12 Ways To Effectively Market A Product Or Service

James Mull is the owner & founder at htmull, an international digital marketing and web design agency with clients across all industries.

Marketing tactics are constantly evolving. This gives businesses the upper hand when it comes to discovering what’s most effective for their industry.

The marketing strategy you develop should coincide with your business model. Make sure to carefully consider your target audience as well as your products or services before deciding where to invest your money and time. Here are 12 strong tactics to effectively market a product or service.

1. Offer customers an exclusive preview.

As a business owner, your goal should be to nurture loyal customers while also converting cold buyers down the sales funnel. People enjoy exclusivity because it piques their interest and makes them feel a part of something greater. If you have a loyal customer base, consider offering them an exclusive preview of your new products or services. This can be accomplished through a loyalty program, VIP group or simply executed over social media or email.

2. Create gift guides or bundle collections.

Bundling new products alongisde the top-sellers in collections while offering a slight discount over individual product prices is another great tactic. This can allow you to bank on the reputation and following of a successful product and incentivize buyers wishing to restock on items.

3. Use customer-generated content on social media.

Marketing data shows that people are attracted to people. Take a look at what your customers post online about your business. This can include product reviews, photos using your product or video tutorials. Sharing positive customer interactions can build trust with new buyers that your products or services are credible and being used by others just like them.

4. Leverage email signup discounts.

Email is one of the most direct-connect pathway to your customers, and it’s as important as ever to build a strong email list. If you are struggling to get clients to opt into your emails, you need to give them a reason. Buyers always enjoy getting something in return. Consider enticing site visitors to join your email list by offering them a discount code or a chance to win something.

5. Create a subscription service.

The feasibility of a subscription service will depend on your market, but this can be a highly effective strategy for some. If you sell anything that buyers will need to repurchase, consider taking the stress off their hands by offering a monthly subscription. Customers who enjoy your product or service will be less likely to cancel and grateful to save some time. Just be mindful to allow a cancellation policy that is convenient as well: Subscription services can suffer in sales if customers feel trapped.

6. Utilize all content marketing platforms.

Content marketing is everywhere today: in emails, blog posts, social media channels, YouTube and more. Be sure to get your name out across all platforms. It can be hard to do it all alone as an entrepreneur, so look for opportunities that arise for cross-promotion. Start with the venues your target audience frequents most, then expand to other platforms.

7. Use targeted ads.

Targeted ads focus on leveraging current customers that may already be interested in your business. For example, if a repeat customer is browsing Facebook, you may consider running a targeted ad that shows them a new product that bundles well with your top-selling item. This broadens the chain of repeat buyers and ensures you’re always at the forefront of a customer’s mind.

8. Learn from customer reviews.

Social proof is one of the most reliable ways to get through to hesitant buyers. Easy availability of strong customer reviews can demonstrate that you are reputable and your quality lives up to the standards of consumers. Remember to look at customer feedback as a lesson, not a curse. If you receive negative reviews, the best thing you can do is respond by displaying outstanding customer service. This can translate into positive associations with your brand in the minds of buyers.

9. Collaborate with influencers.

Closely related to our discussion of social proof, influencer marketing has taken the world by storm. Digital marketing can be a game-changer for your business. Many people follow influencers and come to innately trust their opinions as much as close friends. When deciding to put your product into the influencer space, make sure to stay relevant to your industry. This could expose you to thousands of new customers that may stick around for years if they enjoy your product or service.

10. Increase customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value allows you to focus on lasting customers that come back to your company for years. Many businesses are so keen on acquiring new clients that they neglect these loyal customers. Give an equal amount of energy to long-term customers by offering promotions, putting their feedback into action and creating new products based on request. The goal is to retain customers, converting them into repeat buyers.

11. Run “product drop” giveaways.

Dropping a brand new product can feel intimidating, but there are plenty of ways to get creative with your process. If you have a social media presence, consider running a product drop giveaway. New customers will be interested to compete for a chance to win, encouraging more people to buy if they don’t make the cut. Make it fun for customers to get involved and invested in your product or service.

12. Alert customers if they leave something in their cart.

Create an automated email message that alerts buyers if they leave something in their cart for a certain amount of time. Sometimes people forget they didn’t hit buy, got too busy or simply had cold feet. A genuine follow-up can be advantageous for increasing conversions.

Which strategies are right for you?

There are plenty of ways to leverage marketing tactics in your business today, so focus on what makes the most sense for your customers and business model. Focus first on building a strong foundation, then consider venturing into other tactics as your audience grows. These 12 strategies are a great place to start.


Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?