Marketing plays a major role in the performance of your organization. It can significantly affect your business, for better or worse. Therefore, it’s essential to do what it takes to develop or grow your business.
What is Marketing?
With so many definitions, understanding the true meaning of marketing can be problematic. Nevertheless, marketing is much more buying and selling. It is a set of activities and processes in which organizations undergo to buy or sell a product or service. It begins with studying and researching customers, competitors and opportunities. The aim is to create awareness, gain competitive advantages and turn potential customers into customers.
There are two ways to go about promoting and advertising. On one hand, you have the basic promotion concept. This concept consists of doing the bare minimum to get the word out. Then, you have the effective promoting concept. The effective promotion concept entails doing everything it takes to get the word out.
Most companies implement basic forms of promotion. They don’t care about what customers need or want. They care about maximizing profits and moving on to the next venture.
Successful companies focus on effective marketing. Not only do they evaluate their products and services; they re-evaluate their products and services to assure they are meeting customer expectations. Afterward, they ask the customer if the product(s) or service(s) is up to par.
Definition of Marketing
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines marketing as “the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market”.
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
What is Branding?
Branding is a process that makes it easy to identify a product or service as belonging to a specific company. Or a marketing practice that enables an organization to distinguish its product or service from its competitors.
Furthermore, branding only exists in the minds of the customers. It is how the customer perceives a product or service.
Segments of Marketing
The four segments of marketing include;
“Business-to-Business (B2B)” – Business-to-business or B2B is a process that consists of businesses selling goods or services to other businesses. B2B involves selling a product or service to a third party or middle man. It enables an organization to promote goods and services to organizations to resell them.
“Business-to-Customer (B2C)” – The term business-to-customer or B2B is a promotional technique in which businesses promote their brand to customers.
“Customer-to-Business (C2B)” – Customer-to-business or C2B is a business model used by customers to create value for businesses.
“Customer-to-Customer (C2C)” – Customer-to-customer or C2C refers to consumers promoting goods or services to consumers.
Methods of Marketing
There are two methods of marketing, traditional media marketing, and modern marketing. The “term” traditional media advertising refers to techniques like print, broadcasting, media, etc. As you may already know, modern marketing is the act of influencing audiences online. Both of these promotional techniques are highly effective.
Traditional Media Marketing
Traditional media marketing is the act of advertising or promotion by mass media. It involves advertising through media outlets like broadcast, print, and direct mail. Over the years, traditional media has remained firm in spite of the rapid development of digital marketing.
Over the years, modern marketing has remained the strongest form of advertising or promotion. The success is due, in part, to the continuous development of digital technology. And of course, most people around the world use digital technology on a daily basis.
Processes of Marketing
The processes of marketing include;
- “Activating” – Activating is the act of forming. It involves the formulation and implementation of a plan or strategy.
- “Advertising and Promoting” – The process is used to influence individuals to purchase products or complete an offer.
- “Conceptualization” – Marketing begins with an idea. Before you can effectively promote or advertise, you must visualize the process.
- “Critical Thinking” – A cognitive activity that begins with brainstorming to figure out an idea. This can be done individually or collaboratively. Many organizations utilize the critical thinking process known as strategic thinking to gather ideas.
- “Market and Marketing Research” – Research focuses on elements that help you grow your business. These activities are needed to gain a better understanding of the market.
- “Measuring and Evaluating” – Measuring and evaluating enables organizations to determine the effectiveness of the strategy.
- “Planning” – When applied in an organization’s strategic management process, planning outlines the marketing and advertising efforts for the coming year. The components of a marketing plan include; budget, goals and objectives, marketing mix, market plan strategies.
- “Selling” – This is the act of persuading the target market.
- “Strategizing” – Strategizing is a process that involves assessing necessary actions to develop a plan. When developing a marketing strategy, strategizing focuses on gaining a competitive advantage.
- “Testing” – Testing is an experimental phase. It gives businesses the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a product or service.
Most small business owners are anxious to get their business up and running to start generating profits. However, it’s critical to slow down and ensure everything is done correctly.
Orientations of Marketing
What is market orientation? Market orientation is defined as the corporate state of mind or the philosophy of business executives. The process is used to identify and understand what customers need and want.
- Product orientated: An organization that solely focuses on the development of products to gain a competitive advantage.
- Production orientated: This method focuses on production or manufacturing. Most construction companies use a production orientated mentality to generate income.
- Sales orientation: An approach that concentrates on developing the best products vs what customers need or want.
- Market orientation: The marketing orientated approach involves developing an understanding of what customers need and want. This is when products and services are created based on customer requirements.
In addition, the development of your business philosophy consists of changing your way of thinking. It helps you understand matters from a customer perspective.
5 Concepts of Marketing
Conceptual marketing is the key to gaining a competitive advantage in business in the 20th century. These days, you must adopt a customer orientated strategy to achieve your business goals and objectives.
- Product concept: This concept refers to quality over quantity. It requires a comprehensive understanding of a product. The product concept or concept statement refers to an executive’s final vision of a specific product for service.
- Production concept: The production concept refers to quantity over quality. It focuses on providing the cheapest products or services in the marketplace.
- Marketing concept: The marketing concept concentrates on advertising and promoting to create business success. This is a philosophy based on analyzing the needs of customers and then collecting resources to satisfy them.
- Selling concept: Believes consumers will not purchase from the organization unless an extensive promotional campaign is displayed.
- Societal concept: Companies that use the societal marketing concept believe in going above and beyond. This not only focuses on satisfying a customer’s needs and wants but also preserves the well-being of society.
You can identify your concept through research. Marketing research entails finding business opportunities and problems relating to products, consumers, or services. It helps you fine-tune your skills, monitor performance indicators, and evaluate the strategy.
Purposes of Marketing
To get straight to the point, the purpose of marketing is to achieve five major milestones: 1. “Identify and deliver what customers need, want, and expect”. 2. “Influence customers and potential customers”. 3. “Increase brand awareness”. 4. “Differentiate a brand, product, and services from competitors”. 5. ‘Increase profits”.
Identify and Deliver Customer Wants and Needs
Research is the key to successfully providing customers with their wants and needs. Hence, if you understand what your customers want, you can develop products that meet their needs.
To achieve this, you must successfully complete a series of activities. Through the process, you can gather indispensable data and information. Ultimately, you can develop a better understanding of customer desires and achieve your marketing initiatives.
Influence Customers and Potential Customers
With so many businesses online and so much spam, influencing customers has become a tough task. Users no longer pay as much attention to marketing campaigns as they used to. For this reason, you must identify strategies to effectively influence customers and potential customers.
How can you persuade customers? There are a few ways to go about influencing customers. The first method is problem-solving. It involves providing solutions for the target market. Problem-solving is the most effective method of influencing consumers and potential customers. The reason being is it provides value to the buyer.
You’ve got to start with the customer experience – and work back towards the technology – not the other way around.Steve Jobs
Nextly, you must think like a customer to persuade a customer. Therefore, you must change your perspective. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and evaluate your tactics, techniques, and strategies to develop a balanced understanding. For instance, when you develop your pricing strategy, focus on developing a balanced strategy. Try to identify the price median to avoid overpricing and underpricing your product(s).
Increase Brand Awareness
Brand awareness refers to the extent to which customers will remember your brand. It gives your company the ability to attract customers from competitors. More importantly, it enables your company to stand out. You can use a combination of methods to increase brand awareness. Tactics like SEO, SEM, and SMM.
Differentiate Brand, Product or Service From Competitors
To successfully influence customers, your products must stand out from your competitors. There must be a solid reason that prompts a customer to choose your product(s) over products in the market. In other words, customers need to be motivated one way or another to purchase from your organization. Methods to differentiate your brand from competitors include differentiating prices, offering unique products, improving customer relations, product innovation, and much more.
In business, you must be prepared for any situation. You never know when the market will shift. The market could appear perfect, then all of a sudden, boom at the blink of an eye the market crashes. Therefore, in business, you should continuously search for ways to increase profits.
Some people launch their own company to provide value to the market. Whereas, others develop businesses to make money. Whatever the situation, every company has a reason why it exists.