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Upstream vs. Downstream Marketing, Explained

Upstream Marketing

Upstream marketing is a long-term plan that allows marketers to have a timeline for future releases based on customer segments. This is done by segmenting the market to find out what can be made to serve the needs of these customers.

Companies are able to determine what customers want.

An upstream marketing plan should include:

  • Identifying a portion of your audience’s problems - Refer to a buyer persona, identify their challenges, research the current market and get customer feedback.

  • A product or service that will solve those challenges - Get the exact challenges that you need to develop a solution for.

  • A price and competitive edge for campaign assets - How much will the tools cost? How can it be set apart from the market? Look at competitors data as well.

Downstream Marketing

Downstream marketing solidifies marketing strategy. It identifies the ads, branding, promotion and communication strategies you’ll use to sell the product.

It is more short term and utilizes resources that can be leveraged to make the customer want the product.

Upstream marketing identifies the product, price and it’s competitive edge while downstream can use this information to produce an engaging campaign.

Upstream Marketing vs Downstream Marketing

When upstream and downstream marketing work together, they result in a smooth product development cycle that keeps marketing in mind. The two help build the bones of a campaign during the early stages.

Campaigns that are created in these two ways are more focused as they create a customer segment, challenges and benefits to be used in future segments.

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