Downstream vs Upstream Marketing: Understanding the Differences

The world of marketing can be confusing, especially when it comes to downstream and upstream marketing. What are these two types of marketing strategies? How are they used? Which one is better?

Downstream and upstream marketing are the two different types of marketing strategies. Businesses use downstream or upstream methods to promote their product or service, depending on the situation. This article will examine how these two forms of marketing work; what is an example of each; and their pros and cons.

What is downstream marketing?

In this type of strategy, the business engages in marketing to customers who have already expressed an interest in their product or service. These methods include advertising through television, radio, print media and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

What is upstream upstream marketing?

In this type of strategy, the business engages in marketing to customers who have not yet expressed an interest in their product or service. These methods include cold calling and trade shows, among others.

Examples of downstream marketers

Downstream marketing is used by businesses who sell physical goods. A business would publicize their products or services through television advertisements on TV, radio ads on the airwaves, print media like newspapers and magazines, billboards along highways or at bus stops; social media such as Facebook or twitter; direct mail mail like postcards or flyers.

Examples of upstream marketers

Upstream marketing is used by businesses who sell intangible goods. For example, a company that develops software might have their employees contact people in the industry and invite them to come test out the new features of one program or offer an online demo. They could also create articles for trade magazines about what’s different with this latest version of the product. 

Other examples of upstream marketing include:

  • A company that sells online products might have its employees create content on their own blogs about how best to use the product.
  • An insurance provider could offer an article highlighting some of the ways in which one can stay safe with a new smartphone or laptop purchase, while making sure they’re covered for any accidents.
  • If a company sells children’s books, they might invite local bloggers to review the new release and promote it on their blog.
  • A home security provider could create a series of articles for real estate agents about how home buyers should consider installing monitored security systems as part of their purchase.
Advantages and  disadvantages of downstream marketing

The advantages of downstream marketing are that it is cost-effective because the business doesn’t need to devote as many resources for the task, which in turn means a lower budget. Additionally, this type of strategy reaches out to potential customers who have not yet been exposed to their product or service.

Downstream marketing is also beneficial because it does not require a long-term commitment from the company.

The disadvantages of downstream marketing are that this type of strategy targets individuals who have already made up their mind about what they want to purchase, and then tries to make them change their decision by offering one product or service over another. Additionally, downstream marketing does not provide feedback about who has been reached, and how they responded after viewing content.

Advantages and disadvantages of upstream marketing

The advantage of upstream marketing is that it targets potential customers who have not yet been exposed to their product or service.

Another advantage of upstream marketing is that it provides feedback for the company on who has seen content, and how they responded to what was shown.

The disadvantage of upstream marketing is that the company needs a long-term commitment because they are targeting individuals who may be interested in what they provide, but haven’t made up their mind about which product or service suits them best.

Can upstream and downstream marketing be used together?

Upstream and downstream marketing can be used together, and they may complement each other depending on the company’s goals.

Downstream marketing is often not as aggressive at getting their message across to potential customers because it targets individuals who are already aware of what they have to offer.

Upstream marketing is best for companies that want a long-term commitment with people.

By combining downstream and upstream marketing, a business can be sure that they are targeting people at all stages of the buying process.

How to decide between upstream and downstream marketing

Downstream and upstream marketing each have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to evaluate your business goals before deciding which strategy is best for you.

Downstream marketing is great for companies that want to generate sales quickly and easily. Upstream marketing, however, may be better if the company wants a long-term commitment with customers.

If you’re looking for short-term, low-commitment relationships or just a one time sale, then downstream marketing is for you. If you’re looking to create long-lasting customer bonds and generate future sales over the course of years, upstream marketing may be more appropriate.

Upstream marketing also brings in new customers that might not know about your company yet. By writing blog posts, creating social media content and responding to reviews on platforms like Yelp or Google Reviews, you can create a strong presence for your company.

Downstream marketing is easier because it doesn’t take as long to generate an immediate sale. This type of marketing works well if the goal is only one-time sales without any future commitments with the customer. This type of marketing strategy is most appropriate if you’re looking to sell a product or service that has a quick turnaround.

It’s not always easy knowing which one of these two strategies will work best for your company, but it helps to know the difference between their advantages and disadvantages before deciding on a course of action.

What is the goal of a downstream strategy?

Downstream marketing is designed to help customers find out about a company’s products or services and then make decisions on whether they want to buy the product.

The goal of downstream marketing strategies are largely based on helping current clients, so it can be tailored to their specific needs as opposed to upstream where the target audience is new prospects.

What is the goal of an upstream strategy?

Upstream marketing is meant to attract new prospects. As a result, upstream strategies can be more creative and innovative as opposed to downstream which relies on tried-and-true methods.

The goal of an upstream strategy is largely based in generating leads for the company through channels such as social media, conferences or seminars.

Why is marketing important?

Marketing is an important part of any business because it helps companies find new prospects, inform current clients about changes that might affect them or help them with customer service issues they may be having.

It also allows businesses to show off some success stories from happy customers that may help drum up more interest in the company’s products or services.

Most importantly, marketing allows companies to stay competitive by differentiating their product from what others are offering offer.

Setting the stage for entrepreneurs to be successful

Knowing the differences between downstream and upstream marketing can help entrepreneurs set the stage to be successful. Check out the I Buy I Review list of the best multi-level marketing companies for 2021, both upstream and downstream, here.

If you are ready to set up your own stream independent of mentors or trendy products that might be a hit or miss, check out Local Marketing Vault here.