16. Digital Marketing

What it is: Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, enables direct interaction between businesses and their customers. Organizations use digital marketing, which encompasses websites, blogs, email, social media, apps and immersive experiences, in every aspect of their overall marketing strategy. For maximum effect, they ensure that their digital marketing aligns with their traditional marketing strategies to help ensure brand consistency.

What You Need to Know

Digital advertising is the fastest-growing segment in advertising, according to a HubSpot report.

17. Email Marketing

What it is: Email marketing, one of the earliest forms of digital marketing, can be used to share educational content, new product information, discounts and more. Even though newer digital marketing methods abound, email remains relevant.

What You Need to Know

Email use continues to grow worldwide. Statista projects that there will be 4.48 billion users in 2024, a significant increase from the number of email users in 2019 (3.9 billion). According to a HubSpot report, 86% of professionals prefer email for business interactions, making email marketing an essential piece of the B2B marketing mix.

18. Employee Marketing

What it is: Employees can help relay their organizations’ marketing messages on social media platforms. In addition to promoting brands, employee marketing can attract top talent for employment opportunities. Large companies, such as Mastercard, have long recognized employees’ networks as one of their strongest social media assets.

What You Need to Know

About 20% of consumers “liked” posts from employees about their organizations, a recent report found. This rate surpasses the average engagement metric of most social advertising campaigns and at a better ROI.

19. Event Marketing

What it is: Event marketing presents opportunities to promote products and services through exhibits, displays or presentations, online or offline. Through events, consumers and companies can engage directly. Webinars, for example, can be used to inform and educate while also promoting a brand, product or service.

What You Need to Know

Eventbrite reports that marketing and promotion, speakers and talent, and printed materials make up the bulk of the costs of live events: 43%, 32% and 29%, respectively.

20. Guerrilla Marketing

What it is: Unconventional, low budget and localized, the right guerrilla marketing campaign can make a big impact at a low cost. The creative idea behind a guerrilla marketing campaign entices target audiences to learn more about what’s being promoted and to share what they learn. A guerrilla marketing campaign can bridge physical activities with online action — images of graffiti or posters in a high-traffic area are shared on social media platforms, creating buzz.

What You Need to Know

In one guerrilla marketing example, Médecins du Monde (French for “Doctors of the World”) gave 300 homeless people tents to use in highly trafficked areas in Paris to bring attention to the growing homelessness problem in that city. Ultimately, the French government promised to invest over $10 million on emergency housing.

21. Inbound Marketing

What it is: Inbound marketing is a marketing type in which customers find a business as opposed to the business going out and finding them. Online content designed to attract people who enter specific search terms can induce people to provide email addresses, enabling a company to launch a permission-based email marketing campaign.

What You Need to Know

Over time, customers become familiar with the company’s offerings and when they’re ready to buy, they contact the company. If properly executed, inbound marketing can deliver a higher ROI than outbound marketing.

22. Influencer Marketing

What it is: Businesses can improve their success by working with influencers who have millions of followers. Organizations can leverage this marketing type to promote a brand, product or service and capture the attention of new audiences. Bloggers and social media influencers with established followings typically charge to write posts about a company’s products or services.

What You Need to Know

Sponsored posts can cost anywhere from $50 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some influencers can make millions with a single post due to their large follower base. For example, Kylie Jenner can make over $1 million per sponsored post, according to Fox Business.

23. In-game Marketing

What it is: In-game marketing includes the placement of ads in games. Sometimes, these ads allow users to play games at no cost, provided that they opt in to receive in-game promotions. Users encounter these ads in the virtual platforms of the online games and apps as they play, providing opportunities for advertisers and publishers to use an interactive, a targeted and a measurable channel to deploy promotions.

What You Need to Know

A 2020 MarTech Advisor report describes the massive potential reach of in-game marketing.

24. Integrated Marketing Communications

What it is: According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), “Integrated marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise.” Integrated marketing communications use as many marketing tools as possible, from advertising and public relations (PR) to direct mail and social media. A key aim is to reach customers at the right time with the right message.

What You Need to Know

Consistent branding and messaging coordinated across these platforms is essential to maximizing the impact of marketing programs across all marketing channels. However, this can be a challenge: NewsCred reports that only 1% of marketers think that their messages deliver a “consistent, personalized and contextually relevant experience across traditional and digital channels.”

25. Loyalty Marketing

What it is: The aim of loyalty marketing is to leverage the use of incentives to build brand loyalty and grow and retain existing customers. For example, when customers approach the checkout counter at a major retailer, they may be asked if they’re interested in joining the rewards program. By joining the program, they earn rewards on every purchase, which can be used on future purchases, in the form of free products or discounts.

What You Need to Know

Loyalty marketing keeps customers coming back for more. Fundera reports that existing customers make up 65% of a company’s business. Additionally, loyalty program members spend up to 18% more a year than nonmembers.

26. Mobile App Marketing

What it is: Businesses leverage mobile app marketing to reach consumers where they spend a lot of time: on their mobile phones. Just over half of global website traffic is generated from mobile apps, according to Statista.

What You Need to Know

Time spent on mobile devices exceeded time spent watching TV among U.S. consumers for the first time in 2019, according to Insider Intelligence.

27. Multicultural Marketing

What it is: Companies seek to target certain groups of people with messages relevant to their cultures. For multicultural marketing programs to work, companies must understand their audiences and what motivates them to buy products.

What You Need to Know

Although about 40% of U.S. residents are considered multicultural consumers (Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans), marketing spending focused on these groups is about 5% of the U.S. total, according to ANA data.

28. Native Marketing

What it is: A business uses native marketing strategies to create and publish sponsored content on publisher websites, blogs, social media platforms and other digital properties. The goal is to create engaging stories and increase viewership, while ensuring that the content of the sponsored article, message or video aligns with the brand, interface and design of publisher sites.

What You Need to Know

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines require businesses and publishers to clearly flag sponsored content. However, since native marketing content is typically aligned with the look and feel of publisher sites, users find native content less disruptive than other forms of marketing. MarTech Advisor reports that consumers saw native marketing content 53% more than display advertisements.

29. Omnichannel Marketing

What it is: Omnichannel marketing aims to provide a consistent message via multiple avenues. Marketers increasingly use omnichannel strategies to personalize marketing messages.

What You Need to Know

Companies achieve a 287% higher purchase rate with a marketing campaign across three or more channels than with a campaign limited to a single channel, according to a 2020 report.

Infographic outlining how marketing has evolved to focus on customer experiences.

30. Outbound Marketing

What it is: Traditional outbound marketing — from TV commercials to print advertising to cold calling — can be combined with modern digital tools to build qualified leads in marketing databases. For smaller companies, many forms of outbound marketing may be too costly.

What You Need to Know

The newspaper industry is being impacted by the downward trend in outbound marketing spending. According to the Brookings Institution, advertising revenue dropped 68% for newspapers from 2008 to 2018. Small businesses can take advantage of less-costly outbound marketing strategies, such as direct mail.

31. Personalized Marketing

What it is: The average U.S. consumer is exposed to 5,000 ads every day and is beginning to tune them out. AI and other automation tools make it possible to break through the noise to reach consumers through personalized messages. Companies can use personalized marketing to make customers feel as though they’ve been seen as individuals, not as part of a target group.

What You Need to Know

About 80% of consumers in a survey expressed increased likelihood of giving their business to a company using personalized experience.

32. Podcast Marketing

What it is: Podcast advertising allows brands to target specific niches and interest groups. Often a podcast host will read a 30- to 60-second advertisement to listeners. The ad can contain information about products or services or promote coupon codes or other incentives.

What You Need to Know

As radio advertising spending in the United States remains flat, podcast advertising is producing among the highest ROI in the digital advertising industry. Spending on podcast ads is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2022, which would represent a 100% increase from 2018.

33. Point-of-Purchase Marketing

What it is: Traditionally, point-of-purchase (POP) marketing takes place at or near the cash register in a store. However, POP is an essential e-commerce strategy in online shopping carts. Businesses use it to increase upsell opportunities. Before completing an online order, customers may encounter a message about a related product and a link to make it easy to add that product to their shopping carts.

What You Need to Know

The POP marketing upsell should be carefully considered, as the wrong approach or message may result in an abandoned cart. Statista reports that nearly 70% of digital shopping carts were abandoned in 2019.

34. Promotional Marketing

What it is: Promotional marketing is a traditional form of marketing that encourages consumers to take action or reminds people of a brand. For example, a company can provide event attendees with free items, such as coffee mugs, pens or notepads. Promotional marketing has evolved in the digital era to include online contests, coupons and incentives. Businesses can use this marketing tactic to capture the interest of new audiences and elevate brand visibility. Promotional marketing can include discounts, free products or other incentives for prospects and customers who take an action, such as signing up for email newsletters.

What You Need to Know

The promotional products industry is worth more than $23 billion, according to a 2017 study.

35. Product Marketing

What it is: Product marketing seeks to inform audiences about the benefits of using a certain product. This information can be shared through various online and offline media. To prepare for a product marketing launch, marketers develop product positioning and messaging to ensure that customers and salespeople understand the product’s features, capabilities and benefits.

What You Need to Know

Information from product marketing communications is shared via numerous marketing channels, including online. About 82% of consumers begin their search process for products from their smartphones before making a purchase at a retail location, according to a Forbes article.

36. Public Relations

What it is: According to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), PR “is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This marketing tactic focuses on building mutually beneficial relationships with individuals who can influence the public perception of an organization. The aim is to earn media coverage without paying for it.

What You Need to Know

According to PR Daily, 92% of people trust earned media over promotional content.

37. Remarketing

What it is: Remarketing reengages audiences who have interacted with an e-commerce site, website or social media outlet in a meaningful way. It can help improve conversion rates through personalized email marketing. For example, if a customer abandons a shopping cart, a reminder email about the product is sent at a later date, which can result in a conversion.

What You Need to Know

About 58% of people appreciate when a business notifies them by email about a product they’ve previously browsed or liked going on sale, according to a Search Engine Journal report. Fifty-one percent said they felt as though they were treated like a VIP.

38. Retargeting

What it is: Retargeting is another effective means for reengaging audiences who have demonstrated some interest in a company’s product in the past. Rather than delivering email to these consumers, retargeting involves buying ads to improve conversion rates. Through the retargeting strategy, cookies are set in the browsers of visitors to a website. This information can be used to retarget them through ads about the company’s product displayed on another site through third parties, such as the Google Display Network.

What You Need to Know

The conversion rate for a person visiting a website for the first time is only 2%, according to Search Engine Journal. Retargeting reminds a user about their previously browsed product. The aim is to get the user back onto their website to purchase the product, helping improve conversion rates.

39. Search Engine Marketing

What it is: Search engine marketing (SEM) goes hand in hand with search engine optimization (SEO) and quality content. SEM is paid search, in which companies pay for clicks on search engines; SEO is based on organic content quality. Companies that combine SEM with effective SEO strategies can achieve higher search results. This is an important aim, as businesses that appear on the first page of search engine results get about 92% of consumer traffic, according to a Smart Insights report.

What You Need to Know

SEM also serves a useful purpose in answering questions from customers. Smart Insights reports that 33% of survey respondents indicated that they clicked on paid search ads for a direct answer to their search query.

40. Social Media Marketing

What it is: An effective social media campaign leverages the reach potential of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, to increase visits to a company’s website, blog, webinar or other platform. Social media is an essential tool for increasing brand awareness, creating relationships and driving engagement.

What You Need to Know

Visual elements in social media can help deliver results for business. Forbes reports that among 4,000 Pinterest users surveyed, 70% use the platform to find new and interesting products.

41. User-generated Marketing

What it is: User-generated marketing is an activity in which businesses ask the public for their ideas and opinions. Feedback typically comes via social media, contests and surveys. Businesses use the data they acquire from user-generated marketing campaigns to get a better sense of customers’ needs and wants. They can also use the information to improve their marketing programs or come up with new content, known as user-generated content.

What You Need to Know

User-generated content outranks other forms of marketing, including search engines and promotional emails, when it comes to influencing buying decisions. Business 2 Community cites a study that shows 90% of shoppers are influenced to make a purchase via user-generated content.

42. Video Marketing

What it is: Video in marketing campaigns can help build rapport with customers, promote brands, and elevate the visibility of products and services. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, making video marketing a critical component of the overall marketing mix.

What You Need to Know

About two-thirds of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video, according to data cited in a Forbes article.

43. Voice Search Marketing

What it is: The rise of AI-powered voice recognition technology, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, has expanded opportunities in voice search marketing, which is transforming SEO. Voice search marketing adds another opportunity for businesses looking to rank for targeted keywords and queries as spoken by users. Customer experience is at the center of the increasing popularity of voice search assistants, as many people find the assistants simple to use and quick to respond.

What You Need to Know

A recent PwC survey found that 65% of 25- to 49-year-olds use voice assistants at least once a day. Among respondents of all ages, 50% reported having purchased a product using a voice assistant.

Sources:

American Marketing Association, Definitions of Marketing

Entrepreneur, “10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth”

Forbes, “Top Marketing Trends for 2020”

HubSpot, “The Ultimate List of Types of Marketing (40 and Counting)”

Inc., “The Top Marketing Trends You Need to Adopt in 2020”

Investopedia, “Affiliate Marketing”

Medium, “36 Types of Marketing Strategies & Tactics to Grow Your Business”

The Balance Small Business, “101 Small Business Marketing Ideas”