The 5 Circles of Marketing (because “types” just sounds boring…)

marketingAre you a billionaire philanthropist playboy? Awesome! Richard Branson and Bill Gates, you have more important things to do today so I’ll send you on your way.

For the rest of you – since you’re not billionaire philanthropist playboys (or playgirls!) yet, my best guess is that you could use some “oomph” in your business. Bring in some new leads, new customers, new attention. You know, make more money and share more of your unique gifts, abilities, and products with the world.

I’ll also venture a guess that you probably don’t want to spend the next 10 years trying everything under the sun to make that happen, nor do you want to work 90+ hours a week on all the different marketing methods you’re using to drive that growth.

Here is what you need to know.

There are only 5 different types of marketing. Every method under the sun can be fit within one of these 5 types, or circles. The key to reaching your target market wherever they may be is to choose one method from each of these circles to focus on at any given time.

You can evolve and change as your business and the market evolve and change, but you should really only be putting focused energy into one method from each group at once. More than that, and you’ll likely end up overworked from too much on your plate - and you’ll have the bonus of very little to show for it, since you couldn’t put too much effort into any one thing.

And FYI, once you’ve seen these 5 types, you’ll see something else – most wildly successful companies do this without even realizing it. If you want to be wildly successful, you might want to give it a try.

Thus, I present to you The 5 Circles of Marketing!

1. Collaborative Marketing

This is the type of marketing many online experts preach about, though it is likely not the only method they use. Once you master collaborative marketing, however, watch out! You’ll have the midas touch. Collaborative marketing is all about mutually beneficial relationships. Yes, you get something from the relationship – but that is not the focus! The focus is in the give and take.

If you receive the benefit of someone’s promotion, you provide them with an equal or greater benefit like commissions, future promotions and partnership opportunities, content, etc.

It is important to note that JV’s are not the only methods for collaborative marketing! Ad swaps, referral agreements, strategic partnerships and co-promotions for complimentary services are all examples of collaborative marketing. Anything that involves two businesses working together to promote each other is a collaborative promotion. Examples include…

  • Ad swaps
  • Referral agreements
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Affiliate promotions
  • Co-promotions or cost-shared advertising and promotion
  • And of course, joint ventures.

2. Earned Media Marketing

Earned media marketing is essentially content marketing and publicity rolled in together. The focus is on spreading your message or the message of your company as an expert authority figure.

The key to earned media marketing is distribution. Even bad content, if it is distributed anywhere, can get you incredible results. Of course if the content was great, the results would be even better – so I still encourage you to create epic content. But if you create something epic and no one ever sees it, you’re wasting your time.

Earned Media Marketing is related to Collaborative Marketing in that it involves a give-and-take relationship, but it is usually with a person or a content source rather than a commercial entity or business. Some examples of Earned Media Marketing are…

  • Publicity
  • Guest blogging
  • Interviews as an expert
  • Traditional media coverage
  • Press release coverage
  • Organic product reviews (unpaid, non-affiliate reviews)

3. Broadcast Marketing

Ahh, Broadcast Marketing. This is what you see from 99% of “big brands” – it’s the visible face of these mammoth corporations. Of course, they also include a piece from every other circle in their mix, but this is what you think of when you think of traditional marketing.

Broadcast Marketing is “push” marketing – you are, in essence, paying to shout from the rooftops and hoping someone will listen. Largely untargeted and subjected to ad blindness, this is not the most effective tool in your marketing arsenal but still one you should be using if you can. The key is to get as targeted as possible – the publications your audience reads, the sites your audience visits, and if you’re a local business, even billboards that your customers drive by.

Broadcast Marketing is something that you’ll want to dedicate some serious time to – at least 20% of your marketing efforts. You want to constantly review, tweak, and improve your Broadcast Marketing to achieve a higher ROI and drop inefficient investments. Some examples of Broadcast Marketing include…

  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Radio and television ads
  • Digital ads (banners, etc.)
  • Pay per click ads
  • Paid press release distribution
  • Paid blog posts/guest posts
  • Sponsored content
  • Online video ads
  • Billboards
  • Flyers
  • Mass direct mail
  • Solo ads
  • And pretty much anything else where you pay directly, in advance, with no promise of results, for the exposure

4. Event Marketing

Can I just say – I *love* event marketing! If you want to create a big splash in the market place and have people saying “I see you everywhere!”, events are where it’s at.

You want to have a focused strategy for how you will get involved with events. Will you host? Will you piggyback off the efforts of others? Will you just attend the events for networking? What specifically related to events will you be doing?

My two personal favourites are hosting digital events like webinars, telesummits, teleseminars, etc. and sponsorships. I love sponsorships! But not just any sponsorship, I want sponsorships that give me a physical presence and a way to interact with people in person and get them engaged. No gift bags or logos for me, I want a booth or a stage! But again – I never try to do both at the same time. One or the other.

Events are a great place to start if you’re looking to get clients *fast*, fill your programs or launch your products, and get in front of a large amount of potential clients at once. Some examples of Event Marketing include…

  • Sponsorships
  • Physical events you host
  • Digital events like telesummits, webinars, and teleseminars
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows
  • Conventions
  • Festivals
  • Summits
  • Networking group meetings (hello, MeetUp.com!)

5. Social Marketing

Let’s start this section with a disclaimer. Social Marketing, in all its forms, is primarily one-to-one – so it is slow. It is also one of the biggest possible time-sucks when you are first starting out!

If you don’t have 10k followers or fans to interact with and get to buy your stuff, you’ll spend a lot of your time following people, randomly sharing messages and hoping to get attention from bigger groups, interacting one-on-one with people, and ending up randomly surfing the web (while wondering how you got to the LOLcats again when you’re supposed to be working.)

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, Social Marketing can be effective if you use it as a tool for building relationships one-on-one that will be hugely beneficial, in the beginning, or as a way of interacting with a large number of people at once as you get bigger. The key is to stay focused, and know where you “fit” in the social world. Spending all day on Facebook or Twitter isn’t where you belong at the beginning, and spending all day on forums isn’t where you belong if you have a 6 figure business.

Another disclaimer – never, ever count on something going “viral”. Yes, there are experts who will tell you there is a formula for viral content. Yes, there are people who will say you can manufacture it. Those same experts also offer paid services called “seeding” – advertising your so-called viral content for a pretty penny, usually about $1/view for the first 30,000 or so views before it has any element of virality to it.

Just create things that are worth sharing, and put them out there. If people agree it is worth sharing, they will. If it is worth sharing *enough*, the timing is just right, trends are hitting on all of the right things, everything is perfect, and the stars and the universe align to deliver a hoard of interested super-advocates to your doorstep, it might go viral.

Creating something worth sharing socially is step one. Some examples of Social Marketing include…

  • Social media (obviously)
  • Networking meetings
  • Referral networks
  • Social sharing plugins, networks, etc
  • Viral marketing
  • “Guerilla” street teams
  • Forum participation
  • Mastermind groups

So there you have it.

Those are the 5 circles of marketing. Do one thing from each of these 5 circles, and put your heart and soul into each and every one. You’re certain to see results from a consistent, focused effort in each of these areas – and you’ll have the happy benefit of not being overwhelmed and unfocused, frustrated and confused as you do it.

What do you think? Have I missed any methods for these 5 circles? Do you do this already in your business? Share!

Shine bright,

- Cheryl

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An ex-corporate marketing maven gone rogue, Cheryl Woodhouse has spent over a decade as a Business Growth Mentor and Marketing Expert. Today she trains fellow entrepreneurs to design their ideal lives around a successful, passion-filled business through various RADIANT Programs. Tomorrow, who knows?
  • Master HIScoach Nanette

    Cheryl, this was a great article. Glad to have information as I revamp my marketing plan. THANK YOU.

    • http://cherylwoodhouse.com/ Cheryl Woodhouse

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it. If you want to get more of a jumpstart on your 2014 planning, make sure you’re subscribed for updates – I’ll be releasing some special videos soon!