The marketing industry includes full-service marketing companies that offer various services and marketing companies that specialize in certain fields and media. Marketing companies may specialize in direct marketing, promotional marketing, or guerrilla marketing.
Direct marketing companies create strategies for reaching consumers through direct mail, door-to-door sales, and telemarketing. Direct mail is typically advertising circulars, catalogs, brochures, credit card applications, or other sales pieces that may be addressed to pre-selected individuals or unaddressed and delivered to neighborhoods, such as the lobbies of apartment buildings.
Promotional marketing companies help companies create campaigns to promote their products. They focus on product placement, endorsements, sponsorships, merchandising, and trade shows. Promotional marketing companies aim to stimulate customers’ interest in companies’ products and convince them to try the products and make a purchase. Sweepstakes contests are one form of promotional marketing, whereby the prize is the product either offered for free or at a discount. Other promotional marketing campaigns typically offer incentives such as cash rewards, discounted vacation packages and/or airfare, and discounted supplies of products.
Guerrilla marketing companies offer unconventional ways for companies to get word out about their products and services to as broad an audience as possible while keeping the costs low. People are accustomed to traditional methods of marketing, such as sales calls, postcards, print ads, TV commercials, and even banner ads on Web sites. With guerrilla marketing, customers are sometimes not even aware that they are being marketed to. Guerrilla marketing uses bold, assertive, and usually risky tactics to excite people and create buzz. Guerrilla marketing tactics may include dramatic publicity stunts that engage millions of viewers on YouTube. Other tactics may be treasure hunts, with items hidden in certain areas, clues posted online, and prizes. Guerrilla marketers often create videos that go viral, user-generated content competitions, and creative Web sites and Web pages for companies and products.
Companies also have marketing departments, which include a small or large staff of skilled employees depending upon the size of the company. Marketing companies and marketing departments typically include a vice president, who manages the staff and overseas the company’s marketing strategy, and a marketing manager or director, who reports to the vice president, and works with team members to create marketing campaigns and programs geared to the company’s target audience, including messages for Web and print advertisements and other media. Marketing managers also devise pricing strategies to help maximize profits while satisfying customers’ demands. They work closely with staff members in sales, public relations, and product development. The Department of Labor (DOL) reported that there were 259,200 marketing managers and 27,600 advertising and promotions managers employed in the United States in 2018.
Market researchers find out information about potential customers for the company and also research the company’s competition. They conduct surveys and focus groups to learn more about the target audience, and also get data and statistics from publications such as the U.S. Census Bureau. They study marketing programs and strategies to measure for effectiveness, monitor and forecast sales and marketing trends, and analyze and translate complicated data into reports that clients and management can understand. In 2018, there were approximately 681,900 market research analysts working in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.