The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on August 25, 2017

10 marketing channels that are being underutilized

10 marketing channels that are being underutilized
AJ Agrawal
Story by

AJ Agrawal

AJ Agrawal is the Founder of Verma Media, a leading growth agency in San Francisco that focuses on partnering with disruptive technologies. AJ Agrawal is the Founder of Verma Media, a leading growth agency in San Francisco that focuses on partnering with disruptive technologies. In addition to being a geeky marketer, AJ is a runner and surfer. While attending the University of San Diego, he ran division 1 cross country and track and field.

How do we define a marketing channel, to begin with? Well, a basic definition offered up by Boundless goes: “A marketing channel is a set of practices or activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods…” So, anything that reliably facilitates the transfer of goods from the producer to the consumer such as a billboard or social media advertising can be considered a marketing channel. Proven marketing channels have a tendency to stagnate because people don’t like to take risks on methods that don’t have significant testing or backing, but there’s a treasure trove of these effective, underutilized channels that you won’t want to miss.

Native advertising through email

Email doesn’t seem like one of the best or most attractive marketing channels based on first impressions; but the numbers show that native advertising through emails generates one of the highest ROIs, averaging $40 return for every dollar spent. Most marketers don’t realize just how direct and impactful of a marketing channel email can be and assume that too much of the population simply ignore promotional emails for it to be profitable when this is not exactly true.

Autoresponder and email signature

Both of these are essential, easy-to-automate aspects of email marketing that you shouldn’t ignore. Taking the time to set up an email signature will allow you to passively gain leads and contacts while autoresponders following a customer’s purchase have been shown to have 70.5% open rates and 152% click through rates than regular email messages. These are powerful tools that you will not want to overlook for your arsenal of email marketing methods.


SlideShare is like a bank for important documents and files related to presentations like PowerPoints, PDFs, Keynote files, or OpenDocument presentations; the site was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. SlideShare boasts a massive user base of 60 million, has 18 million pieces of content, and gets over 159 million monthly page views – it’s an untapped professional resource center with a huge marketing opportunity.

In-person networking

Never underestimate the power that networking and getting to know someone in person can have for your marketing efforts. We are so often entranced and fixated on what we can do online that we forget how much of a difference meeting someone in real life can make. Research from Content Marketing Institute suggests that in-person events are not used often enough despite being one of the most effective channels (75%) for companies.

List rental

Despite what companies say about not sharing your personal information with other companies, there are businesses that offer lists of the names and addresses of possible customers for a fee to other companies. This exchange is called a list rental. List rentals allow businesses to establish a customer base more rapidly and drive sales.


Based on statistics from Alexa, Reddit is the fourth most popular site in the US and the average user spends 16 minutes daily on the site. It hosts a number of personal spaces and communities for a wide variety of interests and offers paid advertising opportunities as well as possibilities for subtle influencing campaigns. As a marketing channel, success with Reddit is usually hit or miss; but there are a number of tricks you can use to profile Reddit users (liberal, male) and appeal to certain niches to increase your rate of success.

Shipping free products to influencers

As an industry, Instagram influencers generate about $1 billion in value – they’re a huge part of marketing that not everyone manages to leverage properly. When it comes to locating the proper types of influencers to promote your product, services like Intellifluence and Influanza can help you find the people that can maximize the social exposure of your product.

YouTube marketing

Sponsoring growing YouTube channels has been a favored strategy of many advertisers and marketers to gain exposure to an audience. YouTubers produce content that reflects their unique niche and attracts subscribers. The difference is that you can pay YouTubers to plug your content into a longer-form video form, which makes it the most successful social platform for introducing new products with a 14% conversion rate.

Trade magazines and shows for b2B sales

If you’re a company that primarily services or provides goods to other companies, it’s prudent to invest in trade magazines as part of your marketing channels to best drive B2B sales. Global consultancy firm and multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers notes that business information and trade shows are two segments of B2B soaking up significant market share.

Yellow pages advertising

As a business, you want to optimize market penetration for all demographics. One demographic that may be unaware of all the fast-paced technological advancements and the presence of new companies is the elderly, many of whom still rely on Yellow Pages listings to find businesses rather than Google searches. Recently, Yellow Pages has transitioned from a telephone company to an online directory with extensive marketing and 80 million monthly visitors and a billion dollars in digital revenue.