17 Marketing Strategies (With Examples)
To effectively sell goods or services, a business needs to have a marketing strategy, which is an elected plan for what audiences to pursue and where to focus advertising efforts. Learning more about marketing strategies can improve your methods in reaching your target audience. In this article, we explain what a marketing strategy is, discuss why it's important and list 17 marketing strategies with examples.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is a course of action used to promote and sell a company's products or services. Businesses create these plans for reaching consumers and showcasing their product's advantages. Understanding the needs and wants of consumers empowers a forward-thinking marketing strategy able to achieve sustainable advantage and guide a business in the direction its marketing efforts should take.
Marketing strategies consist of the business's value proposition, key brand messaging and data on target customer demographics. Marketing often refers to these strategies components as the four "Ps":
Product: A marketing strategy describes the product or service the business is offering, along with related information such as the functionality and warranty.
Price: The business features what price they plan to use for their product and addresses wholesale and seasonal pricing, bundling and price flexibility.
Place: Marketing strategies address the place or distribution of the product for delivery, including transportation and warehousing.
Promotion: The business plans how to market its product, using tactics like advertising, public relations and sales promotion.
Related: 54 Types of Marketing Strategies
Why are marketing strategies important?
Marketing strategies allow companies to reach their target audience and grow their business. These plans allow for visibility of a product and its benefits for customers. They streamline product development to create products with the best chances of making a profit. Businesses use marketing strategies to set clear objectives, which lead to measurable results. Marketing strategies are important in discovering areas affected by the organization's growth and ensure return on investment.
Tips for writing a marketing strategy
Here are some tips for writing a marketing strategy for your company:
Reveal your uniqueness: Find what makes you different from competitors and build upon it when creating a marketing strategy.
Know your customers: Determine who your ideal customers are and gain an understanding of what they want, need and expect from you so you can accurately target them.
Be flexible: Formulas, like the 4Ps, may be most effective for products and not services. Skillful marketing may require adaptation in your strategy and brainstorming creative ideas.
Research competitors: To understand the types and value of your competitors' advertisements, examine their presence in print, broadcast, online and social media, in order to discover examples of effective and weak campaigns.
Stick to the budget: When writing a market strategy, stay within a budget and relate how your plan creates financial growth.
Related: How To Plan a Marketing Strategy
17 marketing strategy examples
There are several types of marketing strategies for businesses to consider when striving to reach consumers. Below is a list of some common marketing strategies with examples:
Business to business
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing allows businesses to sell to other companies to resell. Through a straightforward approach, a company lets stakeholders know what they offer in their advertisements.
Example: To help reach more customers, a small business sells their socks to a department store.
Call to action (CTA)
Call-to-action marketing motivates customers to purchase, join or perform some other action right away. This involves signing up for a service or completing a purchase after viewing an advertisement.
Example: An apartment complex sends a promotional email that says "Register today!" to encourage consumers to lease that day.
Close range marketing (CRM)
Close range marketing, also known as proximity or hyperlocal marketing, is the practice of using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to send advertisements to people in a close radius of a business.
Example: A local pizzeria sends coupons to those within a 10-mile radius of their restaurant to promote their reopening.
Content marketing seeks to create and share online material such as blogs, social media posts or videos. Its strategy is to stimulate interest in specific products or brands without directly promoting any brand. It also increases the business presence and provides valuable information to customers.
Example: A dog shampoo company writes a regular blog informing customers about the ingredients in their shampoos and offering tips for washing dogs.
Related: What Is Content Marketing?
Direct marketing is the communication with customers through mail, flyers, emails and other promotional materials without use of a third party marketing company. Companies focus on having a call to action and personalizing messages for consumers.
Example: To promote their spring special for cutting lawns, a landscaping company leaves flyers on the doors of homes nearby.
Diversity marketing acknowledges differences in cultures and subgroups, such as age or gender. It motivates companies to create an inclusive story that features experiences of minority groups and attracts them to their product.
Example: To honor the LGBTQ+ population, a soda company creates a limited-edition rainbow label for Pride Month.
Email marketing sends a commercial message to a large group through email. Using an email list of targeted customers, companies distribute advertisements and company updates. Email lists grow by enticing consumers to sign up in exchange for rewards such as an e-book or free trial.
Example: A newspaper group sends an mass email to past subscribers advertising a deal to save $20 if they resubscribe now. The bottom of the email features a big button flashing "Subscribe now."
Related: Q&A: What Is Email Marketing?
Evangelism marketing develops a fan base to become advocates for a particular business or product. Customers believe in the product so much that they convince others to buy or use it.
Example: Sara joins a social media group for her favorite yoga pant company and attends an event selling the brand's clothes.
Freebie marketing promotes free giveaways or the selling of products at a low cost to encourage the sale of a higher value product. Freebie marketing increases brand visibility and allows customers to try new products or services before committing.
Example: A streaming service offers a three-month free trial to explore their services and then consider purchasing a monthly subscription.
Mass marketing aims for global sales by creating messages that are relevant to a wide audience. To reach the most people, companies use mass media to spread their message.
Example: A company advertises their soap, a daily product everyone uses, that leaves you cleaner than their competitor's product.
Niche marketing involves advertising to the needs of a specific group. By segmenting from a larger market, businesses can take a more unique approach in advertising and differentiate from other brands.
Example: A cleaning product company creates products that are eco-friendly to appeal to those who are environmentally conscious.
Online marketing uses the web to share messages about their product while consumers are scrolling the internet. Some companies use search engine optimization (SEO) so their website appears higher when you search for a specific topic. Other forms of online marketing include email blasts, social media advertisement videos and blog posts.
Example: Upon opening a website, a pop-up banner appears that advertises how much money you could save if you switched to a certain insurance company.
Relationship marketing focuses on building a relationship with existing consumers to build brand loyalty and long-term commitment. Companies use technology to store data about customers in order to provide more personalized advertisements and offer special deals.
Example: A mass merchandise store sends emails to customers that are members of their discount card with special deals related to past purchases.
Scarcity marketing exploits a customer's fear of missing out on something that is trending. Companies use the panic of shortages to sell more. Scarcity method sometimes involves making products available to a select group of individuals to increase the desire of purchasing the item.
Example: A commercial tells customers, "Hurry while supplies last to get this new toy" to scare customers into thinking they need to buy now before the toy sells out, or becomes unavailable.
Seasonal marketing features products during a particular time of year. It centers marketing campaigns around significant events related to the industry. Seasonal marketing coincides with large holidays like Christmas and Easter.
Example: A flower shop holds a promotion to buy a dozen roses for a discounted price around Valentine's Day.
Undercover marketing entices consumers to find out more by not revealing everything about the product. This marketing strategy tries to introduce products in a way that is less pushy and doesn't appear to be an advertisement.
Example: A chip company uses product placement to advertise their chips in a recently released movie.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the sharing of information verbally from person to person. Satisfied customers will recommend them to others who are looking for similar products.
Example: Julia tells her friend about the new hairdresser she went to, because the hairdresser did a wonderful job styling her bob.