Simplifying the Explanation of What Reverse Marketing Is

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What is Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing is a concept wherein clients approach the marketer, instead of the contrary. The article below will elaborate on what reverse marketing is, along with certain examples.

Reverse marketing is one of those gimmicks you may have heard about, and yet may have been unable to comprehend what it means. As of today, it is a global phenomenon, and several companies across the world have used it to good effect. It is somewhat like reverse psychology – it means that you get people to do something, by asking them not to. You may have experienced this while handling toddlers – you tell them not to do something, and they will want to do precisely that. Reverse marketing is along the same lines.

The Concept

  • As mentioned, this technique opts for reverse methodology.
  • It is client-based; unlike other marketing strategies, where marketers approach customers, this targets on exactly the opposite phenomenon.
  • It is a sort of assertion to the people that they don’t really need to use the products of a particular company.
  • Of course, it doesn’t forbid people from using their products or any such thing, but reverse marketing spreads the fact that the public is awesome, irrespective of whether they use any of the artificial add-ons, which they sell.
  • It may seem illogical that this approach should work. On one hand, companies practicing reverse marketing seem to be telling you not to use their products, and on the other hand, we see people going out and buying them.
  • However, it seems to have garnered enough success, judging by reviews.



  • This is one of the most common examples.
  • Usually, cosmetic companies talk about how their products will add to your flawed looks. If you’re dark, they’ll make you fair. If you’re pimply, they’ll clear it up. If your skin is dry, they’ll moisten it. And so on.
  • Sum and substance, they tend to pick and criticize your looks and create this impression that you’re quite ugly overall, and the only way to make yourself more desirable is to use their products.
  • But, Dove chose a different path altogether. Instead of pointing at the little flaws which your skin might have, the company asked women to come together and celebrate their beauty.
  • You may have noticed how very less coercive their ads seem, as compared to the ads of other cosmetics brands. It’s a completely different, novel approach to marketing altogether.
  • Also, the company rarely uses models, who are viewed as plastic and artificial. It uses ‘real women’, beautiful, but not extremely so, to add a touch of realism to the ad. And it is this appeal, the seeming genuineness of women, the lack of coercion, and the lack of this artificially-created sense of inferiority of women to the models in terms of looks, that drew more and more women towards using the products of Dove. And yes, it has been successful.


  • Walmart is such a huge name; they use reverse marketing for many of their products.
  • They have always followed the approach of contacting customers – real, actual customers for the marketing gimmicks, rather than approaching models.
  • Also, they approach suppliers who are willing to sell products for a lesser cost than their peers.
  • Statistics reveal that this technique has worked wonders for the company.

Why Reverse Marketing Works

  • Reverse marketing has seen quite a few success stories, even with its fairly unusual approach.
  • Possibly, the reason behind this is because it is a breath of fresh air from the otherwise fear-inducing advertising techniques. I mean, how many times have you gone and purchased something because its advertising campaign had some thinly-veiled gory eventuality, should you not use the product? It may have happened almost too many times.
  • For instance, consider cosmetics. How many of those wrinkle-reducing products ads show women frowned upon just because age is catching up with them? The ad runs as, “see what happened to this lady who didn’t use the wrinkle-reducing cream when she should have? Now she’s old, ugly, and no one likes her. You want to be this way?”.
  • People start seeing this approach as an open threat and dislike it. No one wants to be told what to do.
  • This is where reverse marketing has been successful. Don’t tell people what to do. It appeals to the people’s sensibilities, the result of this is that people warm up to these products.
  • They want to use a product that doesn’t poke fun at them, or threatens them. They want one which makes them feel good about themselves, doesn’t brag, and yes, is effective.

Of course, there are some important caveats to using these tips. A new entrant in a market ought not to try this. Some established brands have been successful, because they are already established, and people know how good they are. Secondly, the products have to be so good that they speak for themselves.

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