What Are Marketing Activities (Plus Types and Examples)

Updated December 12, 2022

Businesses use a variety of marketing strategies to create awareness of their products and services and persuade potential customers to buy them. Marketing activities help companies reach their target markets and differentiate their products from competitors. Understanding what marketing activities are and which ones you can use to help businesses meet their objectives can improve your career opportunities. In this article, we define marketing activities, explain the different types, and give examples.

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What are marketing activities?

Marketing activities are businesses' specific actions to promote their products and services. These activities include advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and market research. The activities that companies choose to develop depend on their individual business goals. For example, a business that wants to increase brand awareness may focus on advertising and public relations. In contrast, a business that wants to increase sales may focus on direct marketing and market research. The business activities that a company uses depend on its resources and capabilities and the audience it wants to reach.

Related: What Are Marketing Techniques? (Plus 14 Strategies)

What are the different marketing activities?

Companies can use many marketing activities to achieve their different business goals. The most common types of marketing activities include:

Market research

Market research studies the target market for a product or service to understand its needs and desires. Businesses can use this information to create better marketing campaigns and develop products and services that are more likely to appeal to the target market. Companies use a range of market research activities, including surveys and focus groups. Surveys are a list of questions designed to extract specific information from a particular group of customers. A focus group is an interview method applied to collect information through group interaction.

Depending on the size and budget of the business, they may also use secondary research sources, such as industry reports. It's important that companies choose appropriate market research methods because not all research work is suitable for all businesses.

Related: Research Skills: Definition and Examples


Advertising is a type of marketing that involves paying for exposure to a target audience. Advertising can include paid-for content on websites, outdoor billboards and signs, TV and radio commercials, print ads in newspapers and magazines, and infomercials. It also involves promoting on social media, such as paid ads on Facebook and Instagram, and influencer marketing, where social media stars promote specific products to their followers. It's essential for businesses to consider their target audience when planning their advertising campaigns and choose able advertising mediums and channels to reach them.

Related: Advertising Methods (With Steps and Reasons to Advertise)


Price is an essential element in marketing and determines the success or failure of a product or service. Pricing activities include discount campaigns, promotions, setting the price for a product at the start of its lifecycle, changing prices in response to competitors' actions, reducing prices to sell items when they aren't selling well, and raising prices to increase profits.

Pricing can also include customer loyalty programs, where companies offer discounts or rewards to encourage repeat business. It's crucial that businesses set the right price for their products to ensure profitability. It's also beneficial for them to consider various marketing strategies, such as advertising and social media, affecting how customers perceive prices.

Marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is a plan for an overall approach that a business may adopt to achieve its marketing goals within a specific situation. For example, every company has limited resources at its disposal, so developing the most expensive activities may not be possible. Similarly, some industries have higher costs than others because of regulation and legislation. Developing a marketing strategy helps businesses choose the most appropriate activities for their goals, resources, and current situation. It's important that companies revise their marketing strategy with changing seasons, new products, and the type of market.

Related: Marketing Plan vs. Marketing Strategy (With Elements)

Data analysis

Data analysis is the act of collecting, organizing, and interpreting data to understand it better. Businesses may use data analysis for several reasons, including market research, customer service, forecasting future sales or trends, and measuring results from marketing tactics. Companies can use data analytics to measure how successful a particular marketing campaign was, how much traffic a website is getting, or what types of products customers are buying the most. It's important for businesses to analyze data correctly, or they may draw incorrect conclusions that can harm them.

Related: How to Write an Analysis (With Importance and Tips)

Social media marketing

Social media is a type of online communication that allows users to share content with a broader audience. Businesses can use social media to share content, such as blog posts, audio recordings or podcasts, infographics, images, and videos. They can also use social media to engage with customers and followers, answer questions, provide customer service, and run paid advertising campaigns. It's important for businesses to be engaging and interact with their target audience on social media.

Related: 15 Top Social Media Marketing Courses to Improve Your Skills

Product and service selection

Most businesses have products or services that they sell, and the public usually identifies the company because of them. Some products and services link with the business's mission or slogan. Other companies have a broader array of products and services, such as supermarkets selling food from various suppliers, clothing retailers selling multiple types of attire, and electronics shops offering different devices. When selecting products and services to offer, businesses may ensure they are a good fit for their target market, there is a demand for them, and they can effectively market them.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a business process that focuses on managing relationships with current and potential customers. This includes contacting customers through various channels and understanding customer demographics, buying behaviour, location, interactions with the business's products, and feedback. CRM software enables companies to track their sales funnel by seeing the number of leads they get, which ones convert to paying customers, and the value of each customer.

A sales funnel is the route consumers, or clients take to complete a purchase. It's essential for businesses to contact their customers regularly, monitor their purchases, and understand who their target market is.

Related: Relationship and Effect of Customer Service in Sales

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Examples of marketing activities

There are many activities that businesses can use to achieve their marketing goals. Some activities are more expensive than others, and some are more time-consuming. The following is a list of some common activities:

Example 1: giving away samples at grocery stores

A shampoo company might set up a booth at local grocery stores and hand out free samples of their shampoo. This is an inexpensive way for the company to gain exposure because many people may see them at the store and decide to try their product. They can also track how effective this strategy is by seeing if people buy their product at the store or ask for more samples.

They can also combine this with other activities, such as linking to their website on the product label or brochures. The business can even offer a discount to customers who purchase the product at the store.

Example 2: sending coupons in the mail

Many businesses send their customers coupons and other offers through regular mail, also known as direct mail marketing. These promotions often have a more significant effect on returning customers than new ones because they have already started a relationship with the business. Sending coupons in the mail is inexpensive and time-consuming but can cause many new sales for businesses struggling to get people into their stores or attract more customers. It's also important to ensure the coupon has a clear expiration date so people can use it quickly.

Example 3: running social media ad campaigns

A small business selling custom-made jewelry might choose to run a social media ad campaign. They can target people who live in a particular area or have expressed an interest in similar products. They can also track how effective this activity is by seeing how many people click on their ad and how many of those people end up buying their product.

It's a good idea to engage with people on social media who leave positive comments or talk about the business because this can give insights into improving a marketing strategy. It's also important to respond to negative comments promptly, so the customer doesn't feel ignored.

Example 4: partnering with another company that has similar customers

A furniture store might partner with a carpet outlet, which is an excellent way for both businesses to increase exposure to potential new customers because they're two businesses that sell complementary products. They can also track how effective this activity is by seeing if people buy products from both companies.

Combining this activity with other marketing efforts may also be a good idea, such as offering discounts at the furniture store for people who buy carpets. It's also important to make sure the branding for both businesses is consistent to avoid confusing customers.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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