Deciphering 7 Different Types of Marketing: Which One Is Right for You?

Types of Marketing

Apple’s sleek packaging, Energizer’s drum-beating bunny and Nike’s universal “Just Do It” slogan—this is all the work of brilliant marketers. You see, marketers have the immense challenge of making their brand stand out among the rest. To conquer this challenge, different types of marketing have evolved to work together to promote a brand or product.

When considering a career in the field, it can be tough to decide which type of marketing will best fit your natural skill set. Consider this your go-to guide on seven different types of marketing. Here, you will get the low-down on what goes into each of the different types of marketing so that you can decide where your talents will flourish.

Types of marketing to consider

Read on to find out what makes each of the seven different types of marketing unique, and see if you have what it takes to launch a career in this field.

1. Brand management

What do Nike, Disney and IKEA all have in common? They are all major brands with millions of devoted fans that just can’t seem to get enough. The brand managers behind these beloved names have played a key role in cultivating these followings. In today’s crowded marketplace, brand managers have the daunting challenge of making their brand stand out among the rest.

Brand managers are tasked with developing, communicating and managing the various elements of a brand or product. This includes activities like designing brand elements, overseeing brand communications and guiding market research. Brand managers have a broad range of responsibilities, and their role is absolutely crucial to the survival of the business.               

Signs you’re destined for a brand management role:

  • You’re able to understand why different groups of people act in different ways.
  • Storytelling comes naturally to you. You even tell other people’s stories in moving ways.
  • At the end of the day, you’re always focused on the big picture.

2. Advertising

Advertising comes in all shapes and sizes. Just this week, you’ve probably seen a billboard, listened to a radio ad, and watched a commercial. Advertising is the process of persuasively communicating with consumers through paid mediums. The work of advertisers is all around you, and though it may seem uncomplicated, there are whole teams of people working to craft messages that catch your attention.

The advertising process is typically a team effort. Media buyers, creative directors and strategists work together to plan, produce and distribute advertisements on behalf of a brand. Regardless of your role on the team, advertising is a big job that requires detailed planning and plenty of teamwork.   

Signs you’re destined for an advertising role:

  • You have the ability to turn vague directions into concrete plans.
  • Creative ideas are constantly flowing out of you.
  • You’re a natural-born team player who collaborates seamlessly with others.

3. Public relations

Is there really such thing as bad press? Considering that PR professionals have been debating this question since what seems like the dawn of time, the world may just never know. What is clear is that public relations is all about getting people to talk about your brand—and doing what you can to ensure that talk is positive.

A public relations coordinator acts as the spokesperson for a product, person or brand. They are responsible for getting the word out and maintaining a positive reputation in the news for their company. PR pros spend their days writing press releases, pitching stories and communicating with news professionals in order to promote a brand, service or organization.     

Signs you’re destined for a public relations role:

  • You are a self-proclaimed news junkie who never misses a thing.
  • You have a passion for creative writing and storytelling.
  • You’ve mastered the art of persuasion. Winning people over is your specialty.

4. Market research

Research is creating new knowledge, as American astronaut Neil Armstrong once put it. In marketing, research serves to answer questions about how consumers think, feel and act. If you want to put your analytical mind to work, market research is the perfect type of marketing for you.

Market researchers are responsible for conducting studies to better understand a particular group of consumers and later analyzing the information collected. The researcher’s role can look like anything from creating online surveys to conducting focus groups. Communication is key, as researchers have to be able to communicate their findings to larger groups within companies.

Signs you’re destined for a market research role:

  • You’re not afraid to sift through large amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns.
  • You love to pick people’s brains to understand why they do certain things.
  • You have the ability to clearly communicate complex information using uncomplicated words.

5. Content marketing

From the podcast you listen to in the car to your favorite morning newsletter, content marketing is everywhere you look. At the heart of it all is content, which is basically anything that delivers information to an audience. The goal of content marketing is to create valuable and useful content that serves to promote a company over time.

Content marketers are the savvy professionals in charge of planning, creating and distributing content. Effective content is created with the consumer in mind, so it’s important these marketers not only understand but actually empathize with the audience. By engaging consumers to address their interests on an individual level, successful content will build trust between the consumer and brand.

Signs you’re destined for a content marketing role:

  • You have a passionate voice and you know how to express it in your writing.
  • You love researching and collecting interesting information.
  • You’re able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their desires and frustrations.  

6. Social media marketing

Social media platforms have fundamentally changed the way marketers interact with their audience. How, you may ask? With social media, brands can reach consumers across the world at all times of day, instantly. That’s a pretty big deal—even bigger is the ability for consumers to engage and instantly give feedback to marketing efforts. Social media marketing aims to leverage this massive opportunity to develop relationships with consumers, promote brand awareness and drive traffic to a website or store.

Social media marketers have the complex job of managing a brand’s social media presence across online platforms. This encompasses everything from responding to customer comments, to developing hashtag campaigns, to planning and composing posts. Because of the timely nature of social media, marketers in this field must be able to think on their feet and react in a moment’s notice.

Signs you’re destined for a social media marketing role:

  • You’re savvy with social media—even your thoughts include hashtags.
  • You’re always in-the-know and can spot a trend in its infancy.
  • You are an avid multi-tasker who can change direction at the drop of a dime.  

7. Search engine marketing (SEM)

Maybe you’ve heard of this thing called Google? Everything you see on that search results page is the work of search engine marketers.  Search engine marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses the two distinct fields of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search. Search engine optimization aims to drive traffic to a website by gaining visibility in non-paid—aka “organic”—search engine results. Paid-search activities involve the paid-search ads that show up on the top of a search results page.

Search engine marketing professionals are responsible for managing a brand’s presence on the search results page. Their job typically revolves around the keywords that people search for in relation to a specific brand or product. These tech-savvy pros know all the ins and outs of how search engines operate.

Signs you’re destined for a search engine marketing role:

  • You thrive on analysis and logic-based problem solving.
  • Google holds a special place in your digital-obsessed heart.
  • You’re constantly tinkering with things to make them better.

Find your place among the different types of marketing

Regardless of your talents, there are seemingly endless options for degree-holding job seekers in the field of marketing. Before you decide which of the different types of marketing is right for you, it’s crucial to build the right foundation for your career. A degree in Marketing can help you get the knowledge you need to succeed in business.

If you’re still wondering just what to expect in a marketing career, hear what the experts have to say in our article, “11 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Pursuing a Career in Marketing.”


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This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Jasmine is the Marketing Communications Intern at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about creating engaging content and hopes her words encourage readers to achieve their educational goals.

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