The Many Names of Marketing: 40 Ways to Say I Want You

Snow crystals 2b

What Snow and Marketing Have in Common

They say the Eskimo culture has anywhere from ten to a hundred words for snow. Although that’s a charming idea, it’s not actually true. But did you know that the Marketing culture has dozens of words for its trade? That is true, but is it necessary?

Too Much Marketing

Search “marketing types” and you get literally millions of results. Wikipedia carries 81 pages for the entry of “types of marketing.” I asked a few marketing veterans for input, did some Googling, and came up with dozens of types of marketing, some I’d never heard of.  Megamarketing? Reality marketing? Who knew?

Large vocabularies in specialized fields are not unusual. I understand the need for a few hyponyms, but does this seem excessive? I’m not the first one to bring this up by any means. I believe this article lists over 130 categories of marketing:

You’re targeting consumers? Okay, you’re a B2C marketer. Sending mailers? Great, you’re doing direct. As social media has taken hold, even more marketing terms have, too. There’s viral, social, e and search, and now the most popular kid in marketing school — mobile. Of course, there are the old standbys like one-to-one, guerilla, transpromo and integrated. Didn’t these sound so progressive a few years ago?

40 Types of Marketing and Counting

Here  is a partial and alphabetical list of the types of marketing we inflict on our target audiences.Disclaimer: This is not a definitive list by any means. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  1. Affiliate
  2. Article
  3. Attraction
  4. B2B
  5. B2C
  6. Brand
  7. Cause
  8. Channel
  9. Content
  10. Database
    English: Overview of green marketing activities

    Image via Wikipedia

  11. Digital
  12. Direct
  13. Email
  14. Franchise
  15. Green

    English: Stephen Monaco speaking about Social ...

    Image via Wikipedia

  16. Guerilla
  17. Inbound
  18. Influence
  19. Integrated
  20. International
  21. Internet
  22. Loyalty
  23. Matrix
  24. Mobile
  25. Multi-channel
  26. Multilevel
  27. Nonprofit
  28. One-to-one
  29. Outbound
  30. Permission
  31. Product
  32. Niche
  33. Relationship
  34. Search
  35. Social media
  36. Target
  37. Transpromo
  38. Vertical
  39. Viral
  40. Word of mouth

It’s All Good

You probably have to be in marketing to care that there are so many different names for what we do. I guess it comes down to the fact that marketing is such a versatile strategy. I just wonder if we risk diluting the message and value of our profession by splintering our contributions into so many different categories?

And what does this mean for the target reader of this blog – the overwhelmed, overworked B2B technology marketer? Know what you want to achieve, and don’t worry about what we consultants call the process to get you there. The important thing is, does it connect you with your customers? Success by any name is what counts.

What marketing phrases would you add? What marketing categories are used in other countries?


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