10 Types of Marketing Models

Updated March 10, 2023

Marketing models are useful tools for structuring business ideas and effectively communicating selling strategies. Regardless of the model you choose to use for your business, a dynamic marketing model can be an essential tool in predicting the success of your company. Because there are so many marketing models, you may need to explore multiple models before you find one that fits your business's goals and needs. In this article, we define 10 different marketing models to help you decide the best strategy for you and your business.

Related: 10 Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business

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What is a marketing model?

A marketing model is a tool that advertisers and businesses use to understand the strength and earning potential of their business. Marketing models review the overall strategies and parameters involved with advertising a company and its products. The purpose of marketing models is to help marketers define their marketing strategy, decide which part of the market they're going to target, predict the impact certain actions have on consumers and generate revenue projections.

Related: 15 Marketing Job That Pay Well

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Types of marketing models

There are two major categories of marketing models: top-down and bottom-up. Top-down models are focused on audience demographics and expectations. They divide the market into segments to determine predict how different audience groups and segments make purchases. Instead of using specified groups to predict demand, revenue depends on the sales that a single product or base unit generates. Many variations and models exist within these two categories. Here are 10 popular marketing models you can use to predict customer behavior, company growth and revenue expectations:

Read more: How To Write a Marketing Plan (With Examples)

SWOT and TOWS analysis

SWOT and TOWS are both acronyms for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. While both use the same basic ideas in their analysis, TOWS emphasizes the external environment whereas SWOT focuses on the internal environment. These models help you visualize strategic options and pivot your strengths and minimize your weaknesses to avoid threats and maximize opportunities.

Use the y-axis of your matrix to list your strength and weaknesses and the x-axis for your opportunities and threats. The result should be four quadrants: strengths and opportunities, strengths and threats, weaknesses and opportunities and weaknesses and threats. You can use these categories to create defensive strategies to combat challenges and illustrate potential avenues for success.

7Ps marketing mix

The 7Ps in a marketing mix stand for product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. The marketing mix is a widely -sed marketing model that helps organize the stages of a business strategy from its conception to its evaluation. By using the 7Ps breakdown, you can analyze each aspect of your company to identify ways you can optimize your strategy and meet your goals. Here's a breakdown of what each P represents:

  • Product refers to whatever is being sold.

  • Price stands for how much the product or service costs.

  • Place is the where (whether it's online, from a warehouse or a shop front).

  • Promotion details the methods you use to communicate your product to your audience.

  • People are the employees involved in the production, promotion and distribution of your product.

  • Process describes the methods you use to deliver your product or service to the customer.

  • Physical evidence is the proof needed to assure your customers your business exists (e.g. physical products, receipts, tracking information, etc.).

By using the 7Ps breakdown, you can analyze each aspect of your company to identify ways to better optimize your strategy, keep employees, satisfy customers and develop your business.

STP marketing model

STP stands for segmentation, targeting and positioning. It's a popular model that uses the top-down approach by focusing on how a company addresses customers. STP uses a four step process to deliver relevant, personalized messages to targeted audiences. Top-down models like the STP marketing model have gained attractiveness over the years as companies pivot to delivering catered content to their target audiences via social media.

The first step is market segmentation, where marketers determine important characteristics for each group within the market. An example of market segmentation is dividing your market by age (e.g. Gen Z, millennials, baby boomers, etc.). The next step is targeting. Decide which group or groups are the most receptive to your product and develop a detailed strategy to position your product or service to the chosen group.

Porter's five forces

Porter's five forces are competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, threat of substitution and threat of new entry. This model is unique because it gauges profitability by focusing less on the product or audience and more on outside influences and competition. Using this analysis can be a simple but powerful way to understand the competitiveness within your business environment. Here is a breakdown of the five forces:

  • Supplier power addresses the number and size of other suppliers, the uniqueness of the service and the cost of substituting your own product.

  • Buyer power refers to the customer's ability to influence company decisions.

  • Threat of substitution describes how your product performs compared to any alternatives.

  • Threat of new entry details any barriers you'd encounter entering the market.

  • Competitive rivalry reviews all other outside forces to evaluate how your product performs compared to the overall market.


The AIDA marketing model focuses almost entirely on the customer. The acronym stands for awareness, interest, desire and action. These are the four stages a buyer goes through during the process of purchasing a service or product. Some models include an additional stage, retention, which addresses a buyer's choice to make return purchases and build brand loyalty.

This model is unique because it acknowledges the influence social media has on buyer-seller relationships and incorporates that into selling strategies. Now, sellers aren't the only ones getting the word out about their products, social media users can comment and share on a company's post. And as a result, other customers can share material and create communities online that influence buyer behavior.

Related: Learn About Being a Social Media Manager

Ansoff matrix

Also called the product or market expansion grid, the Ansoff matrix is a 2x2 grid that outlines four strategies you can use to grow your business and analyze potential risks. Ansoff grids have markets on the y-axis. The lower end of the axis represents new markets, and the upper end represents existing markets. Products and services are on the x-axis. One side shows existing products and services, and the other represents those that are new.

The lower left quadrant shows an existing product entering an existing market. The lower right shows a new product and existing market. The upper left shows a new product in an existing market, and the upper right shows new products and new markets. In this matrix, risk increases as you move horizontally or vertically into a new quadrant.

The safest of the four options is market penetration, the lower left quadrant. Market penetration occurs when you expanding sales of your existing product into your existing market. The next safest is product development, which involves adding a new product to an existing market and occurs in the lower right quadrant. Market development, which occurs by introducing an existing product into a new market, has slightly more risk. According to the Ansoff matrix, the riskiest option is the upper right quadrant: diversification. Diversification means introducing an untested product into a new market you may not understand.

Growth-share matrix

The growth-share matrix uses four quadrants to help businesses decide how to prioritize their different ventures. In this marketing model, the y-axis shows low to high growth and the x-axis displays high and low market shares. The matrix represents each of the four quadrants with the following symbols:

  • Stars: The growth-share matrix identifies opportunities that have both high growth and a high market share with a star symbol. Often depicted in the top right quadrant, stars indicate the smartest investment opportunities with a high opportunity for success and stability.

  • Cows: The cow symbol represents the bottom right quadrant, showing opportunities with low growth and a high market share. Cows typically generate a large return on income initially, but may not be ideal for further development.

  • Question marks: The upper right quadrant uses a question mark symbol and shows low market share but high growth. The question mark symbol indicates that the opportunity has unpredictable potential in the current market.

  • Pets: The bottom right quadrant shows opportunities that have both low growth and low market share, also known as pets. You can use an animal symbol, typically a dog, to indicate opportunities that the company should consider discarding or repositioning.


The SOSTAC model is a versatile planning model used to create marketing strategies. SOSTAC stands for situation, objectives, strategy, tactics, action and control. It can be a suitable tool to review your process and discover areas of weakness.

Each step in SOSTAC represents an important part of the development process: Identifying the current conditions, defining your goals, crafting your strategy, outlining how you plan to execute your strategy, working your plan and reviewing these steps to ensure you're meeting your goals. Using this outline can be beneficial to finding potential holes in your marketing plan.

McKinsey 7-S model

The McKinsey 7-S model outlines seven major elements that need to work in harmony for a business to be successful. A watershed diagram with seven circles is the most common representation of the McKinsey 7-S model. There are seven circles: strategy, structure, systems, styles, staff, skills and shared values. The shared values circle in the center connects the other circles to show that each of the elements is important to ensuring the success and adaptability of an organization. When working with this model, consider how your marketing efforts in each category could impact the others.

Product life cylcle

The product life cycle model can help you develop new products, refine existing products and recognize when it is time to discontinue a product. It has four stages that can guide your marketing efforts throughout product development:

  • Introduction: After research and development, a product goes through the introduction stage where you first introduce it to consumers. This typically involves intense marketing and promotional efforts to develop public awareness of the new release.

  • Growth: As the product gains popularity and the company expands to support distribution, it enters the growth phase. This is when the product gains popularity, develops a dedicated customer base and increases market share among competitors.

  • Maturity: Mature products often have many other competitors in a saturated market. During maturity, growth slows down and you may need to adjust your marketing strategy to find new audiences or applications of your product.

  • Decline: During decline, sales decrease and marketing efforts have less of an impact. When a product enters decline, you may shift your efforts to new product development instead of marketing existing ones.

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