Which marketing tactics are right for your industry?

Image by Cheska Poon from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Many marketing guides will tell you that you have to be promoting your business on Facebook or that you should be creating an app. However, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Some tactics are suitable for certain industries, but completely unsuitable for others – Facebook marketing and a custom app could be valuable when promoting a coffee shop, but futile when promoting a manufacturing company. 

To make sure that your marketing is effective, it’s important to consider what you’re selling and who your audience is. You can then focus on the marketing tactics that are right for your industry, while not wasting time and money on unsuitable marketing tactics. Below are just a few questions to help you choose the right marketing tactics.

Product, service or experience?

Every business sells either a product, a service or an experience (or occasionally a hybrid of all three as is the case with restaurants). The way you market a product, a service and experience are very different.

Products are typically physical and they have tangible qualities that can be measured. Imagery is very important with products for this reason – it’s often worth investing in professional photographs and packaging. Product businesses often get a lot of leads from outbound marketing (including things like ads, billboards and sponsorships) and less from inbound marketing (including things like SEO, blogs and seminars), although both are important.

Services are not always physical and therefore qualities are harder to measure. The best way to sell a service is to build trust in the people carrying out the service, rather than detailing the service itself. While images are still important, detailed text information is often more important when marketing a service. Inbound marketing can be more effective at selling services than outbound marketing, as people tend to go looking for a service.

Experiences can often benefit from a mixture of product and service marketing tactics. Imagery is very important for grabbing people’s attention and encouraging people to visually imagine themselves at the event, however text can be just as important for detailing the specifics on how it will be organised. There is one big difference: with services and products, there is often a big focus on promoting the practical benefits that your business can bring. With experiences, it’s more about promoting how an experience will make the customer feel – this requires a lot of emotional language and emotion-evoking imagery.

B2C or B2B?

Businesses can also be separated into two other categories: business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). The former are targeted at your average consumer, while the latter is focused at professionals and businesses. In both cases, how you market these businesses should be different.

For example, both businesses can benefit from social media advertising, but the type of tactics you use on social media need to be very different. B2C companies are best off posting out of 9 to 5 weekday work hours and are often able to get away with more fun language and imagery. They may have more success marketing through sites like Instagram, and less success through sites like LinkedIn. With B2B companies, you want to stay professional in tone and may find that you’re better off promoting your product within 9 to 5 weekday work hours. B2B companies may have more success marketing through sites like LinkedIn, and less success through sites like Instagram. 

How old is your target audience?

You should also consider the age of your target audience. Some industries are focused at all ages, whereas others may be primarily focused at a certain age group. Toy companies for example are likely to be focused at kids, nightclubs are largely focused at young adults and mobility scooters are primarily targeted at the elderly.

Targeting the right age range involves knowing where this age range is likely to look. Young adults are likely to be heavily swayed by digital marketing tactics like video advertising and apps. More senior adults may not be as digitally-savvy and you may find that it’s worth still using some traditional print marketing tactics like newspaper ads, flyers and maybe even phonebook advertising (however, you should still invest in some SEO and social media advertising for those senior consumers who are digitally savvy). 

Is your target audience local or global?

Some companies have a local audience, while others have a national or global audience. In either case, it’s important to alter your marketing. As just one example, if you’re serving a local clientele, print posters can be highly effective at targeted advertising and very cost effective. On the other hand, if you’re serving customers across the nation or even around the world, another strategy may be more beneficial for you to succeed with your marketing goals.

Something like a plumbing company typically has a local audience, and so you want to keep your marketing tactics locally-focused. Using a plumbing marketing company, you can invest in local tactics such as getting featured on Google Maps and targeting local keywords on Google and Bing (such as ‘plumber near me’). Tactics like joining local business groups, cross-promoting with other local businesses and posting flyers through people’s doors could also be effective.

Something like a shipping company is more likely to have a global audience. In this case, you want to keep SEO internationally focused and use mainly digital marketing tactics. It could be important to have a website that translates well into other languages or possibly separate websites for different countries. Networking internationally could also be important. 

Budget or premium?

The cost of your product can also have an impact on how you market it. With a low-priced ‘budget’ product or service there is likely to be a big focus on how the product can save someone money. With a high-priced ‘premium’ product or services, you may want to spend more time promoting the added benefits and how it justifies the value. 

On top of this, budget products or services are more likely to be purchased on impulse, while premium products and services may require a lot more persuasion. Outbound marketing can therefore be more effective with budget businesses, while inbound marketing is more effective with premium businesses. A premium business may also need to invest more into branding and reputation building than a budget business.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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