When marketing is referred to, it is generally used to refer to any process by which organizations develop and/or manage their brand. Marketing refers to the act or process that an organization undertakes in order to engage its intended target audience, establish connections to generate future value for customers, create value for the company through enhanced brand image and/or sales, and manage the brand so as to ensure long-term sustainability. For many companies, marketing is the most important aspect of their brand development process, for others, it is one of the least important aspects. No matter what the stage of marketing you are at, if your business is not marketing your product, offering a value to your customers, generating and maintaining strong customer relations, and if you are not developing a meaningful competitive advantage, you are losing your chance to make money. Today’s businesses must take marketing seriously if they expect to be successful.
What separates marketing management from other disciplines is the fact that marketing managers must incorporate marketing concepts in their strategic plans. The most common concepts are social marketing, brand building, and selling. Let’s explore each individually.
Social marketing refers to using promotional activities to build and sustain relationships with customers. These can include giving out free samples and/or promoting a client’s product through word of mouth. This concept is commonly referred to as social selling. Another term for this concept is “social marketing research.” The reason why this is referred to as a practice of selling is because it requires extensive market research to be conducted on potential clients to identify their buying behaviors, their purchasing preferences, and their purchasing decisions.
Brand building allows you to distinguish yourself from your competition by creating a unique association for your product concept. This can be done through creative branding, a special logo, powerful advertising messages, and effective packaging. On the other hand, selling revolves around creating an environment where consumers feel comfortable and at ease while buying your products. The most common selling techniques include: discounts, price matches, and promotions. Price matching occurs when the competing firms sell the same product at the same price; however, the conditions of the deal are such that consumers feel obligated to buy from them. In price matches, both firms agree to not price their products higher than others; this is also a common practice in contract marketing myopia.
Selling is basically a call to action made by the seller. This can be done through the provision of a sample of the product or service, an advertisement in a journal or newspaper, or a physical sale. A marketing strategy is determined by the company’s goal for the product, which could either be increasing profit or decreasing cost. In addition, a marketing strategy determines the target consumers, the marketing approach used to reach out to these consumers, and the resources required for conducting surveys and formulating strategies. This article briefly discusses the concepts of each of these aspects.
Marketing research plays a very important role in the success of a marketing strategy as well. Marketers conduct consumer surveys to understand more about the buyers’ needs and preferences, the factors influencing the purchase decisions, and the factors which can be modified to make the product more appealing to consumers. Marketers also use the collected data to find out how competitors are dealing with the same product. This concept has three elements namely: market research, competition, and modification. Understanding all four Ps would greatly help marketers in formulating appropriate strategies.