The Trigger team presented this concept as part of Pathway WBC’s first Marketing Bootcamp Feb 11, 2020, and it was so well received we invited them to share it on our blogs. The following post originally appeared on the Trigger blog. We are running it here with permission. 
Marketing Bootcamp Presenters at Pathway WBC

Team Trigger joined us as co-presenters for our first Marketing Bootcamp. (Christina Rado – Trigger, Roman Goate – attendee, Laine Hoke – Trigger, Meredith DeSpain – Pathway, Ryan Pryor – Trigger)

Shop, Search, Social: the three points of our Marketing Triangle. Each point represents a Channel-Forward marketing strategy that’s unique to your business or product. If you haven’t matched the product and the strategy correctly, you’ve probably noticed that your online marketing efforts aren’t performing well.

Which of these is the your best-fit Channel-Forward strategy for you?

You may be asking “What is this triangle all about?”

(Or maybe you are now, because how could you not, after reading the question?)

The Marketing Triangle is a model that helps you understand the marketing focus of your product or business. Each point of the triangle represents three strategic approaches: Search, Shop, Social. So the next question you should be asking is “Which approach fits my company?”

To say this is an important question is a vast understatement. If you don’t have the correct product-to-strategy match you’re almost definitely going to experience poor performance in a variety of ways.



  • Inflating ad costs on Google or Facebook

  • Plateaued ad performance (are people even noticing my ads anymore?)

  • Low social engagement on Facebook or Instagram

  • Mixed or poor customer reviews on Amazon or your website

  • Low conversion rates (people are coming to my page but not buying – why?)

… you may be approaching your marketing wrong. 

Matching the Channel-Forward strategy to your product is crucial. You can swing in the dark if you’d like, but experience says it won’t be an easy fight.

By simply switching your approach, you can market more effectively to your customers. Here are a few key identifiers for Shop, Search, and Social strategies. Which one best fits your product?


  • Possible that the product is somewhat of a commodity
  • Market pricing is similar among competitor brands
  • Brands are either fully known and customers are loyal, or the brand is of low consequence to consumers
  • “Browse and buy” style purchasing


  • Product category is relatively understood
  • Keyword searches are fairly diverse
  • Research is required to increase customer purchasing confidence


  • The product ultimately has to be experienced to be understood
  • More likely to be a lifestyle brand
  • Product category may not be known or understood (as reflected in search volume)

Which point of the Marketing Triangle best represents your product?


Related Reading

How Do I Know If I Have A Search-Forward Business?