Fully understanding and differentiating between the various facets of a profession as complex as marketing is not easy. You may have heard of terms like inbound and outbound, just to give an example. But these (and other) activities consist of strategies, and definitions, that can be better known.

Let's take a look together at the meaning of industry terminology, starting from the simplest expressions to the most complex ones.

The types of strategies

Three bulbs placed horizontally on different colored background (from left to right: yellow, orange and green)
More strategies, more ideas. Marketing is one, but it has a thousand methods.

Marketing: offline and online

The word "marketing" can be juxtaposed with many terms, often in English.

" Offlinemarketing" is the set of activities that are put in place outside the Internet. It is made up of billboards and flyers, but also television and radio advertising, not to forget catalogs and physical events. It can be, contrary to what you might think, very effective, if designed and managed in the right way.

" Onlinemarketing," which is also very powerful if executed in the best way, takes place on the Internet, through social profiles and digital advertising activities. The heart of online marketing is the website, without which it is very difficult for a company to gain telematic credibility; or even just do content marketing (we will always see within the article what this expression means).

Offline and online marketing are both powerful tools, when managed properly, and cause companies to increase the perceived value and reach of their brand.

Each business is a specific case, but in general a business should consider using both online and offline marketing strategies in order to maximize its reach and effectiveness.

"Above the line" and "below the line"

How many times have you wondered what was meant by above the line and below the line (often abbreviated as "ATL" and "BTL")?

These are also fairly generic expressions. The first refers to huge campaigns without a specific target, usually put in place to reach more customers. The second to specific and capillary advertisements, capable of reaching the individual person in a personalized way.

Examples of ATL marketing are radio and television commercials; BTL, on the other hand, ranges from forms of Email Marketing to point-of-sale promotions.

These expressions are not to be confused with above and below the fold, terms that indicate, in journalistic parlance, the top and bottom sections of the front page of a newspaper; nor with above (or below) the scroll, by which we define, respectively, the part of the website that is visible without scrolling the page and that which is visible only by scrolling the page.

There is also another expression, namely through the line, used to refer to strategies that incorporate within them both above and below the line techniques.

We have better delineated some of the more general terms. Let us now look at others.

A wide yellow line drawn on the asphalt divides part of the image in half, vertically. Below, in perspective, the legs of a boy in sportswear can be glimpsed
Marketing through the line (TTL) incorporates above and below the line strategies, thus presenting integrated solutions to promote brands

Inbound and outbound

These are more complex but widely used terms.

Imagine a restaurant, with a crowd of people around it walking through the surrounding streets and squares. Some spontaneously stop at the restaurant, others do not even see it.

"Inbound marketing" refers to strategies aimed at getting customers to take the first step toward it by attracting them to it (perhaps with a large sign).

Outbound, on the other hand, is to go out and intercept them one by one, somewhat like what happens with "throwers."

This is a simplification, of course.Inbound marketing attracts customers by offering them value, such as through Content.

Outbound, on the other hand, is a bit more intrusive, but for that very reason it does not always have the same possibilities as the former.

Techniques that contribute to an inbound strategy can be Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, and, as mentioned above, Content Marketing (we will see them all at the end of the article).

To rephrase the above examples, we could say that outbound marketing involves proactively reaching consumers with the intent to sell a product or service. This type of marketing is often found in theoffline in the form of infomercial-style television and radio advertisements, print ads, and direct mail. The goal of outbound marketing is to put the message directly in front of as many people as possible to convert them into customers.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on attracting people by creating and distributing content. This can include blogging, creating articles for the Web site, social media posts, videos, personalized newsletters, and more. The goal is to create content that is useful and interesting to potential customers so that they are more likely to interact with the brand.

Ultimately, both types of marketing seek to create strong connections between brands and customers.Inbound is usually seen as a newer, more cutting-edge way of marketing, although it is instead as old as the former.

What about Guerrilla Marketing?

You may have heard this expression used.Guerrilla marketing refers to an unconventional form of marketing.

It relies on low-cost, often humorous tactics to create impactful and memorable campaigns. It uses surprise and amazement (sometimes, even shock) to capture the audience's attention and generate interest in a brand or company. It can take many forms, from using surprise interactions to promote a product or service, to creating new or unconventional ways to increase sales.

Ultimately, the goal of "Guerrilla Marketing" is to amaze the audience and draw attention to a product or service in an effective and cost-effective way (possibly by getting people to talk to each other about it and make it even more widely known).

A high-budget example might be a campaign based on a huge rubber dinosaur stepping on a car in the middle of the city so that all passersby can see it and notice the words "Even he couldn't destroy it." Such a sight could also create a useful form of word of mouth.

The image depicts a toy dinosaur
Guerrilla marketing attracts potential customers to a business by making them amaze or surprise them with absurd situations and "over-the-top" gimmicks

The individual techniques of marketing

We have talked about the general strategies. But what about individual techniques?

Let's see what the methods can be to do marketing understood as an activity divided into different tasks, instead of whole strategies.

Here, then, are some definitions.

Content Marketing

It is a type of marketing designed to create and share material, often online (mostly blog articles, but also videos) that does not explicitly promote a brand, but draws attention to the brand by providing users or potential customers with valuable information or entertainment.

Its purpose is to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. It involves creating content that is useful and interesting to the target audience.

Content can be in the form of blog articles, videos, guides and more. When executed correctly, content marketing can help build trust, shorten sales cycles and increase customer loyalty. It is an effective way to reach your audience and engage them in meaningful conversations.

Content marketing also helps companies define their past, present and future and understand what their audience wants.

Through content marketing, companies can create an engaging customer experience that will drive long-term customer relationships.

Social Media Marketing

It is a branch of marketing that operates in virtual communities, from creating posts to managing comments in response to them. It should not be confused with actual Social Media Management, which is a part of it.

Obviously, it consists of a form of digital marketing. It harnesses the power of popular social media networks to achieve a brand's marketing and promotional goals. It involves the creation of content tailored to each platform to stimulate customer engagement and promote a business.

Through Social Media Marketing, companies can reach their target audience and market their products more effectively. In addition, it can help build brand awareness, identify key audiences, generate leads (i.e., contacts) and build customer relationships. This is done by creating content that finds favor with the target audience, participating in conversations, and using tools such as analytics to monitor performance. With the right strategy and tools, it can be an effective way for companies to achieve their marketing goals.

The image shows a desk with a pen, a notepad, a laptop computer and a cell phone on it
Different marketing techniques require different strategies--and different tools, too!

Influencer marketing

It is a form of Social Media Marketing that takes its strands from the ability of human beings to influence their peers. It revolves around the figure of theinfluencer, which unfortunately lacks an unambiguous definition.

Influencer marketing acts precisely because of the power influencers have in promoting a brand or product. We could define influencers as people with established credibility and audiences on social media platforms. They share their opinions and experiences with their followers, and brands collaborate with them to reach a wider market, create more awareness and increase sales.

Brands pay influencers to discuss or mention their products or services on social channels. This form of marketing (similar in effect to word-of-mouth or commercials with celebrity endorsers) is an effective way to reach potential customers and build trust in the brand among an ever-widening audience.

Email marketing

From newsletters to individual "direct" emails, everything about the world of email in marketing meets the definition. In general, Email Marketing is the act of sending a commercial message using an email.

Email marketing is thus a form of digital marketing that uses e-mail as a means of reaching current and potential customers. It involves sending promotional messages, advertisements and other types of information to people with the goal of increasing sales, increasing customer loyalty and brand awareness. It is an effective method of communicating with customers and building relationships with them. It allows marketers to customize the message for each individual customer by providing relevant content tailored to their needs.

It also makes it possible for companies to measure the success of their campaigns, as well as track customer engagement. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large number of potential customers in a short period of time.