The 3 Types of Marketing Customers Love & the One They Hate

There is no perfect type of marketing.

Either customers really love it, but marketing teams hate it. Or marketing teams love it, but customers hate it.

Which marketing approach is the lesser evil…

marketing customers love

One that is so insanely expensive to sustain over any length of time, that only super brands such as Apple, Nike, and Budweiser can afford it.

One that regularly steals from your bottomline.

Or one that makes some customers so angry, that they vow never to look at the offending brand ever again.


Are we destined to love to hate all forms of marketing? Or could there be a form of marketing that both marketing professionals AND customers could really, truly love?

Customers Love: Transactional Marketing

What is it:
Marketing that focuses on sales volume and optimizing each purchase (e.g., conversion rate). Because you want the sale badly enough, you’re willing to offer a discount or do whatever it takes to make the sale.

People buy from you essentially because you pay them to. Yuck. That doesn’t feel good.

Sales, coupons, free shipping offers

Why they love it:
In many cases, the customer has the upper-hand in this type of marketing. Most customers know this and take advantage of it. They will scour the web for an online coupon, abandon their cart in hopes of a “wait, don’t go” coupon offer, or you simply promote the offer everywhere on your site to preemptively avoid losing the sale. The company with the better offer almost always wins.

Why you hate it:
You are at the mercy of your customers, and customers can be fickle.

Customers Love: Disruptive Marketing

What is it:
Emotionally-driven, campaign-based marketing tactics that are usually unique and memorable. Disruptive marketing aims to create brand awareness and drive brand engagement. It’s not about the sale, it’s about the brand.

Oh wait, you don’t have millions and millions of marketing dollars to spend every month? Outta bucks, outta luck.

Super Bowl commercials, Dove True Beauty, Red Bull Stratos.

Why they love it:
Customers love to be entertained.

Why you hate it:
It costs a lot to be clever and memorable all the time. There is rarely a good way to measure ROI. Getting it right is like winning an Oscar… very few companies have a break-through performance.

Customers Hate: Interruptive Marketing

What is it:
Advertising that is designed to yell really loudly and get in front of a customer’s face in order to be noticed. It may generate immediate action by the customer, but this type of marketing makes no lasting impression.

If disruptive marketing is memorable, interruptive marketing is forgettable. As a result, companies keep dumping more money here into perpetuity – all the while slowly eroding customer trust and patience.

Pop-ups, banner ads, infomercials, billboards.

Why they hate it:
It’s annoying. Also, it’s annoying.

Why you love it:
It’s tangible proof to your executive team that you’re doing something because it’s highly visible, you’re getting your products and brand “out there,” and it’s almost always measurable. And it works… for awhile.

The Type of Marketing You Both Love: Relationship Marketing

What is it:
Marketing that focuses on starting and nurturing a long-term relationship with customers and prospects.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. You help customers and they buy and stay loyal to you in return.

Webinars, blogs, extraordinary customer service, benefit-driven product descriptions, ongoing feedback loops

Why they love it:
You remember their name. You might even remember their birthday. You are a trusted resource, friendly, and you give back to their community or their pocket book through rewards programs.

Why you love it:
It’s cheaper and easier to keep a customer than to find a new one all the time. You can track almost everything — down to the specific individual — and calculate their total lifetime value. Also, it makes your limited marketing dollars go further.

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX insights leader, UX researcher, and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps organizations drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. She never misses the Minnesota State Fair and loves dark chocolate mochas, kayaking, escape rooms, and planning elaborate treasure hunts for her children.