The BIG list of today’s marketing channels

120+ content delivery and marketing channels that marketers need to manage today

The current focus on multichannel and omnichannel strategies, highlights the need to prioritise investment on the relevant marketing channels for a company. It's not practical for most to manage all channels and certainly you need to prioritise resources on the channels which will give the best returns. Should you focus on digital marketing channels? Or can offline channels still deliver good ROI? To help the process of channel review and selection, I have developed this list as a starting point for a comprehensive view on all current channels available to organisations.

List of all marketing, service, delivery and transactional channels

Here is my initial list of channels, you can see I have categorised each channel. Please review the channel list and let me know if key channels are missing. I'm hoping this will be a comprehensive list that can be used for strategic review, so I have provided it as a Google Docs spreadsheet list of all channels as a the list to be complete and updated regularly. Please let me know what you think!

List of all channels

View the Google Docs Spreadsheet: List of all channels (commenting enabled)

How to select the right channels?

With so many marketing channels; so little time the idea of using such a list is to:

  • Review performance of channels currently used
  • Score other potential channels for market fit and potential returns
  • Select new mix of channels for managing

Deciding which channels to use for what purposes is a critical element of business strategy regardless of whether you're an Marketer in a B2B or B2C firm. Get it right and you can reap the rewards of reaching and retaining your customers. Get it wrong and you could spend a lot time and money trying to either persuade customers to shift channels or chasing a market that isn't there.

Tealeaf researched consumer channel choice in a typical purchase journey. As you'll see there is a large gap between the channel leaders and the lagards. However this gap may well have closed since the research was carried out back in 2012:

Purchase and research channels

Channel choice by consumers for research and purchase

Customer research and journey mapping is key to identify which marketing channels to pursue. However what is critical is that you build up a set of core services (CRM, order management and product offers) that all of your channels can consume. Having these core services available will allow your business to quickly roll out services on emerging marketing channels.

Multichannel and omnichannel definitions

Based on the commonly used definitions; multichannel is considered the use of more than one channel for transaction or delivery. Often one channel is digital and the other physical (stores and an ecommerce website). Omnichannel is defined as the use of all channels available for service, distribution and transaction within a unified experience.

Given the breadth of channel availability for marketing, it is not necessary to distinguish multichannel and omnichannel.

How do you choose relevant marketing channels?

Please do review the channel list and let me know if any channel is missing. I want the list to be complete and updated regularly.

Also, how does your firm select relevant channels to invest in? Do you go after everything or have you taken a conservative approach? Let me know in the comments.

Share your thoughts

  • Dan Barker commented on August 16, 2015

    Slightly sad to see the linked spreadsheet is now advertising a paid, expanded version. (Especially a shame as I’d submitted a list of extra channels, and I presume others had too). But, I suppose that is life & it’s up to you to do as you wish with the tool.

  • I am just working on our latest blog post and came across this article. A fantastic resource for marketing channels but wanted to elaborate on the definition between multi and omni.

    In our experience here at Rakuten Attribution (formerly DC Storm), multichannel marketers tend to be focused on their digital marketing channels, which means that the picture is still not quite full enough to fairly attribute value across those online channels. A PPC campaign for example may impact offline sales but there is no measurement in place to capture that. Effectively, multichannel is still a siloed approach, i.e. ‘online only’ similar to the historical in-channel approach many marketers were following in 2010.

    Omnichannel marketing is something we have been doing before it had a name. Under our definition – omnichannel is measuring all of your marketing channels across online and offline, so that online marketing activity can be linked to offline sales.

    Ultimately, it’s about awarding value to all of your marketing channels fairly based on their performance in the marketing mix.

  • Carla Dawson commented on February 4, 2015

    This is a fantastic list. Just out of curiosity, have you considered analyzing it from a Non profit Org’s point of view?

  • Emmanuel de Hemptinne commented on May 24, 2014

    Thanks a lot for this precious information, it really helps to have the full scope of integration opportunities when building the Digtial Marketing Strategy

  • Matthew Chase commented on July 11, 2013

    Have you come across a more detailed process for assessing and then modeling the likely ROI on a “new” channel (in this case B2C)?

  • Gareth_Powell commented on May 30, 2013

    Oh my, I have a lot to learn about marketing!

    However, this fantastic article is very, very helpful and thanks for the info and Google Spreadsheet format, and also to everyone else’s further additions.

    This will be printed out and cross referenced………just another few hundred to tick off!

    Thanks,
    Gareth

  • dan barker commented on May 21, 2013

    Here are 45/50 more:

    Inserts
    Onserts
    In-Box ads
    Products themselves. (eg. higher-end niche ranges that lose money, but get clothes onto ‘influencers’)
    Product listing ads
    Pre-Rolls (& ‘trueview’)
    Celeb endorsements
    Display remarketing
    Paid placements
    Sandwich boards
    Door-to-doors
    ‘Brand to hand’ (horrible term)
    Interstitials
    Push notifications
    In-game ads
    POS displays
    AdSense
    Aggregator inclusions
    Receipts
    Carrier bags
    ‘Bags for life’
    Product packaging
    Wearables
    Wifi login ads
    ‘Member get member’
    Film/TV product placement
    Paid reviews
    PR Stunts (eg. this ‘blood swimming pool’)
    Kickbacks
    MDF products
    Events
    Presentations
    Videos
    Images. (eg. that Oreos thing – just an image)
    Brand hijacks. (eg. Greenpeace’s ‘Artic Ready’)
    Websites/microsites
    Advertorials
    Signage
    Jingles
    ‘Bookends’

    Stranger stuff:
    Hold music
    Blimps
    Beermats
    ‘Barkers’ (the ‘roll up roll up’ guys, or the guys who stand outside restaurants on brick lane)
    Buttons/Badges
    Smells (eg. walk past one of those ‘snog’ shops in london & the air is full of ISO E Super)
    Prizes/Exhibitions (eg. Man Booker/Taylor Wessing)
    Songs

    You have listed ‘Twitter account’, so I suppose you could add the 500+ other sites from KnowEm.

    Feel free to add these if you’re happy for me to use the list too!

    • sealeyd commented on May 22, 2013

      Hi Dan

      Thanks for such a huge list of extra channels. It actually reminded me of a few others (Street Vendors).

      I’ve updated the list but have refrained from adding all the social websites. I tried to stick to the major ones but don’t think this is necessarily the correct thing to do…

      Feel free to download the sheet to use and abuse at will.

      David

  • Marco commented on May 20, 2013

    Lbs, location based services

  • Cairo Cananea commented on May 17, 2013

    You can add to list DOOH Media like Digital Signage too

  • sealeyd commented on May 13, 2013

    Thanks to feedback from email and in the spreadsheet comments, the list now includes:

    IVR
    Relationship marketing
    Sports sponsorship
    Radio advertising
    and Promotional items

    Thanks for the additions!

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Digital Marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments