Word-of-Mouth Marketing For Startups

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

DefinitionWord-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is a marketing strategy that relies on customers and individuals to promote a product, service, or brand through personal recommendations and sharing. It harnesses the power of organic and genuine endorsements to build trust and drive awareness.
Key ConceptsCustomer Advocacy: Encouraging satisfied customers to become advocates who actively promote the brand to their network. – Referral Marketing: Rewarding customers for referring others to the brand. – Viral Marketing: Creating content or campaigns that naturally spread through social sharing and conversation. – Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with influential individuals to promote the brand.
CharacteristicsOrganic: WOMM is spontaneous and driven by genuine customer experiences. – Trust-Building: Recommendations from friends and peers are often highly trusted. – Amplification: Utilizes the social networks and communities of individuals to amplify brand messages. – Cost-Effective: Can be cost-effective compared to traditional advertising.
Examples– Customer reviews and testimonials shared on social media or review platforms. – Social media shares and mentions by satisfied customers. – Referral programs that reward customers for bringing in new business. – Collaborations with influencers who endorse products or services to their followers.
AdvantagesTrustworthy: Recommendations from friends and peers are trusted more than traditional advertising. – Cost-Effective: Leverages existing customer relationships for marketing. – Amplification: Extends the reach of marketing efforts through customer networks. – Authenticity: Provides authentic endorsements, which resonate with potential customers.
ChallengesLack of Control: Marketers have limited control over what customers say and how they share information. – Slow Growth: WOMM may take time to build momentum compared to paid advertising. – Negative Word of Mouth: Negative experiences can also spread through WOMM, impacting brand reputation.
Adoption TrendsWOMM has gained significance in the digital age, with the rise of social media and online reviews. Brands increasingly recognize the value of fostering positive customer experiences that lead to organic word-of-mouth recommendations.
ConclusionWord-of-Mouth Marketing harnesses the power of authentic and organic recommendations from customers and individuals to promote brands and products. By encouraging customer advocacy, implementing referral programs, and collaborating with influencers, businesses can leverage the trust and amplification inherent in word-of-mouth endorsements. While it may lack control, WOMM remains a valuable and cost-effective marketing strategy in the digital era.

Benefits of Word-of Mouth

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is a powerful tool for startups.

It involves the use of personal recommendations and referrals to spread awareness about your product or service.

WOM can be used in both online and offline channels, such as social media, email campaigns, events, conferences, and more.

The main benefit to using word-of mouth marketing for startups is that it’s an incredibly cost effective way to reach potential customers without having to spend money on expensive advertising campaigns.

Additionally, since this type of promotion comes from real people who have had direct experience with your product or service, it carries more weight than traditional ads which are often perceived as biased or untrustworthy by consumers.

Finally, word-of mouth has been shown to increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases over time due to its ability to create strong relationships between customers and brands based on trustworthiness and credibility.

One challenge associated with word-of-mouth marketing is that it can be difficult for businesses to track how successful their efforts are at driving sales compared with other types of promotions like paid advertisements or discounts offered directly through the company website.

Additionally, while WOM can be very effective at creating buzz around a new product launch, there is no guarantee that this will translate into long term success if the quality isn’t up to par.

Finally, many companies struggle when trying to measure ROI from their WOM initiatives due to lack of reliable data tracking tools available in this space.

Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool that can help startups grow and thrive. By understanding how it works, project managers can effectively leverage this marketing strategy to benefit their business.

Next, we will discuss ways to use word-of-mouth to achieve success.

Developing a Word-of-Mouth Strategy

Developing a Word-of-Mouth Strategy is essential for any startup looking to grow. Identifying your target audience, crafting an effective message, and choosing the right channels for distribution are key components of this strategy.

Identifying Your Target Audience

The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible audience that can sustain your business as you get it started from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market). The main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find those people which needs are unmet by existing players.

Knowing who you’re targeting with your word-of-mouth campaigns is critical to success.

Start by researching your existing customer base and identifying common characteristics that can help you create buyer personas.

You should also look at industry trends and competitor insights to get a better understanding of what resonates with potential customers in your niche.

Crafting Your Message

A unique selling proposition (USP) enables a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. Importantly, a USP enables a business to stand for something that they, in turn, become known among consumers. A strong and recognizable USP is crucial to operating successfully in competitive markets.

Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to craft an effective message that will resonate with them.

Consider creating content that speaks directly to their needs or pain points while highlighting the benefits of using your product or service.

Make sure the messaging is clear, concise, and easy to understand so it can be easily shared across multiple channels.

Choosing the Right Channels for Distribution


It’s important to choose the right channels for distributing your word-of-mouth campaigns in order to reach as many people as possible within your target market.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn are great places start but don’t forget about other avenues such as email marketing or influencer outreach programs which can be highly effective when done correctly.

To recap, Developing a successful word-of-mouth strategy requires three key components:

1. Identifying your target audience.

2. Crafting an effective message.

3. Choosing the right channels for distribution Measuring the impact of campaigns is essential to ensure success and optimizing them over time involves gathering feedback, refining messaging, testing strategies and tracking progress in order to achieve maximum results.

Measuring the Impact of Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool that can help startups grow quickly.

To maximize the impact of word-of-mouth, it’s important to measure its effectiveness and optimize campaigns over time.

By developing a word-of-mouth strategy, you can leverage the power of your target audience to spread your message and reach more people. Next, we will look at how to measure the effectiveness of this strategy.

Here are some tips for measuring the impact of word-of-mouth:

Tracking Conversations and Mentions Online

Tracking conversations about your startup online is an essential part of understanding how effective your word-of-mouth campaign has been.

Tools like Google Alerts, Hootsuite, and Mention can be used to monitor mentions of your brand across various social media platforms.

This will give you insights into what people are saying about you and allow you to respond accordingly.

Analyzing Engagement Metrics

Analyzing engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, etc., on posts related to your startup will give you a better idea of how well received they have been by potential customers or investors.

It also allows you to identify any areas where improvement may be needed in order to increase engagement levels further.

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI)

Calculating ROI helps determine whether or not a particular strategy was successful in terms of generating revenue or other desired outcomes from investments made in the campaign itself.

You should track all expenses associated with running a word-of mouth campaign including advertising costs as well as labor hours spent creating content or engaging with influencers so that these figures can be factored into calculating ROI accurately at the end of each period being measured..

Leveraging influencers within your niche is an effective way to amplify reach when it comes to promoting word-of-mouth campaigns.

When selecting influencers for collaboration, make sure their values align with yours and build relationships through meaningful interactions before pitching them any ideas.

Once collaborations have been established, create content together that resonates with both parties’ followers.

By measuring the impact of word-of-mouth, project managers can get a better understanding of their company’s reach and influence. Next, we’ll discuss how to maximize ROI through targeted campaigns.

Leveraging Influencers to Amplify Your Reach


Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool for startups looking to increase their reach and visibility.

Leveraging influencers can help amplify your message, allowing you to tap into an engaged audience that’s already interested in what you have to offer.

Here are some tips on how to get started with leveraging influencers:

Identifying Relevant Influencers in Your Niche

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

The first step is identifying the right influencers for your business.

Start by researching potential partners who have an established presence in your industry or target market.

Look at their follower count, engagement rate, and content topics they typically post about.

It’s also important to look at whether their followers match up with the demographics of your target customers.

Once you’ve identified a few potential candidates, reach out and introduce yourself!

Building Relationships with Influencers

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Building relationships with influencers takes time and effort but it pays off in the long run if done correctly.

Reach out regularly via email or social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, DMing them relevant content that may be of interest to them as well as any opportunities where they could collaborate with you such as sponsored posts or events etc.

Offer incentives such as discounts on products/services or freebies which will encourage them to work together more often going forward.

Creating Content That Resonates With Influencer’s Followers

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Creating content specifically tailored towards each individual influencer’s followers is key when it comes to amplifying word-of-mouth campaigns through influencer partnerships effectively .

Take the time necessary when crafting messages that resonate with both the influencer themselves and their audience – this will ensure maximum impact from every collaboration moving forward!

Additionally, make sure all content created adheres strictly within brand guidelines so there are no discrepancies between what’s being posted online versus offline material associated with company branding initiatives etc.

Optimizing word-of-mouth campaigns over time requires tracking conversations and mentions online, such as hashtags used, analyzing engagement metrics like likes, shares, and comments, and calculating return on investment (ROI).

This data can then be used to refine messaging and distribution channels accordingly while testing different strategies for maximum impact.

Doing so helps businesses better understand customer needs and preferences while driving increased sales revenue over time.

By leveraging influencers to amplify your reach, you can create a strong and lasting presence in the digital space that will help your startup grow. Now let’s look at how to identify relevant influencers in your niche.

Optimizing Your Word-of-Mouth Campaigns Over Time

To maximize the impact of your word-of-mouth campaigns, you need to optimize them over time. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Gathering Feedback from Customers and Prospects: Gathering feedback from customers and prospects is an important part of optimizing your word-of-mouth campaigns.

Ask customers what they think about your product or service, what could be improved, and what features they would like to see added in the future. You can also use surveys or focus groups to gain insights into customer needs and preferences.

This information will help you refine messaging and distribution channels so that they better meet customer expectations.

Refining Your Messaging and Distribution Channels

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

Once you have gathered feedback from customers, take time to review all aspects of your campaign—from messaging to distribution channels—and make any necessary changes based on customer input.

For example, if customers prefer certain types of content (e.g., videos) over others (e.g., blog posts), adjust accordingly by creating more video content for distribution through social media platforms such as YouTube or Instagram TV.

Additionally, consider using A/B testing techniques when refining messaging; this will allow you to compare different versions of messages side by side so that you can determine which one resonates best with target audiences before launching a full campaign rollout.

Testing Different Strategies for Maximum Impact

Business experiments help entrepreneurs test their hypotheses. Rather than define the problem by making too many hypotheses, a digital entrepreneur can formulate a few assumptions, design experiments, and check them against the actions of potential customers. Once measured, the impact, the entrepreneur, will be closer to define the problem.

When optimizing word-of-mouth campaigns over time, don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies until you find ones that work best for your business goals.

Try out new tactics such as offering incentives for referrals or partnering with influencers who have large followings in order reach wider audiences more quickly than traditional methods alone might allow for.

Keep track of results along the way so that you know which strategies are most effective at driving conversions and ROI; then double down on those efforts while scaling back less successful ones accordingly..

Finally, leveraging influencers can be an effective way of amplifying reach when optimizing word-of-mouth campaigns.

To do this, brands should identify relevant influencers in niche markets related to theirs, build relationships with them, create content tailored specifically towards their followers and measure engagement metrics after each post goes live.

This not only gives brands access to larger audiences but also helps increase trustworthiness among potential buyers due to its endorsement factor.

By taking the time to analyze customer feedback, refine your messaging and distribution channels, and test different strategies, you can optimize your word-of-mouth campaigns over time for maximum impact.

Case Studies

Customer Referral Programs:

  • Dropbox offers extra storage space to users who refer friends and provides both referrer and referee with a bonus incentive.
  • Airbnb offers travel credits to users who refer new hosts or guests, encouraging them to share their positive experiences.

User Reviews and Testimonials:

  • TripAdvisor not only showcases user reviews but also awards badges to prolific reviewers, motivating users to contribute more.
  • Yelp’s “Elite Squad” program recognizes and rewards active reviewers, incentivizing them to share detailed and helpful reviews.

Social Media Sharing:

  • GoPro encourages users to share their adventures with the #GoPro hashtag, curating and featuring the best user-generated content on their website.
  • Airbnb hosts often share user-generated photos of their guests having a great time, which promotes the platform organically.

Influencer Collaborations:

  • Nike collaborates with sports celebrities like LeBron James and Serena Williams, leveraging their massive social media followings.
  • Makeup brands often collaborate with beauty influencers to showcase their products in tutorials and reviews, reaching a highly targeted audience.

Viral Marketing Campaigns:

  • The Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign went viral with humorous and memorable ads.
  • Dollar Shave Club’s funny and relatable viral video helped the brand gain recognition and millions of subscribers.

Customer Loyalty Programs:

  • Sephora’s Beauty Insider program offers tiered rewards, including exclusive products and early access events, to top-tier members.
  • Amazon Prime not only offers free shipping but also provides access to Prime Video and Prime Music, enhancing its overall value and loyalty.

Product Sampling:

  • Costco offers in-store food sampling, giving customers a taste of various products and increasing sales.
  • Subscription box services like Birchbox send curated samples to subscribers, encouraging them to share their discoveries on social media.

Referral Discounts:

  • Lyft offers ride credits to users who refer new riders, turning customers into brand advocates.
  • Airbnb provides travel credits to users who refer friends, creating a cycle of referrals and rewards.

Events and Experiential Marketing:

  • Apple’s product launches, like the iPhone reveal events, generate significant buzz and anticipation.
  • Red Bull’s Flugtag events encourage participants to build and fly creative, homemade flying machines, creating engaging content and conversations.

Content Sharing:

  • TEDx events, independently organized TED-like talks, take place worldwide and are shared extensively, spreading valuable ideas.
  • National Geographic’s breathtaking photography and videos are widely shared, fostering a sense of wonder and exploration.

Customer Reviews on Websites:

  • Google Maps integrates user reviews and photos to help users make informed decisions when exploring new places.
  • Amazon’s “Customer Questions & Answers” section enables shoppers to seek and share product information.

Loyalty-Based Word-of-Mouth:

  • Tesla owners often share their experiences with electric vehicles and their loyalty to the brand’s mission of sustainability.
  • Harley-Davidson’s dedicated community of riders passionately shares their love for the brand and lifestyle.

Word-of-Mouth Advertising:

  • Geico’s humorous and memorable commercials, like the gecko mascot, generate conversations and brand recognition.
  • Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign became a cultural phenomenon, spurring discussions and brand loyalty.

Exclusive Invitations:

  • Gmail initially launched as an invite-only service, making invites highly sought after and encouraging sharing.
  • Spotify Premium has a family plan that allows members to invite family and friends, increasing subscriptions through word-of-mouth.

Crowdfunding Campaigns:

  • Pebble’s Kickstarter campaign for its smartwatch set crowdfunding records and garnered significant attention.
  • Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter success led to conversations about virtual reality and its potential.

Local Business Reviews:

  • Angie’s List focuses on service providers, where users share detailed reviews, building trust within local communities.
  • Zillow includes user-generated photos and reviews for properties, aiding buyers in their decision-making process.

Contests and Challenges:

  • Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign encouraged people to find bottles with their names and share photos on social media.
  • The “Mannequin Challenge” became a viral sensation, with individuals and organizations participating and sharing their videos.

Personalized Recommendations:

  • Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist offers personalized music recommendations, prompting users to share their latest discoveries.
  • Amazon’s product recommendations based on browsing and purchase history lead to personalized shopping conversations.

User-Generated Content Campaigns:

  • Airbnb’s “A Night at…” campaign encourages users to share their unique stays, promoting extraordinary experiences.
  • Lego’s “Rebuild the World” campaign invites fans to create and share imaginative Lego creations.


  • McDonald’s Happy Meals often include toys featuring characters from popular movies, benefiting both the fast-food chain and movie studios.
  • Apple partnered with Mastercard to offer cashback rewards for using Apple Pay, incentivizing both companies’ users to make digital payments.

Key Takeaways

  • In conclusion, word-of-mouth is an incredibly powerful tool for any startup looking to grow.
  • By understanding how it works, developing a strategy around it, measuring its impact and leveraging influencers to amplify your reach, you can create effective campaigns that will help drive growth for your business.
  • As with any marketing effort, optimizing these campaigns over time is essential in order to maximize their effectiveness and ensure that you are getting the most out of your efforts.
  • With the right approach and dedication to learning from past successes and failures, word-of-mouth can be a great asset in helping startups achieve their goals.

Key Highlights of Word-of-Mouth Marketing for Startups:

  • Definition: Word-of-mouth marketing is a strategy centered on providing a great customer experience and encouraging satisfied customers to recommend your product or service to others. It’s a cost-effective and impactful way to grow your startup.
  • Benefits of Word-of-Mouth Marketing:
    • Utilizes personal recommendations and referrals.
    • Effective in both online and offline channels.
    • Cost-effective compared to traditional advertising.
    • Builds trust and loyalty among customers.
  • Challenges:
    • Difficult to measure compared to traditional marketing.
    • Success depends on product quality.
    • Limited data tracking tools for ROI measurement.
  • Developing a Word-of-Mouth Strategy:
    • Identify your target audience (Minimum Viable Audience).
    • Craft a compelling message (Unique Selling Proposition).
    • Choose the right distribution channels (social media, email, etc.).
  • Measuring the Impact of Word-of-Mouth:
    • Track conversations and mentions online.
    • Analyze engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments).
    • Calculate Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Leveraging Influencers to Amplify Reach:
    • Identify relevant influencers in your niche.
    • Build relationships with influencers.
    • Create tailored content for influencer partnerships.
  • Optimizing Word-of-Mouth Campaigns Over Time:
    • Gather feedback from customers and prospects.
    • Refine messaging and distribution channels.
    • Test different strategies for maximum impact.
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Word-of-mouth is a potent tool for startup growth.
    • Develop a strategy, measure impact, and optimize over time.
    • Influencers can help expand your reach.
    • Word-of-mouth requires commitment and learning from experiences for success.

Visual Marketing Glossary

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy where the marketing and sales departments come together to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts. Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) approach in which marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts and turn them into customers.


Ad Ops – also known as Digital Ad Operations – refers to systems and processes that support digital advertisements’ delivery and management. The concept describes any process that helps a marketing team manage, run, or optimize ad campaigns, making them an integrating part of the business operations.

AARRR Funnel

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Bullseye Framework

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Dilution

According to inbound marketing platform HubSpot, brand dilution occurs “when a company’s brand equity diminishes due to an unsuccessful brand extension, which is a new product the company develops in an industry that they don’t have any market share in.” Brand dilution, therefore, occurs when a brand decreases in value after the company releases a product that does not align with its vision, mission, or skillset. 

Brand Essence Wheel

The brand essence wheel is a templated approach businesses can use to better understand their brand. The brand essence wheel has obvious implications for external brand strategy. However, it is equally important in simplifying brand strategy for employees without a strong marketing background. Although many variations of the brand essence wheel exist, a comprehensive wheel incorporates information from five categories: attributes, benefits, values, personality, brand essence.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the first mentions of customer lifetime value was in the 1988 book Database Marketing: Strategy and Implementation written by Robert Shaw and Merlin Stone. Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the value of a customer to a company over a period of time. It represents a critical business metric, especially for SaaS or recurring revenue-based businesses.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a marketing method that divides the customers in sub-groups, that share similar characteristics. Thus, product, marketing and engineering teams can center the strategy from go-to-market to product development and communication around each sub-group. Customer segments can be broken down is several ways, such as demographics, geography, psychographics and more.

Developer Marketing

Developer marketing encompasses tactics designed to grow awareness and adopt software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms. Developer marketing has become the standard among software companies with a platform component, where developers can build applications on top of the core software or open software. Therefore, engaging developer communities has become a key element of marketing for many digital businesses.

Digital Marketing Channels

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Field Marketing

Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.

Funnel Marketing

interaction with a brand until they become a paid customer and beyond. Funnel marketing is modeled after the marketing funnel, a concept that tells the company how it should market to consumers based on their position in the funnel itself. The notion of a customer embarking on a journey when interacting with a brand was first proposed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Funnel marketing typically considers three stages of a non-linear marketing funnel. These are top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Particular marketing strategies at each stage are adapted to the level of familiarity the consumer has with a brand.

Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.


The term “greenwashing” was first coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 at a time when most consumers received their news from television, radio, and print media. Some companies took advantage of limited public access to information by portraying themselves as environmental stewards – even when their actions proved otherwise. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice where a company makes unsubstantiated claims about an environmentally-friendly product or service.

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Hunger Marketing

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Integrated Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Myopia

Marketing myopia is the nearsighted focus on selling goods and services at the expense of consumer needs. Marketing myopia was coined by Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt in 1960. Originally, Levitt described the concept in the context of organizations in high-growth industries that become complacent in their belief that such industries never fail.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Meme Marketing

Meme marketing is any marketing strategy that uses memes to promote a brand. The term “meme” itself was popularized by author Richard Dawkins over 50 years later in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins described how ideas evolved and were shared across different cultures. The internet has enabled this exchange to occur at an exponential rate, with the first modern memes emerging in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of the ability of a product or service to attract word-of-mouth advertising. NPS is a crucial part of any marketing strategy since attracting and then retaining customers means they are more likely to recommend a business to others.


Neuromarketing information is collected by measuring brain activity related to specific brain functions using sophisticated and expensive technology such as MRI machines. Some businesses also choose to make inferences of neurological responses by analyzing biometric and heart-rate data. Neuromarketing is the domain of large companies with similarly large budgets or subsidies. These include Frito-Lay, Google, and The Weather Channel.


Newsjacking as a marketing strategy was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Newsjacking describes the practice of aligning a brand with a current event to generate media attention and increase brand exposure.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

We can define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing, as the name suggests, you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it. In a pull strategy, consumers might look for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing describes any marketing strategy that encourages consumers to seek out a product or company on their own. This approach differs from a traditional marketing strategy where marketers seek out the consumer.


Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing describes any marketing campaign designed to appeal to the five human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling marketers to design fun, interactive, and immersive sensory marketing brand experiences. Long term, businesses must develop sensory marketing campaigns that are relevant and effective in eCommerce.

Services Marketing

Services marketing originated as a separate field of study during the 1980s. Researchers realized that the unique characteristics of services required different marketing strategies to those used in the promotion of physical goods. Services marketing is a specialized branch of marketing that promotes the intangible benefits delivered by a company to create customer value.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

360 Marketing

360 marketing is a marketing campaign that utilizes all available mediums, channels, and consumer touchpoints. 360 marketing requires the business to maintain a consistent presence across multiple online and offline channels. This ensures it does not miss potentially lucrative customer segments. By its very nature, 360 marketing describes any number of different marketing strategies. However, a broad and holistic marketing strategy should incorporate a website, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, public relations, in-store relations, and traditional forms of advertising such as television.

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