What is Marketing?
Marketing is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and understanding your ideal customer’s interests. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.
It refers to activities undertaken by a company to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
Professionals who work in a corporation’s marketing and promotion departments seek to get the attention of key potential audiences through advertising. Promotions are targeted to certain audiences and may involve celebrity endorsements, catchy phrases or slogans, memorable packaging or graphic designs and overall media exposure.
Marketing as a discipline involves all the actions a company undertakes to draw in customers and maintain relationships with them. Networking with potential or past clients is part of the work too, including writing thank you emails, playing golf with a prospective client, returning calls and emails quickly, and meeting with clients for coffee or a meal.
At its most basic, it seeks to match a company’s products and services to customers who want access to those products. The matching of product to customer ultimately ensures profitability.
How Does It work?
Product, price, place, and promotion are the Four Ps of marketing. The Four Ps collectively make up the essential mix a company needs to market a product or service.
Product refers to an item or items the business plans to offer to customers. The product should seek to fulfill an absence in the market or fulfill consumer demand for a greater amount of a product already available. Before they can prepare an appropriate campaign, marketers need to understand what product is being sold, how it stands out from its competitors, whether the product can also be paired with a secondary product or product line, and whether there are substitute products in the market.
Price refers to how much the company will sell the product for. When establishing a price, companies must consider the unit cost price, marketing costs, and distribution expenses. Companies must also consider the price of competing products in the marketplace and whether their proposed price point is enough to represent a reasonable alternative for consumers.
Place refers to the distribution of the product. Key considerations include whether the company will sell the product through a physical storefront, online, or through both distribution channels. When it’s sold in a storefront, what kind of product placement does it get? When it’s sold online, what kind of digital product placement of sorts does it get?
Promotion, the fourth P, refers to the integrated marketing communications campaign. Promotion includes a variety of activities such as advertising, selling, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, sponsorship, and guerrilla marketing.
Promotions will vary depending on what stage of the product life cycle the product is in. Marketers understand that consumers associate a product’s price and distribution with its quality, and they take this into account when devising the overall marketing strategy.
The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2019, adjusted for seasonal variation, but not for price changes, was $146.2 billion, an increase of 4.2 percent (±0.9%) from the first quarter of 2019. Experts expect online sales in the U.S. to increase from $504 billion in 2018 to over $735 billion by 2023.
Taking these statistics into consideration, it is vital for marketers to use online tools such as social media and digital advertising, both on website and mobile device applications, and internet forums. Considering an appropriate distribution channel for products purchased online is also an important step. Online marketing is a critical element of a complete marketing strategy.
Types Of Campaigns
Where your marketing campaigns live depends entirely on where your customers spend their time. It’s up to you to conduct market research that determines which types of marketing — and which mix of tools within each type — is best for building your brand. Here are several types of marketing that are relevant today, some of which have stood the test of time:
- Internet marketing: Inspired by an Excedrin product campaign that took place online, the very idea of having a presence on the internet for business reasons is a type of marketing in and of itself.
- Search engine optimization: Abbreviated “SEO,” this is the process of optimizing the content on a website so that it appears in search engine results. It’s used by marketers to attract people who perform searches that imply they’re interested in learning about an industry.
- Blog marketing: Blogs are no longer exclusive to the individual writer. Brands now publish blogs to write about their industry and nurture the interest of potential customers who browse the internet for information.
- Social media marketing: Businesses can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar social networks to create impressions on their audience over time.
- Print marketing: As newspapers and magazines get better at understanding who subscribes to their print material, businesses continue to sponsor articles, photography, and similar content in the publications their customers are reading.
- Search engine marketing: This type of marketing is a bit different than SEO, which is described above. Businesses can now pay a search engine to place links on pages of its index that get high exposure to their audience. (It’s a concept called “pay-per-click”
- Video marketing: While there were once just commercials, marketers now put money into creating and publishing all kinds of videos that entertain and educate their core customers.