What are the Different Types of Marketing?

Marketing has almost always been an integral part of businesses, and marketing techniques used by organisations are continuously evolving. An effective marketing strategy will be based on careful marketing research and understanding the target audience.

Types of Marketing: Based on Target Audience

Marketing can broadly be classified into two categories − Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C).

Let’s take a quick look at these two.

B2C Marketing

As mentioned earlier, B2C marketing stands for "business to consumer." This means that the target audience is a direct consumer of the product or service. The sales cycle for a B2C product is directly dependent on the product type, and the consumers’ decision-making process is not as involved.

Most advertisements that people see are examples of B2C marketing. These ads appear not only on TV but also in print and on various social media platforms.

B2B Marketing

As stated, B2B marketing stands for "business to business," which means that the company's target audience is another company or business. B2B marketing has a longer buying cycle and is highly strategic regarding what customers want and need. B2B purchases often also have an extremely high purchase intent. This means that the target audience will be doing a lot of research before purchasing the final product.

Some examples of B2B marketing include trade shows, inbound marketing strategies, or account-based marketing campaigns.

Types of Marketing: Based on Popularity

Besides the above two, there are some other popular types of marketing. They are as follows −

Social Marketing

Social Marketing can be defined as "the application of commercial marketing techniques to social problems." This means that social marketing uses the same principles used in selling goods such as shoes, soft drinks, or fast foods to convince people to change their behaviour.

For example, brands that produce probiotic health drink options, touted as replacements or alternatives to soft drinks, use the same principle or marketing strategies to promote their products.

In short, social marketing tries to change people's behaviour for the benefit of the consumer, or of society as a whole.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is a type of customer marketing that focuses on cultivating deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term brand loyalty.

  • Its objective is not to create short-term wins or sales transactions; rather, it focuses on creating brand evangelists who will promote the brand. And they do this is by focusing on delighting the existing customers who are already satisfied with the brand or its products.

  • A customer feedback software to run a Net Promoter Score (NPS) campaign often helps the brand find out who those customers are. Then, those happy customers are lured into becoming raving fans. They leave a testimonial, participate in a case study, or help the brand achieve your goals another way.

For example, a newly launched coffee brand in India identified the customers who have purchased from them more than four times in two months. Then they contacted those customers and requested them to send video testimonials, which they further shared on all their platforms.

Online Marketing (Digital Marketing)

Digital marketing, or online marketing, refers to all marketing efforts that occur on the internet. Businesses depend heavily on digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with their current and prospective customers. Communication through text or multimedia messages are also a part of it.

Digital marketing helps the businesses reach a larger audience as compared to the traditional methods and target the prospective consumers who are likely to buy a product or service. Also, it is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising, and enables organisations to measure success daily.

Some advantages of digital marketing are -

  • It is cost effective 
  • It promotes competition 
  • It is measurable 
  • It is adaptable 
  • It is engaging 
  • It is gives better RoI. 

Direct Marketing

Typically, Direct Marketing happens directly between the marketing organization and the customer, with no mass messaging and without the use of intermediaries.

  • Direct marketing’s goal is to initiate a personal relationship between the customer and the marketing organization. In a direct marketing campaign, the marketing organization communicates directly with a pre-selected customer group via one or more marketing channels.

  • A key feature of Direct Marketing is a direct response – organizations that engage in direct marketing must allow its customers to respond directly to their marketing efforts, especially with orders and purchase requests.

  • In contrast to traditional advertising mediums, Direct marketing communicate messages on a many-to-one basis. In traditional ad platforms (billboards, print media, broadcast ads, etc.), the marketing organization relies on intermediary teams to spread its promotional message with a hope that some potential consumers will see the ad and reach out to the organization for its products.

Service Marketing

Services marketing is a type of marketing used by businesses that provide a service to their customers to increase their brand awareness and sales.

  • Services marketing focuses on advertising intangible transactions that provide value to customers.

  • By incorporating effective services marketing strategies, advertisers or brands build trust with their customers and show them how their service can benefit them.

For example, a company that provides fitness training may promote the benefits of adapting a healthier and active lifestyle, and they promise that they can help their customers achieve their fitness goals incorporating a wellness routine is easier with the help of a certified coach or trainer.

Green Marketing

Green Marketing is a relatively new concept, which involves the promotion of products and services which are safe for the environment.

  • In green marketing, the development, manufacturing, promotion, distribution, consumption, and disposal of the products and services are done in a sustainable manner so that least damage is caused to nature.

  • The primary aim of this is to reduce the adverse effects of the products – its consumption and disposal – on the environment.

  • In simple words, it means that the products and services are either eco-friendly or produced in an eco-friendly manner, without harming the environment.

Green Marketing involves a wide spectrum of activities, to create an eco-friendly image of the company, to its target audience, such as −

  • Using recycled and renewable material for production.

  • Using of green energy to produce products, such as solar energy, geothermal energy, and wind energy.

  • Reducing product packaging or using eco-friendly packaging.

  • Not using toxic materials, which are harmful to the environment.

  • Making products which are reusable as well as recyclable.

Viral Marketing

In simple words, Viral marketing is spreading information about a product or service from person to person by word of mouth or via the internet or email.

  • The internet and the advent of social media have greatly increased the number of viral messages in the form of memes, shares, likes, and forwards.

  • Some marketing campaigns try to trigger virality; however, many times just exactly what goes viral remains a mystery. Once something goes viral, it is an easy and cheap way for a message to gain popularity.

  • Viral marketing can increase a company's reach and, ultimately, its customer base.

One example of a good viral marketing can be the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ice bucket challenge existed before The ALS Association utilized it to raise awareness and generate donations.

Rural Marketing

Rural marketing is usually a two-way process: Urban to Rural and Rural to Urban. Rural Marketing refers to the activities that are taken up to encourage the people living in rural areas to convert their purchasing power into an effective demand for the goods and services.

It also aims to improve their standard of living and achieve the company’s objective.


Marketing has almost always been an integral part of businesses, and marketing techniques used by organisations are continuously evolving. An effective marketing strategy will always be based on careful marketing research and understanding the target audience.

Updated on: 08-Jun-2022

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