Indirect Marketing: Learn What It Can Do for Your Business That Direct Marketing Can’t

Turmoil on the street. Man is using loudspeaker

By Kat Solukova

Is there anything more annoying than in-your-face marketing? Pop-up ads, cold calls, and sales emails are all intended to get consumers to buy more from you. Unfortunately, this type of selling is more likely to irritate customers than impress them.

In a world where customers have become less accepting of ads, businesses can’t afford to be overly blunt with their promotional campaigns. After all, your customers are bombarded with sales materials every day. It’s no wonder they get sick of all the commercial offers popping up on every website they visit.

So, should businesses give up on marketing entirely? Not exactly. Company leaders still need a way to connect with their audience and convince them to buy. However, you can use a more subtle approach to attract new customers.

Unlike direct marketing, indirect marketing focuses on casually creating a connection with your target audience. You can use indirect marketing to retain new customers, increase loyalty, and develop more business.

What is indirect marketing?

Indirect marketing is a way for companies to advertise their services, products, or ideas without having to spam customers with high pressure (in-your-face) sales tactics.

For example, if a company wanted to advertise an upcoming event to a customer directly, they could send an email to consumers letting them know about the event and how to get signed up. On the other hand, if you wanted to get your customers informed about the same event indirectly, you could use a press release to announce your upcoming event, with quotes from your executive team, and perhaps references to previous events, or you could get influencers to share the event across social media.

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Indirect marketing is a valuable component of both brand recognition and awareness. However, like any kind of advertising technique, indirect marketing comes with both positive and negative attributes to consider.


  • It’s a softer and subtler approach to marketing that doesn’t feel annoying or overwhelming to your target audience.
  • It delivers value through useful information that answers customer questions about your brand.
  • It’s usually a lot less expensive than direct marketing; you can usually create your own content with ease.
  • You build brand awareness and strengthen your reputation without being overly obvious.
  • You strengthen your relationship with your customers.


  • Indirect marketing involves casting a wider net, which means you can’t always be sure whom you’re going to attract with your campaigns.
  • Your profit margins may be lower, as you’re using an indirect way of selling your message.
  • It’s a long-term strategy that doesn’t always yield results overnight.
  • It requires consistent upkeep so that it can continue to deliver results.

One major downside of indirect marketing is it’s difficult to measure. Indirect advertising is all about building trust and relationships with your audience over time. Unlike direct marketing, where you can instantly see how people are converting based on your ads, you might not be able to see an immediate return on investment with your indirect campaigns.

Indirect and direct marketing strategies are very different beasts.

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