What is a marketing vehicle? A marketing vehicle describes the various mediums used by brands to reach and target their key audience — from digital methods to in-person interactions and engagements.
We have all stumbled across a new company, product, or service and suddenly, we start to notice the brand everywhere. First, it’s served as a Facebook advertisement, then a video ad on Instagram stories. You overhear people in a coffee shop raving about it. Then, your best friend forwards you a TikTok video about the brand. It may seem like a miracle or a sign from the universe, but it is likely the result of brilliant marketing campaigners who have used multiple marketing vehicles to achieve their objectives.
In its simplest definition, a marketing vehicle is exactly what it sounds like: the way you get a brand’s message, the call-to-action, or the sale in front of the right audience. They are vital in marketing, without them, how do you gain new customers, meet goals, and otherwise, grow your business?
While decades ago, there were only a few ways to reach your audience, now, there are countless touchpoints. Consider a skincare company new to the market and hoping to target its demographic. They create content on their website, hire a publicist to source organic media or paid media opportunities, run advertisements in local and national publications, create a television, podcast, or radio spot, partner with a company within their sector to swap email newsletter features, purchase a billboard, hire an influencer or celebrity — and this list goes on. Though they will not pursue all of these vehicles, they can pick and choose, test various messaging and mediums, and ultimately arrive at the best techniques and investments for their business.
In other words, today, there is no shortage of vehicles, but there are mistakes you can take if you don’t first develop your strategy.
Why strategy matters
It seems simple enough: you create the content, you find a marketing vehicle, and the work is done. In reality, t’s a bit more complicated and requires more forethought and strategy. This is because not all vehicles are effective for all brands, products, and services. Also, the cost per lead changes dramatically depending on what vehicle you’re using.
For example, paying for a television advertisement during the Big Game or the premiere of a hit series will cost a pretty penny, and It may not be niche enough to reach the ideal user for the business. On the other hand, purchasing a paid media campaign in a publication that is precisely in a business’s niche could be less expensive — but more impactful. Often too, a brand may only think of the vehicles they use themselves, causing them to miss out on many other opportunities that improve their bottom line.
To ensure your effectively using marketing vehicles, it can be beneficial to conduct market research, test various options at a low spend, and rely on data to guide future choices and plans.
Common marketing vehicles:
- Television: Product placements, advertisements, news features.
- Audio: Podcasts, radio, Spotify, Pandora, and SiriusXM
- Digital: Online publications, email marketing, a brand’s personal website.
- Streaming: These are advertisements within Hulu, HBO, and YouTube.
- Print: Advertisements or features in physical newspapers, magazines, and other media, including billboards.
- Social media: Paid or organic placements on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. This also includes hiring an influencer.
- Events: Attendance or creating an in-person or virtual event.