Enhance your business acumen by learning more about some of the most common marketing strategies in use today
Getting ahead in the business world requires a broad understanding of many different business principles and systems. In fact, the more you learn about how a business operates, the more valuable you can be to any prospective employer. Just as important, that added business acumen may be just what you need to one day start your own business! With that in mind, how much do you know about the many marketing strategies used by today's companies?
In this post, we'll examine marketing strategies and their important role in the business world. We'll also explore 17 top marketing strategy examples and offer some guidance that can help you to create your own marketing strategies.
What are marketing strategies?
A marketing strategy involves the sum total of a company's plan to message its target audience and convert people or businesses into customers who purchase its goods or services. Sound marketing strategies always focus on a company or product's unique value proposition and include components like product, place, price, and promotion - otherwise known as marketing's “four Ps.” When designed and executed effectively, these strategies enable companies to achieve measurable competitive advantages over their competitors.
Why are marketing strategies so critical for success?
Without marketing strategies, companies would struggle to create and implement consistent marketing plans. The strategy provides the big picture narrative that every company needs to present to its customers. As a result, marketing strategies reflect a company's values, its way of operating, and its connection to meeting customers' needs. Meanwhile, marketing plans provide more details about a company's marketing efforts, including short-term product and service marketing and timetables for initiatives.
Marketing strategy examples you need to know
Before you can create your own marketing efforts, it is important to familiarize yourself with the various marketing strategy examples commonly used by modern companies. As you might expect, these different strategies use nearly every communication mode known to man, from the simplest use of speech to more complex technological systems.
1. Email marketing
These days, one of the most recognizable marketing strategy examples involves the use of email communications. This direct-to-customer form of marketing is often used by companies as part of a relationship-building strategy. To effectively use this strategy, companies need to target the right customers with the right messages and the right frequency of communication.
2. Digital marketing
Examples of digital marketing strategy abound in the modern marketing landscape, thanks to the explosive growth and reach of the internet. To succeed in this modern era, companies need to deliver their promotional messages through a wide variety of digital channels, ranging from their own websites to social media, online video, and more. Just as important, these digital offerings need to be compatible with a broad range of different digital devices, to ensure easy customer access to the marketing message.
3. Content marketing
Some of the easiest-to-understand examples of content marketing strategy include articles, posts, and other informational content that companies disseminate online or in newspapers and magazines. This content tends to provide useful information to consumers, without directly attempting to promote or sell a company's services and products. They're all about raising brand awareness.
4. Pull marketing
One of the most common pull marketing strategy examples involves pharmaceuticals. Many drugs are advertised on television and in online venues, along with a call-to-action that suggests the patient ask their doctor about the product. Unlike strategies that use traditional product pushes, the pull strategy bypasses marketing middlemen and directs the call-to-action to the consumer. The goal is to create enough interest that consumers seek out the product for themselves.
5. Global marketing
There are many global marketing strategy examples these days, as more and more companies market their products around the world. Global strategies require companies to focus on appealing to the broadest possible audience, to maximize potential customer acquisition and sales activity.
6. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is exactly what you'd expect: a strategy that uses an array of online social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to communicate content directly to any target audience of potential or current customers. Companies often combine this strategy with viral or content marketing techniques to forge deeper connections with their audience and build brand loyalty.
7. Proximity marketing
Proximity marketing is a form of close range marketing that targets audiences within a specific area around a business location. Companies typically use short-range Bluetooth signals to deliver messages to nearby customers. One example of this marketing strategy might involve a store sending digital notices about a sale to customers within a several mile radius of its location.
8. Offline, direct marketing
Direct marketing strategy examples can be found nearly everywhere, since many companies still employ these tried and true techniques for reaching customers. With direct marketing, you reach out to customers using offline mediums like mail, flyers, and other physical marketing pieces. If you've ever had a roofing company leave a flyer on your door handle, then you're familiar with this type of marketing.
9. Diversity and inclusion marketing
The trend in diversity, equity, and inclusion has led to many companies adopting diversity strategies for their marketing efforts. These strategies typically focus on demographic groups by emphasizing how products and services might impact those target audiences.
10. Relationship marketing
Relationship marketing strategies rely on data-driven, customer-centric efforts to create strong bonds of loyalty with existing customers. Companies can use data to send messages on customers' birthdays or anniversaries, maintain rewards programs, or offer special sales to honor loyalty to the company brand.
11. Word-of-mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is an age-old strategy that relies on satisfied customers sharing their experience with others. For example, movie studios rely on a host of expensive marketing efforts to ensure that their films get noticed. Despite that, much of a film's success is based on customers who liked the movie recommending it to their friends and family.
12. Viral marketing
Viral marketing strategies focus on encouraging customers to share news about a product or service with their online friends and followers. It's like word-of-mouth marketing, except that it takes place entirely on the internet.
13. Inbound marketing
Inbound marketing can include incoming phone or website traffic from customers who want more information about, or help with, a product. These strategies rely on messaging that encourages customers to contact the company at their convenience, rather than more assertive outbound marketing techniques.
14. Paid media marketing
Whether in the real world or online, paid media marketing involves the purchase of promotional space on outside platforms. This strategy can include paid advertising on social media sites and pay-per-click links.
15. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing strategies employ individuals and organizations to promote services and products in exchange for commissions from sales. Like other strategies, this affiliate model can be applied to real world marketing and digital campaigns.
16. Scarcity marketing
Scarcity marketing strategies are designed to heighten anticipation for consumers by making products or services scarce. One well-known example is the McDonald's McRib, which is only on the company's menu at specific times of the year.
17. Business-to-business marketing
B2B marketing is a strategy that involves one company marketing its products or services to other businesses, rather than directly to consumers. Nearly every medium and large company in the United States relies on other companies for materials, parts, and services.
Writing guide: tips to help you write your own marketing strategy
If you want to learn how to write your own marketing strategy, it is helpful to understand some of the basics. The following tips can help you to get started with your efforts:
Define your goals
Here, the word “goals” means more than just increased sales. Your strategy should be focused on broader objectives like increased customer acquisition and engagement, new customer lead generation, and establishing your firm as an expert and leader in your industry.
Identify your unique value proposition
Take the time to figure out what differentiates your company from your rivals. That difference is your unique value proposition and needs to be a major part of your marketing narrative.
Pick your audience
Identify your ideal customers. What problems are your products and services designed to solve - and whose problems are they? Just as important, figure out where that audience is and how you can reach them in the most efficient way.
Research your competitors
Make sure that you research your competitors' strategies too. Take note of which campaigns worked and which failed, and don't be afraid to adopt some of their best ideas - but don't blatantly copy them, of course.
Understand your budget
Establish your budget and commit to sticking to those limitations. That budget will help to determine which marketing channels you can use to spread your message.
Select your channels
Remember how we told you to figure out the best way to reach your audience? If you've already done that, then it is time to choose the marketing channels that they are most likely to see.
Establish metrics for success
Don't forget to include metrics that enable you to monitor and measure the success of your strategy over time. More importantly, don't be afraid to revisit your strategy and make modifications to address any deficiencies.
As you learn to recognize the various marketing strategy examples you see in use around you, you'll develop a better understanding of the important role they play in any company's long-term success. That knowledge and insight can provide you with invaluable business acumen that can help to fuel your career advancement.
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