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How Many Marketing Strategies Are There?

When deciding on how best to build your marketing strategy, you may be wondering how many there are to choose from. The truth is, there is no right answer to the question of how many marketing strategies are there. A quick Google search will return a wide range of possible answers, from 36 to 52 to 163, making it impossible to figure out the correct figure.

The truth is, with digital transformation happening at such a rate, new marketing strategies are being created all the time. There is no master list of every marketing strategy you need to know — but that’s what makes marketing so exciting. You have the freedom to create a marketing strategy that is unique to your organization, using examples from many different, well-known marketing strategies. In this FAQ, we’ll explore some of the most common marketing strategies so you can begin to better understand what your strategy needs to succeed.

Two main types of marketing strategies

To start with, there are two main types of marketing strategies. These are:

  • Business-to-business (B2B) marketing
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing

These two overarching terms include lots of different kinds of marketing strategies under their umbrellas.

The difference between them is simple — B2B marketing sells products to other businesses, while B2C marketing sells to consumers directly. 

Several types of marketing strategies fall under B2B and B2C, and many of these can even be interchangeable between the two. Here are just a few examples of common strategies that you can look to for inspiration.

Examples of common B2B strategies

Here are some examples of common B2B strategies:

  • Content marketing: Content marketing includes blog posts, eBooks, guides, podcasts, webinars, and more. It takes the approach of educating potential customers rather than a more aggressive, direct-selling angle. Content marketing builds a relationship with potential customers over time and markets your company as a thought leader in your industry. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of ensuring that your content is seen by internet users by appearing in the top search results on Google or any other search engine. You want to make sure that your product or service is visible to those looking for it, and a good SEO strategy helps to achieve that. 
  • Industry events: Industry events, whether in-person or virtual, are a fantastic way to connect with other businesses in your industry that may be interested in your service. A well-attended event means building a target-rich pool of contacts and can further your position as a leader in the industry. 
  • Referral programs: A referral program is a way of incentivizing people to spread the word about your product or service by rewarding them for bringing you new business. Nothing beats a word-of-mouth recommendation, and if you have happy, returning customers, it makes sense to make the most out of their repeat business.  
  • Account-based marketing (ABM): ABM is a highly targeted method of marketing that focuses on a small group of accounts and creates personalized campaigns to get their attention. Tailoring your messaging to suit a potentially lucrative account can yield great results and is often a faster process than casting a wider, more general net. 

Examples of common B2C strategies

Here are some examples of common B2C strategies:

  • Email marketing: Email marketing can include newsletters, personalized discounts or special offers, or targeted updates on your company that you think customers may be interested in. The success of an email marketing campaign is based on analytics like open rates and click-through rates, which show how effective your email copy is on your customers.
  • Paid social media: Paid social media advertising is when businesses pay money to their social network of choice to “boost” their content, which can include advertisements and sponsored posts. When you see a social media post with a hashtag like #sp or #ad, this usually means a business has paid for this post to be more widely shown. 
  • Point-of-purchase (POP) marketing: POP marketing refers to selling a product to a customer who is already present and willing to make a purchase (for example, in a shop or at the checkout section of a website). POP marketing appeals to a shopper’s impulses — it may offer them a discount at the checkout if they make a larger purchase or make them aware of other products that they may be interested in. 
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing: PPC involves advertisers paying a fee every time one of their ads is clicked on. These ads may appear in Google search results as a top result (marked as an ad) or as a banner on a separate webpage. PPC offers businesses the opportunity to target past or potential customers and ‘buy’ a visit to their website. 
  • Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing is often done through social media but can also involve having an industry influencer write a guest post for your blog or feature as a guest on your podcast. Influencers are internet personalities who hold sway in their industry among customers. Businesses pay influencers a fee to mention or endorse their product or service to their followers, who, because they trust in the influencer, are more likely to buy from the business. 

How to choose a marketing strategy

With so many marketing strategies to choose from, how can you tell which is the best option for you? The first thing to know is that you don’t have to choose just one marketing strategy. Depending on the size of your team and organization, you may choose one or two pillar strategies (content marketing and email marketing, for example) and focus the most effort on these while dabbling in smaller campaigns using other strategies to see what fits. 

A great marketing team does not put all their eggs in one basket — they know their strengths and play to them, but they are also not afraid to branch out and try new things. For more information on building a solid marketing plan, check out our dedicated section.