Marketing is an essential part of business. Without it, no business can survive. Marketing, however, is often misunderstood. A common misconception is that marketing means pushing product or service out into the market in order to sell them. In reality, marketing is much more complex than this.
Market research is involved in all marketing activities. Market research, in its most general form, refers to the process of understanding what people need, want, and are willing to pay for. The purpose of this research is to gain knowledge of what people need and want, and to determine what price point would be sufficient to meet those needs and wants. Marketing research involves the study of product and customer needs and wants, and the methods by which to effectively market the product to meet these needs and wants. This research is undertaken by marketing research companies, and used to help businesses determine their product strategy.
The marketing concept states that marketing management is necessary for businesses to be successful. Without marketing management, businesses would not be able to determine what customers think about their products, and how to satisfy their customers’ demands. Marketing management involves aligning marketing goals with the company’s strategy and implementing the strategy through the proper channels. This also involves analyzing customer data to determine where improvements can be made to increase customer satisfaction and retention.
The marketing goals of the company then become a map for the organization to map out the necessary marketing activities in order to maximize profits. These marketing activities include building a brand image, improving customer loyalty, increasing product knowledge, and creating a competitive edge over similar companies. These activities should be implemented through branding, a set of marketing communications designed to associate a company with certain characteristics, such as quality, style, and performance, that are distinct from those of other companies. Branding is necessary for a company to establish itself as a reputable entity, and is done through the consistent use of the company’s key brands.
Social media is another important factor in the development of marketing management strategies. Through social marketing, a company engages in marketing activities that reach a larger base of consumers by creating social relationships. For example, through Facebook and Twitter, a business may engage in marketing activities by allowing fans of a company’s page to post comments about the page. Social marketing is based on the idea that selling is done in relationship to a consumer, rather than based on a product or service. Thus, a business could take advantage of Twitter by making posts and tweets that engage potential customers directly and build brand loyalty.
Another important component of marketing is research and analysis of current marketing trends and practices. This allows a company to understand what consumers need and want, and to create effective marketing strategies that respond to those needs. Marketing trends are continually changing, as more consumers turn to various social media outlets to connect with friends and family. Furthermore, studies have indicated that a greater percentage of consumers purchase services online versus purchasing services in brick-and-mortar stores. Thus, incorporating marketing strategies that target this new customer base can drive significant increases in revenues.