Marketing is a dynamic field that’s always buzzing with the excitement of captivating campaigns, engaging TV and online ads, and multimillion-dollar creations for events like the Super Bowl. Agreed, right? Everyone does. However, the truth is different.

All the things mentioned above are part of the so-called “sexy elements of marketing” that attract not only consumers’ attention but also the people in the industry. Everyone talks about them, but it’s time to shift the focus to those not so “sexy” elements of this field that all marketers encounter in their daily work and that it’s important for you to encounter as well.

What is “Shadow Marketing”?

Those not so “sexy” things in the field are what constitute the so-called – Shadow Marketing. It encompasses the practical aspects (efforts behind the results) that play a crucial role in achieving success. The elements in Shadow Marketing can vary significantly depending on the industry, marketing channel, and specific target audience. This part of marketing is extremely important and is also quite suitable for many companies because it helps them grow without huge expenses.

What’s the Difference?

Here are the most significant differences between the two types of marketing. Certainly, the lists are not limited to the elements listed below, but these are the most basic ones that make them so different.

Sexy Marketing Shadow Marketing
Sponsorships Investment calculation and profit/sales forecasting and their stimulation (Sales Tier Incentives)
Major globally renowned campaigns  People alignment
Interesting television advertisements In-depth market analysis, audience, and trends
Interactive and engaging websites and applications Building a strategy
Different events Precise timing
Launching a new product on the market Merchandising
Selecting the right channels
Positioning strategy
Customer service and care

What are the Benefits?

Let’s take a closer look at several elements from the table and analyze them in more detail to see the benefits of the Shadow marketing.

Sales Tires Incentives

What measures do you take to stimulate your sales? Perhaps most people would think of a bonus system or a special team responsible for sales and reaching out to new clients through emails and calls. Yes, but it’s not just those things that are part of these “sales tier incentives.” Marketing plays a significant role in these incentives. The goal is to understand how to present your product correctly through various channels to sell it. You can use influencers, brand ambassadors, or distributors if you aim for more physical sales, and your product allows it.

People Alignment

Make sure that behind your marketing strategy, there are people who understand the goals, the purpose, and the action plan of a given campaign or the brand itself and its communication. If there is no proper coordination between the people on your team, the agency you work with, or other partners in the chain, you won’t achieve the success you desire.


Here again comes the contrast between the two types of marketing we are discussing in the article. Who would choose Sexy – advertisements on big displays, or Shadow – a well-presented shelf, packaging, and product quality?

Customer Service and Care

It should be noted that most owners do not understand that there must be synergy between employees, good service, and the brand experience itself. It is hard to win a customer but easy to lose . So, train your employees well, make them identify with your brand, understand its mission, and know the experience you want your brand to create for the customer. If you don’t communicate these things properly to your employees, they won’t see the point in good service, or they won’t know what you expect from them, consequently, your brand and its sales suffer.

Remember that every brilliant advertisement (such as one for the Superbowl) won’t pave the way to success on the market on its own. It’s the Shadow marketing that needs to be done correctly to build the foundations, support it, and improve the path for all that Sexy Marketing. The next time you want to promote your business, first think about the less glamorous part of marketing, and then think about the sexy, shiny part. In your quest to achieve the dazzling, you might lose the fundamentals, and the results won’t be what you expect.

Antoana Bakalova – Copywriter

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