99 Tactics Every Marketer Should Know

Tom earned his master’s in IMC from WVU and his bachelor’s in public relations from Utica College of Syracuse University. He joined the Site-Seeker team in 2013 as an account manager.

It’s funny to think that there was once a time when TV, newspaper, and radio ads were the most powerful forms of marketing. Today, there are so many more options out there to help brands build relationships and grow sales. Put simply, we’ve advanced. I find it odd that some companies choose to invest in only one particular tactic like, say, online banner ads and expect to see results. Don’t get me wrong; PPC can be a great form of marketing, but you aren’t going to move the needle with just one effort. It’s just not possible. Instead, you need many things working together towards a common goal. The lines are blurring amongst marketing disciplines and this integrated approach is key to reaching audiences efficiently and influencing their buying decisions. There are many tactics that a company can and should be taking advantage of. A strategy should be put in place first to organize a plan and determine which efforts are most likely to help meet objectives. Throughout this development process, consider all the tactics available, especially less popular ones that might require some extra work or creativity but could be a perfect fit for your brand. Keep in mind that integrating your tactics together with an aligned theme and messaging has added value. Here’s the list of 99 different tactics that marketing communication professionals can utilize in their efforts:

  • A/B testing
  • Advergames (branded games)
  • Affinity marketing
  • App store optimization
  • Associations and memberships
  • Awards
  • Billboard ads
  • Blogger outreach
  • Brand development
  • Broadcast or TV ads
  • Buyer personas
  • Case studies
  • Cause marketing
  • Chalk art
  • Co-ops
  • Community goodwill, donations, or volunteering
  • Consumer data/feedback collection
  • Content marketing
  • Contests
  • Contributed posts
  • Couponing
  • Crisis communication
  • Custom voicemails
  • Digital billboards
  • Direct mail
  • Downloads
  • Drip marketing
  • E-books
  • E-commerce
  • Editorials
  • Email marketing
  • Employee videos
  • Flyers
  • Free trials and sampling
  • Gamification
  • Giveaways
  • Guerrilla marketing
  • Handwritten notes
  • Hosted events
  • How-to videos
  • In-game ads
  • Industry events and conferences
  • Internal/external trainings
  • Lead generation & lead nurturing
  • Linking
  • Live chat & enhanced customer service
  • Local optimization
  • Market research
  • Media relations and PR
  • Mini-sites and landing pages
  • Mobile app development
  • Mobile marketing and SMS
  • Motion or animated videos
  • Movie theater ads
  • Newsletters
  • On-site blogging
  • Outdoor street ads
  • Packaging designs
  • Paid posts from social media stars
  • Personalized products
  • Point of purchase signage
  • Point of sale literature
  • Pop-ups or pop-unders
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • PPC ads
  • Press releases
  • Print ads
  • Product or employee photos
  • Product placement
  • PSAs or video PSAs
  • Publicity stunts
  • Radio ads
  • Referral program
  • Remarketing
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Reputation management
  • Reviews
  • Reward or loyalty programs
  • Sales promotions and discounts
  • Sales sheets and white papers
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media listening and monitoring
  • Social media marketing
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Spokesperson and media training
  • Sponsorships
  • Street teams
  • Team building outings
  • Telemarketing and cold calling
  • Testimonials
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Tradeshows
  •  Tutorials and demos
  • User testing
  • Viral marketing
  • Vlogging
  • Webinars and podcasts
  • Webisodes and branded shows
  • Websites

When choosing tactics, it’s important to consider your audience’s media consumption habits, your budget, as well as your team’s time and talent. Remember that it most often takes seven touchpoints to win over a customer. Be conscious of the tactics you are selecting and where you are interacting with those prospects within the buying process. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s better to thoroughly execute a few rather than having too many on your plate and falling short. Ask questions like, what has worked in the past? What hasn’t? What are your competitors doing? What can you do differently? What does your research show would be most cost effective? Where can you afford to take a risk? Can your messaging and creative be applied to all tactics?

One of my favorite integrated campaigns from the past year is from Chipotle. It’s done a fantastic job at tying together many tactics, which all revolve around their main messaging of healthier, fresher foods. Maybe you’ve seen the animated TV ads or custom-branded streamed show, “Farmed and Dangerous?” Have you played its mobile game, The Scarecrow? Those more edgy tactics were backed up traditional PR, SM, and SEO. It worked. Really well.

Another great integrated campaign was Dove’s Real Beauty. The messaging focused on anti-Photoshop, anti-fake perceptions of women’s appearances. That confidence and self-esteem mattered more than society’s view of what is beautiful. It began with market research. Dove then launched a cause marketing campaign to help influence the young generation with help from the Boys & Girls Club of America, as well as the Girl Scouts of the USA. It utilized viral marketing with a good deal of attention given to its “Real Beauty Sketches” YouTube video, housed on a branded mini-site. Don’t forget about the ever-present TV and print ads.

You don’t have to be a large corporation to mimic both Chipotle and Dove’s successes. Plan your tactics well and take time to get creative with each one. Spend time planning. Spend time executing. Spend time evaluating. Next, use that information to determine the best tactics. Learn from your findings and adapt your plan moving forward. Don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone if it makes sense for your brand. The most successful campaigns refuse to play it safe. And most importantly…integrate.

Did I miss any tactics in the list? Make sure to comment below so professionals can learn of all of their available options!