What are the Most Popular Kinds of Marketing in 2017?

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Marketing in 2017A very large part of every business is their Marketing Plan.  There are so many kinds of Marketing that it gets very confusing about what they actually mean and which are most relevant and logical choices for each business.

Below are some of the most popular Marketing terms today and their definitions courtesy of Wikipedia.

Account Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. Account-based marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organisations.  Account based marketing can help companies to:

  • Increase account relevance
  • Engage earlier and higher with deals
  • Align marketing activity with account strategies
  • Get the best value out of marketing
  • Inspire customers with compelling content

Affiliate Marketing

A type of  performance based marketing when a business rewards one or more  affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the Merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the Network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the Publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party Vendors.

Cause Marketing 

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of  marketing involving the co-operative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations.  Cause marketing differs from corporate giving, as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.

DataBase Marketing

Database marketing is a form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalized communications in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes. The method of communication can be any addressable medium, as in direct marketing. The distinction between direct and database marketing stems primarily from the attention paid to the analysis of data. Database marketing emphasizes the use of statistical techniques to develop models of customer behavior, which are then used to select customers for communications. As a consequence, database marketers also tend to be heavy users of data warehouses, because having a greater amount of data about customers increases the likelihood that a more accurate model can be built.

There are two main types of marketing databases, 1) Consumer databases, and 2) Business databases.  Consumer databases are primarily geared towards companies that sell to consumers, often abbreviated as [business-to-consumer(BtoB) or (BtoC).  Business marketing databases are often much more advanced in the information that they can provide. This is mainly because business databases aren’t restricted by the same privacy laws as consumer databases.

Dialogue Marketing

Dialogue marketing emerged in the early 2000s as companies engaged willing consumers in an ongoing dialogue to create lasting relationships.  For example, based on data, marketers invite groups of likely consumers to connect with the company. The engagement process provides value to both the consumer and the company. Marketers use these opportunities as data collection points. The companies use the data to further customize their  marketing messages and  personalize the experience for their consumers and market segments. In exchange for sharing opinions, buying patterns, product preferences, etc., consumers receive perks such as discounts, tips, and free trials as well as appropriate messaging from the company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online.  It is often used by businesses in order to:

  • Attract attention and generate leads
  • Expand their customer base
  • Generate or Increase online sales
  • Increase brand awareness or credibility
  • Engage an online community of users

Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.”

Digital Marketing

It is a “ term” for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital umbrella medium.

The way in which digital marketing has developed since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses utilize technology and digital marketing for their marketing.  Digital Marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent as well as efficient, as digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people use digital devices instead of going to physical shops.

Digital marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO),  Search Engine Marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, “data”-driven marketing and e-commerce marketing,  social media marketing,  social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, optical disks and games, are becoming more and more common in our advancing technology. In fact, this extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback and on-hold mobile ring tones.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a form of  advertising which allows businesses and nonprofit organizations to communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts,  database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters and targeted television, newspaper and magazine advertisements as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response.

Direct marketing focuses on the customer, data, and testing. Hence, besides the actual communication, a direct marketing campaign will incorporate actionable segments and use pre- and post-campaign analytics to measure results.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.  It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database.  Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding ads to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.

Ethical Marketing

Ethical marketing refers to the application of  marketing ethics into the marketing process. Briefly, marketing ethics refers to the philosophical examination, from a moral standpoint, of particular marketing issues that are matters of moral judgment. Ethical marketing generally results in a more socially responsible and culturally sensitive business community. The establishment of marketing ethics has the potential to benefit society as a whole, both in the short- and long-term. Ethical marketing should be part of  business ethics in the sense that marketing forms a significant part of any business model. Study of Ethical marketing should be included in applied ethics and involves examination of whether or not an honest and  factual representation of a product or service has been delivered in a framework of cultural and social values.

It promotes qualitative benefits to its customers, which other similar companies, products or services fail to recognise. The concern with ethical issues, such as child labor, working conditions, relationships with third world countries and environmental problems, has changed the attitude of the Western World towards a more socially responsible way of thinking. This has influenced companies and their response is to market their products in a more socially responsible way.

Green Marketing

Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process,  sustainable packaging, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are environmental marketing and ecological marketing.

Green, environmental and eco-marketing are part of the new marketing approaches which do not just refocus, adjust or enhance existing marketing thinking and practice, but seek to challenge those approaches and provide a substantially different perspective. In more detail green, environmental and eco-marketing belong to the group of approaches which seek to address the lack of fit between marketing as it is currently practiced and the ecological and social realities of the wider marketing environment.

Guerilla Marketing

It is an advertisement strategy concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. This involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the public in a more personal and memorable level. Some large companies use unconventional advertisement techniques, proclaiming to be guerrilla marketing but those companies will have a larger budget and the brand is already visible.  The main point of guerrilla marketing is that the activities are done exclusively on the streets or other public places, such as shopping centers, parks or beaches with maximum people access so as to attract a bigger audience.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a smart phone.  Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas. In a more theoretical manner, academic Andreas Kaplan defines mobile marketing as “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device”

Multilevel Marketing

MLM, also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a controversial, pyramid-shaped marketing strategy where profit is theoretically derived from two revenue streams from direct sales to customers and from commission based on the sales of recruited team members, also known as down line distributors.  MLM salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and  “word of mouth” marketing. They are also incentivized to recruit others to join the company as distributors.

Multi-Channel Marketing

It is the ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms. In this sense, a channel might be a Print Ad, a retail location, a website, a promotional event, a products package or even word of mouth.  Multichannel marketing is about choice. The objective of the companies doing the marketing is to make it easy for a consumer to buy from them in whatever way is most appropriate.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually “word of mouth”.  Such referrals often happen spontaneously but businesses can influence this through appropriate strategies.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing was first defined as a form of marketing developed from direct response marketing campaigns which emphasizes  customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a focus on sales transactions.  It differs from other forms of marketing in that it recognizes the long term value of customer relationships and extends communication beyond  intrusive advertising and sales promotional messages.

With the growth of the internet and mobile platforms, relationship marketing has continued to evolve as technology opens more collaborative and social communication channels. This includes tools for managing relationships with customers that goes beyond demographic and customer service data. Relationship marketing extends to include Inbound Marketing efforts, (a combination of search engine optimization and strategic content), PR, social media and application development.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by  increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.  SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance Pay Per Click (PPC) listings.

Shopper Marketing

Shopper marketing is “understanding how one’s target consumers behave as shoppers, in different channels and formats, and leveraging this intelligence to the benefit of all stakeholders, defined as brands, consumers, retailers and shoppers.”

Shopper marketing is not limited to in-store marketing activities, a common and highly inaccurate assumption that impairs the spread of any industry definition.  Shopper marketing must be part of an overall integrated marketing approach that considers the opportunities to drive consumption and identifies the shopper that would need to purchase a brand to enable that consumption. These shoppers need to be understood in terms of how well they interpret the needs of the consumer, what their own needs as a shopper are, where they are likely to shop, in which stores they can be influenced in, and what in-store activity influences them.

Social Marketing

Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, theory, audience and partnership insight, to inform the delivery of competition sensitive and segmented social change programs that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable.

Although “social marketing” is sometimes seen only as using standard commercial marketing practices to achieve non-commercial goals, this is an oversimplification. The primary aim of social marketing is “social good”, while in “commercial marketing” the aim is primarily “financial”. This does not mean that commercial marketers can not contribute to achievement of social good.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords, referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to try to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses.  It can be delivered by “word of mouth” or enhanced by the network effects of the internet and mobile networks.  Viral advertising is personal and, while coming from an identified sponsor, it does not mean businesses pay for its distribution.  Most of the well-known viral ads circulating online are ads paid by a sponsor company, launched either on their own platform (company webpage or social media profile) or on social media websites such as YouTube.  Consumers receive the page link from a social media network or copy the entire ad from a website and pass it along through e-mail or posting it on a blog, webpage or social media profile. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive  Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages , email messages, or webpages.  The most commonly utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based.  However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables an “endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission”, including mobile devices

Visual Marketing

Visual marketing is the discipline studying the relationship between an object, the context it is placed in and its relevant image. Representing a disciplinary link between economy,  visual perception laws and cognitive psychology the subject mainly applies to businesses such as fashion and design.

As a key component of modern marketing, visual marketing focuses on studying and analyzing how images can be used to make objects the center of visual communication. The intent is that the product and its visual communication, therefore,  become strategically linked and inseparable and their fusion is what reaches out to people, engages them and defines their choices (a marketing mechanism is known as persuation). Not to be confused with visual merchandizing, that is one of its facets and more about retail spaces.  Marketing gets customers in the door. Once inside, merchandising takes over, affecting placement of products, signage, display materials, ambiance and employee staffing.

Harnessing the power of images and visuals can make a marketing plan more powerful and more memorable. Images, when done deftly – can turn concepts and intangible things into something more concrete influencing the perception of the intended viewer. That helps people envision a brand and its message in their mind’s eye — and remember it when it comes time to buy.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM, WOM marketing), also called word of mouth advertising, differs from naturally occurring  word of mouth, in that it is actively influenced or encouraged by organizations (e.g. ‘seeding’ a message in a network, rewarding regular consumers to engage in WOM, employing WOM ‘agents’). While it is difficult to truly control WOM, research  has shown that there are three generic avenues to ‘manage’ WOM for the purpose of WOMM:

1) Build a strong WOM foundation (e.g. sufficient levels of satisfaction, trust and commitment),

2) Indirect WOMM management which implies that managers only have a moderate amount of control (e.g. controversial advertising, teaser campaigns, customer membership clubs)

3) Direct WOMM management, which has higher levels of control (e.g. paid WOM ‘agents’, “friend get friend” schemes).

Proconsumer WOM has been suggested as a counterweight to commercially motivated word of mouth.


Since Marketing is such a big and varied subject, there are often terms and anachronyms that can also be confusing.  A great resource for marketing terms is from Hubspot’s blogpost:  The Ultimate Dictionary of Marketing Terms You Should Know.






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