Types Of Marketing That You May Have Never Heard Of

All of us are either pursuing MBA or are MBA aspirants. We heard and learnt a lot about marketing – Strategies, Product life cycle, BCG Matrix, STP – to name a few. In and out, we can talk hours about marketing concepts. But, during a summer internship interview for a reputed FMCG company, when I was asked how many types of marketing exists, I did not have a good answer. Next question was to explain some less-popular types of marketing, again I was only able to explain a few.

So, this article addresses these two basic questions and intends to be a quick-read for the MBA students who are preparing for their summer internships or final placements. Coming to the first part, most of the marketers classify marketing into two – B2B Marketing and B2C Marketing. All other kinds fall in either of these types, sometimes in both.

But taking a more general view, there actually exists more than 150 types of marketing. Yes, that’s true and it keeps on getting bigger. So, a safe answer in an interview would be to say ‘more than 50’ and then naming a few. A very probable follow-up question would be to explain some of them. One should be ready with this ‘everything or nothing’ situation.

The second part of this article talks about some of the less-popular, less-known types of marketing. I have identified a total of 12 types. To make it an easy-read, I have listed them down in alphabetical order.

1. Affinity Marketing: Two or more entities (brands, products, businesses) forming an alliance to reap mutual benefits and increase brand awareness and reach. This is also known as Partnership Marketing. Example: Puma Future Cat Ferrari Sneakers

2. Ambush Marketing: Seeking to take advantage of or to gain a commercial return from an event for which the seeker is not the official sponsor. It often creates controversy but is certainly not illegal, if applied strategically. Example:

3. Augmented Marketing: Adding further value to an offering by means of discounts, innovations, freebies, bundling etc. By doing so, the probability of increased sales rises. Example: Ek ke sath Dusra free, 3D trial rooms at abof.com.

4. Black Hat Marketing: Unethical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques intended to increase digital presence statistics by deviating from standard search engine and digital marketing guidelines. Example: Paid clicks, Paid links, Spam comments.

5. Close Range Marketing: A modern marketing technique adopted by the brands, using technologies like Wifi, Beacons, Geo-fencing and Bluetooth, to send promotional offers to customers in their smartphones when they pass near the brands’ stores. Example: Exclusive discount SMS from Zara when a customer roams around its stores.

6. Drip Marketing: As the name suggests, drip marketing is primarily sending out an automated e-mail chain to a defined mailing list for brand or product promotion. Example: Shaadi.com using MailChimp e-mail automation.

7. Flanking Marketing: It is aimed at capturing untapped market segments or those segments that are not properly served by the existing competition. This often proves to be first-mover advantage. Example:

8. Humanistic Marketing: Often a very successful approach, it attempts to target certain feelings or desire for honesty, love, patriotism, integrity, respect and justice. By doing so, the brands position themselves accordingly in the minds of the customers. Example: Tata Salt (Honesty and Patriotism), Cadbury Silk (Love and Affection).

9. Left-brain Marketing: Also known as cognitive marketing, this appeals to the audience who prioritizes rationale over creativity or emotions. The focus of advertisement and promotion lies upon utilities and features of the product. Example:

10. Persuasion Marketing: Using the knowledge of consumer psychology and behavior, this strategy is used to create marketing communications on the basis of our common perceptions. Example: $9.99 instead of $10

11. Scarcity Marketing: It is based on the fact that customers tend to purchase products that are difficult to obtain or feel a fear of missing them out. Limited collection, dynamic pricing, countdown sales are some of the related strategies. Example:

12. Stealth Marketing:  This attempts to advertise a product to people without them knowing that they are being marketed to. Product placement in movies is a very popular way of stealth marketing. Example: 



Variations in Marketing is diverse and way beyond what has been mentioned above. Feel free to mention more unusual types of marketing by commenting below.

Happy Reading!

Sumit Agarwal

Sumit Agarwal is a student of PGDM 2016-18 batch of IMT Ghaziabad. He is an avid reader and quiz-enthusiast. He diligently follows marketing strategy and initiatives taken by corporates. He has earlier worked with Tata Consultancy Services Limited as a Service Designer.