As far as difficult questions to answer go, what type of marketing should I do is in the top ten. It’s right up there with ‘do these jeans make my bum look big?’ and ‘where do babies come from, mommy?’.

With so many avenues available for businesses to market themselves in, deciding on the best ones for your specific brand and product offering has become tough. If only there were a marketing agency that could simplify things with, say, a super visual graph…

Okay, it might look like an abstract art piece at first, but the above WSI chart is a powerful tool to get you thinking about the right types of marketing for your unique brand and offering.

Below we’re simplifying the process by discussing the main types of marketing, two broad types of businesses, the types of customers we find, and other factors to consider when choosing the best marketing activities for your organisation.

Main types of marketing

Traditional Media

Remember those awesome adverts you watched on a tubed TV as a child, between episodes of daytime soapies and children’s shows? The brands advertising to you and your family while you ate dinner were using traditional media. This category includes the likes of:

  • Newspapers/magazines
  • Telephone calls
  • TV/Radio adverts
  • Trade shows
Digital Media

Once the digital age began, with the rise of the World Wide Web, another type of marketing became possible. One which is more convenient, offers international reach, and comes in much cheaper. Seriously, call your local radio station and find out what 30 seconds of airtime will cost you. Digital marketing includes:

  • Emailing
  • Social media
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Content marketing

Types of businesses

People are looking for your products, but not your brand.

An example of this type of enterprise would be one that is entering an already-serviced market. There are a bunch of competitors in your environment, and deals are mostly won on price. For example, you’ve just started a business where you import well-known dog food brands and deliver to people’s front doors.


  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  2. Google Search Engine marketing
  3. Takealot advertising
  4. ‘Daily deals’ websites
  5. Tradeshows
  6. Review websites
  7. Integrated partnerships


Your products are new, so nobody is searching for them yet.

In contrast, this variety of business is bringing something fresh and new to the table, either reinventing something popular – or inventing something completely unseen before. For example, you have exclusive distribution rights to sell the world’s first folding smartphone in South Africa.


  1. TV/Radio
  2. Out-of home (billboards)
  3. Display advertising (PPC)
  4. Social media
  5. Direct mailing
  6. Video marketing
  7. Affiliate marketing


Types of customers

Anybody can use my products and services.

Before rushing into one of the above 14 marketing tools to get your business the exposure it deserves, you might want to consider the type of customer you’re looking to attract. For example, anyone from any walk of life will search for things like clothing, smartphones, etc.


Only specific customers will look for my products.

This category of customer is a much smaller pool, because it focuses in on a specific segment of the public. Everyone needs shoes and groceries, but how many of us need industrial laser levelling nodes or manufacturing automation software?


Using the graph to focus your marketing

So, which one of these best describes your brand and products/services?

A: Your clients are aware of your products but not your brand, and anybody can use your products.

B: Your clients are aware of your products but not your brand, and only specific people use your products.

C: Your clients don’t know about your products, and anybody will be able to use your products.

D: Your clients don’t know about your products, and only certain people will use your products.


If A best describes you, the marketing tools you find in the TOP-LEFT square of the chart are going to work best for your brand.

If B best describes you, have a look at the TOP-RIGHT square.

If C describes your business, you’ll want to consider the marketing tools we’ve listed in the BOTTOM-LEFT square.

If D best describes your enterprise, the marketing platforms in the graph’s BOTTOM-RIGHT square should be your focus.


Other factors to consider

Time on your hands.

An important question to ask before starting business marketing is this: do I have the time on my hands to create all of the content that goes along with it? Not only does the creative side of marketing take time, but strategizing, approving, editing, uploading, and monitoring campaigns all require considerable time investments.

Skills of your team.

If social media marketing is the way you wish to proceed, are you prepared to facilitate the creation and sharing of content? If your design skills aren’t Picasso level, do you have the resources to get great social media artwork created? This is where partnering with a marketing company can help, by providing the technical expertise to ensure you can advertise where you’d like to.

Marketing budgets.

What is this all going to cost us? This is a common concern for businesses already having to tightly manage their cashflow. Before committing to a marketing strategy, find out what it’s going to cost to make the marketing happen. For example, traditional marketing is considerably more expensive than, say, organic social media marketing. However, most traditional marketing channels have higher reaches.


Still not sure of the type of marketing you should do?

We really hope that our super cool graph, and the above descriptions, have given you a better idea of which direction your business marketing should be taking. If you’re still scratching your head, and you’d like the professionals to assess your business and make suggestions – get in touch with WSI Durban and let’s get you on the right track!