50 marketing techniques that work

Marketing is the defined form of communication between the product selling organization and the customer with objective of selling a product or a service. Though marketing does not always lead to a sale, it is a series of efforts and activities involved in popularizing the product or service.

Marketing is considered as the backbone of any company, without which even the best products would bite the dust, being unable to generate expected sales. All your efforts in building a great product would fail miserably if the benefits of the product is not communicated to the potential users in a‘hard to forget’ and ‘easy to understand’ way. While some marketing techniques are quite expensive and hard to use, others are relatively inexpensive and easy to access. The marketing technique(s) one uses depends on many factors most notably the budget and the target audience.

50 marketing techniques that work

From the conventional method to the most modern, we have seen marketing techniques encompassing every aspect of our life. This being the case, we bring to you 50 marketing techniques that work (at least we believe so). While some of them tell you how to reach the prospect the others will help you understand proven tactics that has attracted their attention. We will look at each technique in details and help you decide if you should go for it. The saga begins…

Table of Contents

1.Sending out Flyers

This should rank among the most cost-effective method of marketing. All you need is a computer to put a simple design and a printer to take enough print-outs. The print-outs can be circulated among potential audience. This is one of the oldest forms of paper advertisement that is partly relevant even today. The distribution of pamphlets, leaflets, notices etc. also come under this category. These are typically low cost marketing techniques that can be made costly by using expensive material (paper) that is glossy and multi-colored. Once you create the flyers make ensure that the leaflets are reaching the audience. For that you have to distribute it with newspapers. You may even distribute it yourself in busy places like malls and markets.

2. Using Posters

Much similar to the flyers, posters are usually bigger in size and attached to a wall or a vertical surface, this may include moving objects too. Since, they are not personally delivered; posters include text and graphic elements to catch the attention of the audience. This form of advertising has been for there for more than a century since the invention of printing press and is still going strong as a marketing tool. Comparing to flyers, posters are costly and need more individuals to do the work.

3. Gifting each employee a set of Business Cards

Business Card

In this competitive world, every opportunity to market has to be explored. Gifting your employees a set of business card is a creative way of rewarding them as well as using them to build your brand and market your products. This is especially relevant if your business has a local scope. Your employees will be overwhelmed with the idea of their own business cards and in turn will attract more potential customers.

4. Stickering your Products

This is passed on to the customer without even them noticing it. Manufacturers sticker their products with their brand logos to create an impression on the onlookers. This marketing strategy is also used by service centers wherein products that they provide are stickered with their own logos and contact details to ensure that the customer will contact them for service next time. This would also act as a promotional tactic to ensure visibility to the audience.

5. Caps or T-shirts promoting the Company

This is yet another technique to keep your employees happy and utilize them as brand ambassadors for a local business or service. This is also a novel way to attract both customers as well as the best talent to work with you by sending a message about your company as well as its products and services.

6. Newspaper Ads

Newspaper Ads

A newspaper display advertisement is a form of marketing wherein the display advertisement appears alongside the editorial content. These are usually used for promotional activities by large businesses due to the huge cost involved. These ads can cover an entire page of a newspaper or even run into pages. The less expensive versions are the classified ads wherein there are designated pages for such ads and they appear much smaller in size.

7. Use Referrals

Referral marketing is a marketing technique of promoting products or services to prospects through referrals. Here an existing customer acts as a brand ambassador. These referrals often happen spontaneously through word of mouth. However, businesses can influence this through appropriate strategies by incentivizing the referral program. Over a period of time this has become a part of existing customer profiling, wherein a survey is sent to the customer after a support interaction or otherwise asking about the likelihood to recommend the product or service to a relative, acquaintance or friend. In fact a metric termed NPS (Net Promoter Score) is in place to measure this.

8. Tie up with service Providers

Approach other service providers or potential clients with your skills that may help them improve their business. You may offer discounts too in the starting to get the work. For example if you are freelancer offering web designing hook up with a shop or service provider to build them a web site. They will recommend you and you will get more works in this way. Or if you are good in writing tie up with a web site designer for copywriting.

9. Use comparison Methods

For your product or service to stand out, the customer has to know why it is better or why he or she has to invest in it rather than the ones projected by your competitors. Comparison of the features and the associated benefits to the customer would help the customer make the right decision of choosing your product. You can also use the comparison technique to compare different products that you sell, so that the customer can take an informed decision in investing his or her hard earned money. An online store that offers flexibility to compare is more popular than its counterparts who do not offer this facility.

10. Use value Addition

Value addition as a production term means the amount by which the value of a product increases at each stage of its production without impacting the initial costs. As a marketing term, it would indicate – Getting more for the price of less. In this era of cut-throat competition in almost every field, to attract prospective clients or customers, the question you should ask yourself is “What does the client or customer get to gain by choosing my product or service?”. If you can answer this question successfully, that becomes your USP – Unique selling proposition. If you have many features provided by different vendors, but you give the most, then those are value-adds.

11. Advertising through radio Channels

Advertising through radio channels have been used since a very long time. Radio stations will offer ‘airtime’ to advertisers to broadcast their ads to the users. This mode of advertisement is comparatively cheaper and has reach even in less developed regions. However, with the expanding nature of the internet, advertisers are shifting from radio ads to online advertising. The advantage of radio advertising is that it can be effective even the customer is involved in some other activity like driving the car.

12. Sponsor a local Event

If you wish to target certain audience who would be part of an event, it would be a good idea to be a sponsor. Negotiate a deal that is mutually beneficial to both the organizer of the event as well as your business. This technique is especially useful when you know the kind of audience you wish to target are going to be present at the venue. Once there you can conduct any promotional activity or just distribute flyers. You many also be generating leads by soliciting information from the attendees, who can later be reached to close the deal.

13. Cold Calling

This marketing technique has seen a spurt in recent days with the availability of inexpensive calling options. This is a means of soliciting business from potential customers who can be a total stranger with no prior contact with the company or the person calling him/her. The attempt is to convince a prospect to purchase goods or services from the calling company. Though this has come up with much criticism, it is still widely used as a marketing tool. You can discuss about your products or services when you go for a family function like wedding. The advantage is that you get a large number of audiences and it will not sound like marketing since you are talking to your family and friends.

READ  How to get potential leads for your business using social media

14. Telemarketing


Also known as insider sales, Telemarketing is a direct marketing method in which the sales rep solicits the prospects to buy a product or service offered by the company. This can happen over a phone conversation leading to web conference or even a face to face meeting. Telemarketing as a technique can be used for both business to customer and business to business marketing.

15. Email Marketing

This has been one of the earliest methods of leveraging the power of World Wide Web in reaching potential customers. Mass mailing has been around for quite some time. This form of marketing has evolved with state of the art tools that can help you maintain lists, prevent being a spammer, track the email open rate as well as clicks on the links on them. The interface is easy to use and can be customized as per the requirement of the sender. These email marketing platforms can be used to send communications to prospects as well as keep existing customers engaged by sending them periodic offers and enhancements.

16. Using Social Media

Social media has become the platform to network and market alike. You don’t have to be a superstar to catch people’s attention. There are many platforms that are yet to be fully utilized for marketing. Beyond Facebook and Twitter there are a lot other social networking platforms that can help you realize your goal of reaching the target audience.

17. Online Advertising

Online marketing is another product of the power of World Wide Web. Digital marketing has gone to the next level which has reached every computing device. Google has transformed from a search engine to the leading online advertising agency. The power of online advertising is such that you can target specific audience and influence buying decisions. Further, it also gives you the flexibility of running campaign for a specific period of time. What more, it also give you a lot of intelligence to work with. The analytics in the form of reports some of these platforms generate would help you determine the performance of the ads as well as help you in making informed decisions.

18. Building a MLM

Multi Level marketing, popularly called as MLM is a marketing strategy wherein the salesforce is rewarded for the sales that they generate as well as the sales made by the people they refer. In this marketing technique, the customer becomes a seller to another prospect and the chain continues. Each sales person will have his own downline and would accrue a considerable amount based on the performance of his or her downline. This form of marketing was used and misused by many to generate strong sales.

19. Offering Discounts


Offering discounts has been a marketing technique that was in practice since ages. The very word “discount’ enthralled customers and made them flock the shops and stores. This old practice of offering discounts to fuel sales is holding its sheen even to this day. The magic of discount has touched every aspect of marketing, be it offline or online. Today, any search for a product will generate results that include a discount%.

20. Giving out loyalty Points

This marketing technique centers around existing customers who are given a loyalty bonus in the form of points that they can accumulate and use to obtain discounts on the next purchase. This strategy helps keep the customers loyal to the brand and can also be used as a tool for customer retention.

21. Buyback Offers

The Buyback offer marketing technique induces customers to buy products by offering a value for the products they own. Buyback is offered only for products – something that can be transported. Buyback offers usually include a set of terms and conditions that have to be fulfilled by the prospect to avail the offer. This is commonly applicable to electronic gadgets, but can be used for any product that can be transported. There would be a certain value associated with the product that is exchanged which would be reduced from the offered product. This term “buyback” can be a catalyst to high sales especially if you give the impression that the deal is worthy!

22. Seasonal Offers

People love to shop when they have something to celebrate. This emotion of many shoppers can be utilized to bring in some sales. This is true for businesses as well. Who doesn’t love shopping for Christmas? Like every other offer the seasonal offer also has to be well thought about and finalized. Offer a good deal on such occasions and you will find potential customers mobbing to get a grab of the meat that is for sale!

23. Offering Cashback

This is a marketing technique aimed at making customers or prospects believe that they save by shopping with you, and rightly so. They reckon that they are actually saving a few bucks by availing your product or service. From the customer point of view, they are saving. From the firm’s point of view you are making the customer buy more from you, so that they can redeem the same Cashback once it reaches a particular amount from your firm only. Many companies have the online wallet facility in which you can use coupon codes to avail Cashback, which again have to be spent on the same platform. This is a relatively new technique to drive consumerism.

24. Giving away Freebies


Who doesn’t like freebies? Human from all strata of the social irrespective of boundaries love freebies. Touch this particular aspect and you are bound to see visitors throng your stores, be it a physical one or online. This can be used to attract prospects as well as rekindle the flame of shopping in existing customers. While the value of the Freebie would be nothing compared to that of the product or service offered, customers still believe that they stand to gain from such a deal.

25. Limited Edition Offer

Limited edition tag creates a sense of demand in the minds of the consumer folks. Limited edition indicates that there will only be a specific number of the product manufactured. However, in reality the actual number could be anything. This is just another marketing gimmick similar to the special edition, wherein special material would be used for the manufactured product.

27. Social media integration in the Landing Page

This one is for all you folks who are planning to venture into online marketing. Online marketing has to be well planned and executed. You need to ensure that your landing page is appealing and gives all the information required for the prospect to consider your product or service, while not being too elaborate at the same time. Your landing page has to have a call to action as of what the prospect has to do next. You should also, integrate your social media presence into the landing page. This can be in the form of buttons that will lead the prospect to our social networking page – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. and get associated to it. By doing this you are not only adding them to your social sphere, but also getting an opportunity to convert them at a later time, if not immediately.

28. Pay Per click Marketing

This type of marketing is enabled by search engine marketing. Here you will create an ad for yourself and will have to pay if a prospect is clicking on your ad. This is a way to earn click-throughs to your web site without having to physically meeting them and introducing your product. You will have to pay a small fee to the search engine you are using and if the ad worked well you will see that payment very trivial.

28. Using SEO to generate traffic to your Website

SEO implementation

You may have great website that also double-up as an online portal to make purchases. But if your website is not SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ready, then the chances of your page fading away into oblivion are higher. For your business to grow, it is important that you have a website that employs SEO tactics to generate traffic and hence market its products. There are a score of SEO tools available that will let you know how your website is performing in terms of its presence in the search engine results. You can also hire a SEO expert to ensure that things are in place for the perfect online experience.

Read: How to prepare a good SEO strategy

29. Making use of Blogs

Never has content writing been as effective in marketing as it is now. Bloggers attract a score of audience due to their writing style and the content they write about. Blogging is one of the ways to find an audience to make an impression. Reviews by bloggers are considered to influence buying decisions. Writing a blog that is optimized for SEO is an art in itself that incorporates nuances of science! Your blog has to be appealing to the audience at the same time, generate hits for searches.

Also Read: Tips to write an effective blog post

30. Using Facebook Posts

Who doesn’t use Facebook these days? If you ignore the power of this social network, do it at your own peril. Be active in Facebook among people who matter and slowly promote your product or service to them. You will have to maintain your individual identity and use it to network with potential customers before pitching for the sale. Having many friends in Facebook is always an asset.

31. Using Facebook Pages

Besides maintaining your individual profile, it would serve good if you create an appealing Facebook page for your business and gradually propagate it to among your contact. You can also use the commercial marketing facility available with Facebook. With this you will be able to target a specific audience based on various demographics. The more visible your page is, the better it is for your business. Once you get a considerable user base, the next task is to keep them engaged. Your Facebook page can be used to create contests where active participation from users would popularize your business.

Read: Drive traffic with no marketing budget

READ  How To Drive Traffic To Your Website With No Marketing Budget

32. Using Twitter Handles

Twitter is one of the most business friendly social networking sites. Use your Twitter handle to promote your business. Invariably there would be a lot of stuff in your tweets with links and pictures of your product or company. Don’t be shy to flaunt your twitter handle in your signatures, presentation etc. There is high probability of somebody trying to see them and use them to get to know more about you, and the products or services that you offer. Doing this is not a big deal, but the results can be quite inspiring.

33. Using Twitter Hashtags

twitter marketing

Twitter, the micro blogging site can be used to post tweets about your product or service. Twitter hashtags are an excellent ploy to spread your tweets to various topics. This also helps you connect with other users, who are not present on your followers list. If you use the hashtag in the right way, you will find hits flooding to your blog post. Also, start using general post related hashtags. You can create hashtags with the topics in your blog. This would connect other Twitter users interested in these topics.

34. Becoming a member in popular Forums

One means of marketing your product or service is by promoting your brand. You can become a member in popular forums like Quora. Here you can both post questions as well as answers questions posted by other users. By answering many questions, you get noticed by other users. You can get other users; even target some particular user to answer a question of yours. Leave every question of answer that you ask or make with your trademark signature including your website, social network identity etc. This would generate enough buzz among the users of the forum. Their inquisitiveness can be capitalized for marketing your product or service.

35. Appear in TV Shows

This one is for businesses that are willing to go that extra mile to promote your product or service. Getting that extra publicity in the television is always good at brand building and extending your reach. Use every opportunity to make the viewers understand what you stand for and how your product or service is going to affect their life for the good.

36. Building a professional Network

Build your professional network, both offline as well as online. For online professional networking, you have the likes of LinkedIn and other similar websites. Don’t back off from adding every contact of yours to your online professional network. Build your profile in such a way that it give the viewer ample information about the brand you represent and the products and services you offer. On the offline front, participate in seminars and other professional meetings, and make your presence felt. Starting a conversation with a few big and small shots, and handing them your business card is not an uphill task.

Also Read: How to generate Leads through IFTTTT

37. Use video marketing – YouTube

youtube marketing

Everyone love videos, moving picture have always excited people than static ones. If you are going to deliver a wonderful video that is going to make your audience think as well as tickle as few bones, you have the perfect recipe for video marketing. Start your online YouTube channel and keep updating it frequently, every time giving the viewer a glimpse of your product or service and you will find YouTube generating enough prospects for business. The fact remains that for maximum mileage your product or service should be available in every search tool, be it Google, Bing, Facebook or even YouTube for that matter.

Also Read: How to build an effective social media strategy

38. Use Google Local and other online Lister

Prospects search for businesses provide the goods or services they require online. Getting your business listed in those online listing should definitely help bring customers to your door step. Having an address that your customers can get directions to drive to will give you an edge over your competitors.

39. Get a news channel to air your Program

News Channels, however they may be are still considered sources of reliable information. Getting a local news channel to air a program on your business or a review of your product can help boost positive customer vibes in purchasing your product. If you have a national footprint and the resources, you can even approach a national television to air your program.

40. Pre-installed software service Marketing

This is applicable to computing devices and mobile phones. While you pay for the hardware and the operating system, you will find that there are quite a few applications in the computer or smartphone that you never asked for, though they may be quite useful. Welcome to the world of “Preinstalled software service marketing”. This can be done by having an agreement with the manufacturer of the hardware equipment or the software system. You may be allowed to have a link to download your product preinstalled in the device as well.

41. Seeding Trial

Though, termed seeding trial, it is actually a marketing trial.This is a marketing technique with the objective of conducting a product testing for the sake of sampling. However, you are still getting a target population to use your product. This creates loyalty and advocacy towards the product or brand and paves the way for opinion based marketing wherein one user would spread the word about the product or brand to another.

42. Faith based Marketing

Faith based marketing is a marketing technique that involves integrating religious faith into business. Some may even try to use tradition and culture as tools to promote their own goods or services. This can be used to target specific groups that have a likeness to a particular faith or community or any other demarcation. We may also come across brands having popular names that signify nationalism, regionalism or have cultural significance. These tactics can help you gain an edge even over your sophisticated competitors.

43. Product Bundling

Product bundling is a marketing technique wherein several products are sold together as a combined product. You may find this in your typical store where cosmetic items are bundled as a package and sold as a single unit. This can be applied to both products as well as services. You can bundle software applications also in this manner to boost sales. In this model, sale of one product will trigger the sale of another and vice versa. Product bundling banks on the sentiment of covering major aspects of the customer’s need through a package in which the customer is made to see the value. This gives your business the opportunity to see more profit, while the customer sees more savings. So, this is a win-win situation.

44. Whatsapp Marketing

whatsapp marketing

Before I touch into this aspect of marketing, a word of caution, the Whatsapp app and service is provided totally Ad-free. Therefore, please deal with this cautiously. Whatsapp can be used to create groups where like-minded individuals can be invited to join and it can be used as a channel of communication about launches, offers and other benefits. Whatsapp ping can also be used as a means to contact your company for information on products or services.

Also Read: 5 Simple ways to Use Whatsapp for Marketing

45. Cause Marketing

The cause marketing technique is aimed at involving the cooperative efforts of a business entity with a non-profit organization that is beneficial for both. Businesses tie up with non-governmental agencies or even global agencies to support a social cause like Child Education, eradication of child labor, saving wild animals, Go Green etc. Some advertisements are even aired portraying that for every unit of the product sold a fixed amount would be set aside to support the cause associated with the brand. This can build the reputation of the brand as well as boost sales.

46. Relationship Marketing

This is a marketing strategy that evolved from direct response marketing campaigns and it emphasizes on customer satisfaction and retention, rather than sales usurping every other aspect. This form of marketing is unique as it looks at the value of a long term relationship with any customer and goes beyond the norm of advertising and sales promotions.

47. Call to action Marketing

Call to action is a technique to make the viewer perform an act that would lead to the next set of actions. These are means to keep the audience engaged so that they do not lose interest in the first phase itself. In the online marketing domain, this would reduce bounce backs. If you have a landing page that take to your website, there should be a call to action that would make the visitor browse more pages of your website, either call your helpdesk or leave information for you to call back to seal the deal.

48. Use Testimonials


Use of ratings, reviews and testimonials go a long way in lending credibility to your business. Never miss an opportunity to post an honest feedback from a delighted customer either in your online portal or a noticeboard in your store. The more the testimonials, more is the trust factor that you stand to gain. If you can get references from the happy customers that can be used, it’d be great for business to business marketing.

49. Get a celebrity to endorse your Product

Well, this can be an expensive option, but the returns are also proportionally huge. Get a famous personality who your audience can relate with to endorse your products or services. They can act as great influencers in the buying decisions of your prospective clients or customers. They can also help you build your brand image. Studies have indicates that products endorsed by celebrities have a better reach and effect on the masses.

50. Get to know how to Improve

You cannot improve it if you cannot measure it. If you have to look at opportunities to improve any aspect or your marketing, you need to know what is driving the numbers, what is the root cause(s) of any failed marketing campaign. While there can be many stalwarts coming forward to lend their opinion after a failure, with all due respect to them, you need to have a scientific approach. Rely on data to answer your questions. Bring up analytics to determine the causes for any upward or downward trend. Use surveys to get honest feedback for your current clients on improving your products or services. Also, have a system in place to obtain intelligence from prospects who decided not to avail your product or service. They may give you important insights on what is lacking in your approach or product. This can be used for further improvements.

Also Read: 27 social media tools to use in 2016

Well, if I had to write about all the marketing techniques that have been tried, tested and found to be effective it is going to take me ages to complete. These 50 techniques that I’ve listed above can be put to good use in majority of the situations and you will in all probability see good results. Marketing is a strategy mainly based on the business’s product or service, the delivery and the audience. Choosing the right technique is imperative to the success of any business. Something that works for one business may not work for another. Before making a decision, take into consideration the variables that can impact the outcome.

Amit Acharya
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