Marketing Terms and Trends

Helping The Business Market for Success

by Tracy Lee Thomas
Rev Marketing 2 U, Inc.

Marketing is an intricate process. It involves the creation of product or service value through effective communication with the consumer, and thereby creating a market for the product. Marketing has become a huge enterprise and a field that requires careful study, expertise and a well founded marketing plan.

The following list of commonly used terms in the world of marketing and is by no means comprehensive; however, it will serve as the quintessential introduction to marketing for you and your business.

Search engine marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Search Marketing (SM), as it is now known, is a type of online marketing that helps websites gain visibility and traffic in search engines through the use of free (organic) or paid (sponsored) efforts. Search Marketing involves two aspects:

  • optimization of a website through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and
  • advertising a website through paid search listings

SEO technique involves the rewriting or adjusting of the content of a website to fit in key words or phrases that a searcher/potential customer may use while searching for related products or services.
Sponsored or paid listing involves purchasing advertising space on search engines to garner website traffic. This process may also be known variously as pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC), or cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), according to the mode of payment the website uses for the advertisement.

Social media marketing
Social Media Marketing is the form of internet marketing that uses social media websites – such as Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, Foursquare et cetera – to get traffic to a website, business, or even an event.
This type of marketing can be extremely effective if put to optimum use. Programs that use SMM develop attractive content to get attention and then encourage subscribers to spread it across their social platforms. This results in a digital word-of-mouth wherein the message is shared from user to user, and gains momentum due to the perception of added value when someone outside of the brand/company is endorsing it.

Online marketing
Online or internet marketing is the marketing or advertising done through the internet. This is an all-encompassing term and involves anything from search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing to mobile advertising and in-game advertising.

Many different methods are used to deliver advertisements in this process: visual media includes animations, pop-up ads, slide-in ads, videos, text, other graphics, floating ads, trick banners; SEM involves search engine optimization and sponsored search; email marketing is done through emails and chats; adware, online classified advertising and affiliate marketing.

Viral marketing
Internet viral marketing is, simply put, digital word-of-mouth. It involves the promotion or spreading of information, opinions, brands or products from person to person, using the internet. Viral marketing may be done through email messages, website promotions, video clips, text messages, or interactive Flash games. The attraction of these advertising campaigns creates a buzz around the product and then it goes “viral”, especially through social media platforms. The idea behind this technique is that once a truly unique, unusual or humorous message reaches a certain number of people, there is a resultant exponential spread among potential customers. For instance, if five people received a message, each of them would share it with five of their friends, and so on, resulting in rapid spread that takes the message viral.

Mobile marketing
This is marketing or advertising conducted through a network that keeps consumers connected constantly, using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and now the new term phablet. Mobile marketing started out in the form of Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Message Service (MMS); today, it has grown to app-based marketing. Smartphone and tablet users can download applications that they want; this allows advertisers to engage directly with consumers. Mobile app users also have the convenience to pay for the services they require.

In-game mobile marketing, which includes real-time interactive games, games on social networks, and online/offline multi-player games, is another form of mobile marketing.

Mobile internet marketing has become a major area of investment for advertisers due to increased customer activity made viable through better connectivity and improvement of screen resolutions in mobile devices.

Close range marketing
Close range marketing (CRM) is a type of proximity marketing; it involves the promotion of products and services through the transfer of advertising content to laptops or mobile devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or FM messaging. Messages can be transferred only within the range of the transmitting device; this form of marketing is therefore used within a target area and involves only individuals who have the requisite device and wish to receive the messages. An example of its use: in shopping malls and at concerts to send promotional material.

Mass marketing
Mass marketing, as opposed to differentiated marketing, endeavors to attract a large population to a product or service, using mass media such as the internet, television, radio and newspapers. This form of undifferentiated marketing aims at maximum exposure and high sales, usually also offering low prices. Mass marketing typically involves products perceived as essential to the consumer on a daily basis, such as toothpastes, packaged fruit juices, beverages or electronic goods.

Mass marketing is relatively inexpensive as it requires considerably lesser marketing research expense and production cost per unit, while simultaneously reaching a wider audience.

Email marketing
Email marketing refers to marketing or advertising done by sending emails to raise awareness about products or services and to enhance customer relations. Good content is crucial to email marketing.

Nearly 70 percent of marketers in the US vouch for the importance of email in their marketing campaigns. Email is extremely cost effective, immediate, and has wide reach in the customer base. The response rate to emails is higher than that of traditional mail. Marketers can track accurate return on investment (ROI) on their email marketing.

Seasonal marketing
This is marketing that relies on seasonal trends; it is an effective way to attract new customers and maintain existing clients. Some instances of seasonal marketing are back-to-school promotions, festival/holiday offers, and travel packages.

Affinity marketing
Partnership or affinity marketing involves strategic partnering between companies or brands that sell similar products or services with the aim to attract customers by enhancing awareness of both companies. Online affinity marketing between websites increases site visibility because of the addition of an advertising platform, thus contributing to sales.

The partnership between J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and is a prime example of affinity marketing. While Chase Bank was able to increase its customer base, offered incentives to customers using the bank’s credit card on their website, thus increasing their own customer base.

Guerilla marketing
This alternative advertising strategy refers to the use of unconventional marketing tactics that derive maximum returns. In the advertising world, guerilla marketing works due to its irregular, break-the-rules style. Companies that use guerilla marketing depend on the creative imagination and the ‘surprise factor’ of their campaigns to create an impact. This is then taken up by word-of-mouth or viral marketing, thus reaching a wider audience.

Event marketing
Event marketing involves the organizing of an event such as a fair, exhibition, concert, or sports event, in order to promote a product or brand through strategic interaction with the public. Samples of the product and interactive displays are placed to reach out to the customers.

For effective event marketing, the target customer base should have been identified and informed of the program in advance. The advertiser needs to have an understanding of the preferences of the target demographic.

PR marketing
Public Relations Marketing is a comprehensive and interactive method of planning, implementing and assessing programs that enhance, through communication, an organization’s relationship with its customers.

Examples of public relations marketing events are – booklets and brochures, trade shows, exhibitions, special events, sports events, conferences, sponsorships, online communication, surveys, seminars, and demonstrations.

Database marketing
Database marketing processes consumer data, which the company has consolidated, to communicate and promote product information. The database management system (DBMS) puts together customer profiles according to which they are sent specific marketing messages. Marketers can also use the data to identify patterns of consumer behavior and choose target markets for particular marketing campaigns.

Database marketing is of two types:

  • Consumer database: This is preferred by companies that sell to consumers; it is referred to commonly as B2C (business-to-consumer).
  • Business database: B2B (business-to-business) companies generally construct profiles of their business clients, and not consumers.

Grassroots marketing
Grassroots marketing is the reverse of conventional advertising. Grassroots marketing targets a small group of people and then lets the message spread to a wider audience. Unconventional methods are generally used here, similar to guerilla marketing, to garner attention. This marketing tactic is best suited for businesses that do not have heavy financial backing; they can design the advertisement according to available budget since the target audience is a small one.

Companies have been known to recruit groups of people to do grassroots marketing for their products. Grassroots marketing can also be done through YouTube videos, social networks, or websites; these are platforms that afford quick results.

Astroturfing refers to the practice of artificially creating consumer interest in a product or service to steer market behavior. The term astroturfing derives from AstroTurf, a carpeting brand with products designed to look like grass; this is a play on the word “grassroots”.

Astroturf marketing, also known as green marketing, gives the impression of widespread support through manipulation of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, chat rooms, message boards, or social media platforms. Such endeavors are usually found to be sponsored by corporations, but disguised as popular grassroots behavior.

An example of Astroturf marketing: In December 2006, a blog named “All I Want for Xmas is a PSP’ began garnering a lot of attention. The impression was that a couple of teenage boys were writing the blog. Later, it was revealed to be part of a marketing campaign by Sony to create hype around the PSP.

Cause marketing
Cause-related marketing or cause marketing refers to an initiative by a profit-based company in collaboration with a non-profit organization to raise funds, awareness or public engagement for charitable causes. Such a coming together of people has the potential to garner attention from consumers and investors alike.

A recent example of cause marketing that has gone viral on social media networks is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that was begun to create awareness and raise funds towards the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Street marketing (Tissue pack)
Using public spaces such as streets, shopping centers, beaches, outside schools, or the subway where people come regularly, to promote products or services through unconventional methods is the key factor in street marketing. Traditional marketing techniques such as billboard advertisements are not used in this business tactic. It is similar to guerilla marketing, with the difference that this tactic is limited to streets and public spaces, whereas guerilla marketing makes use of the internet and other media for propaganda.

The technique aims at interacting with members of the public in such a way as to generate an emotional response in the audience. This contributes to remembrance of a brand.

Tissue pack advertising is a form of street marketing that has become Japan’s most effective direct marketing tactic. Company advertisements are printed on tissue packets and handed out to people on the streets. It’s like a flier, but better, because you are getting free tissue paper. This business tactic has come to be adopted in many countries because of its financial viability and ease of distribution; and the brand is advertised every time the person reaches for a tissue paper.

Undercover/stealth marketing
Stealth or undercover marketing, also known as buzz marketing, refers to strategically advertising a product or garnering interest among customers without making them realize that they are being advertised to.

This is a low cost tactic and most companies rely on it to create word-of-mouth ‘buzz’. Well heeled companies use this to generate hype of a product before the product itself is released in the market. Smaller companies that run on limited finances can find this marketing technique advantageous to their business.

An example of stealth marketing put to excellent use: Daymond John, who is a fashion entrepreneur, had only limited funds for promoting the FUBU clothing line. Instead of relying on conventional advertising, he got hip hop celebrities LL Cool J and Run DMC to wear FUBU for interviews and concerts. The brand received rave reviews and is now a major clothing label.

Transactional marketing
Transactional marketing is used by advertisers to target customers for a one time sale; the deal between retailer/advertiser and customer ends with close of the transaction. This kind of marketing is solely done to leverage sales and has nothing to do with building customer relations. Such marketing is important to small business owners whose focus is to increase sales. Transactional marketing is a lot cheaper than relational marketing, which entails building relationships with the consumer.

There are four aspects to transactional marketing:

  • Product: Develop a product that meets the customer’s requirements.
  • Pricing: Decide on a price that makes sense to both producer and consumer.
  • Placement: Sell the product where customers will look for it.
  • Promotion: Make the product visible and engaging.

Word-of-mouth marketing
A product or service that has received the customers’ approval will find itself being advertised via their daily interactions and conversations. This is word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Customer endorsement can be generated for a product/service even before it has been released in the market. Companies do this by running publicity programs and setting up consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer interaction platforms.

Other techniques such as viral marketing, social media marketing, and stealth marketing also make use of WOMM tactics. Research points towards many factors that generate WOMM: the quality of the product, its simplicity of use, aesthetic appeal, and satisfaction are some of them. For effective word-of-mouth marketing, it is important that marketers engage and connect with customers. Making customers believe that their opinion matters is crucial to generating positive word-of-mouth.

Drip marketing
This direct marketing tactic is employed by marketers to send advertising material at regular intervals to customers and prospects. Marketers typically use automated email, direct mail and social media to send the advertisements. The content of the messages has to be of good quality – relevant and valuable.

The idea behind drip marketing is similar to that of drip irrigation. Instead of pouring down information on the customer, messages are ‘dripped’ steadily onto them. This gives them time to process the information. The constant flow of messages allows the marketer to stay in the customer’s mind, and this enhances the prospect of a purchase.

Direct marketing
Direct marketing encompasses all the advertising methods that allow organizations to reach out to customers and prospects directly for product promotion. Communications may be sent in the form of direct mail, email, telephone calls, mobile phone text messages, fliers, catalogs, targeted advertisements in newspapers/magazines and television, and interactive websites.

Direct marketing requires a database of up to date customer information – contact details, gender, work background, purchase habits – to sort consumers who exhibit similar traits into common slots. This creates separate target groups who can be addressed according to their specific requirements.

Marketers find direct marketing especially appealing because they can compute its return on investment directly. If, for instance, sending out 500 emails to potential customers yielded responses from 50, the campaign’s response rate can be recorded as 10 percent. A variety of similar metrics are available to direct marketers to calculate returns; this is not easily viable with general advertising.

B2B marketing
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is the conduct of commerce between businesses, involving parties such as a producer and a wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer, or even between two producers.

Since B2B markets can be extremely complex, decision making takes considerable time and is generally done by a team of members – financial experts, safety executives, PR members, production managers et cetera. Simple business-to-business transactions such as the supply of basic office supplies may be a junior level task and is completed quickly. In contrast, shifting to a new bigger office building requires deliberation due to the finances and risks involved.

B2B marketing should maintain databases of their decision making team and their business associates. Relationship building –amongst the team members and between the team and business customer/supplier – is key to the success of a B2B team. Sales campaigns in business-to-business transactions need to demonstrate the product’s value. Purchasing business-to-business products requires advice from experts. This is important for quality control of the final product to be sold to the consumer.

B2C marketing
Business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to the conduct of transactions between a business and its end-user or customer. This is significantly different from B2B marketing.
Consumers take much lesser time for a purchase decision; decisions are typically made by an individual or two. The financial risks involved are usually not as heavy as in B2B transactions.

Business-to-customer marketers have to build relationships with the customer base and gain an understanding of their requirements, underlining the importance of market research. Sales campaigns look to influence the customer’s decision making by appealing to their emotions, and this makes advertising crucial.

Reverse marketing
Reverse marketing involves the development of a strategy that makes consumers look for the marketer, in contrast to the usual. This is done usually by providing product information to customers but without the coercion to make a purchase. The customer needs to be given a good reason for the buy; this makes it important for the marketer to build value, both for the brand and the product.

Example: Usually, cosmetic companies sell their products by convincing the lay buyer that they need to improve their looks. The Dove brand reversed this and started telling women to celebrate their beauty. Their advertisements did not coerce, they encouraged; and the campaign has been hugely successful.

This is a form of direct marketing that involves the sale of products or services through interaction between marketer and customer over the telephone.

The marketer can get feedback immediately from the customer; some customers can also provide valuable information. This form of marketing takes longer time to produce results than other marketing techniques. It is important to have an understanding of the customer’s background and requirements. The timing of the marketer’s call is also crucial.

Inbound marketing
Getting a customer drawn to your brand is the essence of inbound marketing. When the customer comes to you and stays loyal to your brand, your inbound marketing method has succeeded. The approach is different from traditional methods such as cold calling and cold emailing because inbound marketing makes use of blogging, SEO, and other similar channels to get a customer hooked. Some tools that can be employed to bring inbound customers include blogs, infographics and photos, podcasts, e-books, and presentations.

Using the right kind of content at the right time and place will make marketing informative to your customers instead of being interruptive. In terms of content, inbound marketing would mean creating useful content, search engine optimizing that content, and then promoting it on social media platforms.

Outbound marketing
Outbound marketing is all about triggering a certain amount of buzz about a service or a product by spreading the word about it through an array of marketing methods. The marketer can place ads in the media, reach consumers face-to-face, or even take up cold calling, but the primary essence of outbound marketing is to reach out to consumers.

The many types of outbound marketing are ads on television, radio and print, cold-calling or telemarketing, email marketing, press releases, trade shows, direct mail by way of sending out postcards or brochures, and branded marketing wherein newsletters, key chains, or pens are sent out to consumers. Blogging, social media, and e-commerce websites can be treated as both outbound and inbound.

Outbound marketing most often appeals to the older age group of customers who are familiar with traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper, television, and radio ads.

Retargeting marketing
Retargeting marketing is an approach wherein marketers draw their earlier customers/visitors into the shopping experience. In the world of e-commerce, retargeting marketing is all about attracting visitors who may have abandoned a cart (online shopping) or who went through pages relating to some products/services, but exited the site. There are many kinds of retargeting including site search, Google Adwords, SEM or SEO, contextual, and engagement. The last method is used when companies offer videos, flash-related games, or rich media on their websites where advertisers can glean information on the intent of a visitor and his/her engagement quotient.
As you can see there are many ways marketing can be utilized and having a strategic marketing plan is essential to the existence of a company, its product and services. If you are a business seeking quality results please visit for quality marketing.

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