Marketing is the process of getting the public educated on and excited about an organization’s products and services. A marketing team’s efforts in market research and consumer trends guide the strategy behind other aspects of the business and help companies consistently meet the needs of consumers.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is one of, if not the, most important aspects of a business. What good is selling a life-changing product if customers have never heard of it and don’t know anything about it? That’s where capable marketers come in handy. Marketers help companies identify consumer and industry trends, formulate campaigns and captivate audiences by showing how their products shine over others.
What, exactly, is marketing? Simply put, marketing is the activity of getting people aware of and interested in a brand and its products, often by promoting its offerings so that customers perceive them as valuable or desirable.
What do Marketers do
Marketing is the process of designing, positioning, promoting, and distributing a product or service in such a way that consumers see value in it. The role of marketers is often to increase brand awareness and loyalty, attract new customers and retain existing ones, ultimately driving more sales revenue for their company.
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, marketing is all around us. Billboards along a highway, commercials on TV, advertisements in magazines, brand posts on social media, and optimized content on a website are all everyday examples of marketing.
One of the most famous examples of marketing is Nike’s slogan “Just Do It.” Pairing “Just Do It” with world-class athlete spokespeople has proven to be one of the most effective marketing campaigns of the last 30 years. The phrase resonates with competitive athletes and fosters a sense of pushing yourself to be a better athlete (in your Nike gear, of course).
One of the reasons why marketing is so heavily emphasized is that it often helps inform other aspects of the business. Product, sales, and advertising teams are all affected by the efforts of a marketing team. Marketers are responsible for guiding the decisions of these teams with valuable insights, so they compile data in the form of market research.
Market research entails gathering information about a business’ key demographics, its affinity toward a company’s current products, and what other competitors are doing. A marketing team’s in-depth market research informs product and engineering teams on what to create, sales teams on what to sell and advertising teams on what to communicate.
Why Is Marketing Important?
Marketing is a core component of business success because it impacts a company’s ability to reach customers, develop a brand and generate revenue.
Benefits of Marketing
- Establish a customer base
- Develop a trustworthy brand
- Add value to company products
- Generate higher sales profits
Marketing serves as a lifeline that connects brands to potential customers. Market research enables teams to determine who their target audience is and tailor their messaging and communications accordingly. Businesses can then generate positive perceptions among consumers who are most likely to find value in and buy their products.
Over time, a well-planned marketing strategy solidifies a company’s brand and messaging. This is crucial because consistent branding tells consumers what to expect from a company, leading to a reputation. If a business can continue to meet these expectations and live up to its reputation, it can create trust among loyal customers and add value to its brand in the eyes of consumers.
The ultimate reward for these efforts is higher sales, and some of the most effective brands have become synonymous with winning and success. For example, many customers will pay more for a Nike shoe than an anonymous brand’s shoe based on the reputation of the Nike brand alone. An ideal brand highlights what makes a company unique, setting it apart from competitors and transforming its products into coveted items among consumers.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
The 4 Ps of marketing is a popular framework for understanding the areas involved in marketing strategy. Sometimes known as the marketing mix, the four Ps of marketing — product, price, place, and promotion — are vital to every good marketing campaign.
Product is the good or service that the company is offering. Quality products should be able to satisfy customer needs, while also being able to satisfy customer demand. To effectively market a product, marketers need to pinpoint the value it brings to the customer and why customers would want it. The marketing team can start working on campaigns once these, and many other, questions are answered.
Price is a large factor in whether a consumer buys your product or goes to a competitor. Good marketing teams rely on industry research to appropriately price their products to boost their market share and reach more happy customers.
Marketing professionals must take place — both digital and physical — into account when marketing a product. Is a certain product more marketable in-store or online? Should you sell a certain product internationally? How do you market to certain geographical locations? How much does a location’s culture affect your marketing abilities? Marketing teams need to be hyper-aware of where they’re marketing to truly optimize their efforts.
What good is a marketing effort if there isn’t some excitement and build-up around a product? Promotion includes advertising, promotional strategy, and public relations surrounding a product. “Should we create a commercial?” “Should we sponsor a podcast?” “Should we just run a Google Adwords campaign?” With some help from market research, marketing executives should be able to know when to target their audience and through which medium. Executing the promotion step of the marketing mix is vital because it helps to build enthusiasm for a product and brand awareness.
Types of Marketing
Marketing isn’t just a one-size-fits-all effort. There are different types of marketing campaigns depending on where an organization’s customers spend their time and how they prefer to be reached. Below are eight popular types of marketing:
Types of Digital Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves the use of social media channels (like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) to build a brand, connect with customers, drive website traffic, and increase sales. These platforms have proven to be excellent marketing tools because they can educate customers on products, individualize consumer social media experiences and engage with an audience in a way that wasn’t possible before. Marketers rely on data analytics tools to develop targeted ads and timely posts that increase social media engagement with brands and boost revenue.
Content marketing focuses on creating relevant, interesting, and valuable content that attracts an audience and converts them into customers. Marketers are turning to this form of content because it boosts SEO traffic and increases both the quantity and quality of customers. A clever content marketing example is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The company labeled its iconic bottles and cans with popular names to build stronger bonds with customers. The experiment was such a resounding success in Australia that it ended up being implemented in 80 countries worldwide.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that relies on the virality and popularity of social media influencers, who are paid to promote and endorse products. Essentially, companies pay social media accounts with a large following to include their product in an Instagram, Snapchat, or even Facebook post. Influencer marketing has proven profitable for both the company and the influencer. The company potentially gets millions of views of their product and the influencer gets paid. For example, to reach Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 340 million Instagram followers, companies need to pay about $1 million per post.
Have you ever wondered how a search engine picks its search results for your query? How does it know what to choose at the top option? Much of that has to do with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of increasing unpaid (known as organic) traffic through a variety of technical and content-related practices that make it easier for a search engine to read, understand and rank a site. Optimizing a site’s content, photos, or backend procedures provides an uncluttered and efficient experience for both a user and a search engine, resulting in higher rankings. The higher rankings provided by this free method of marketing boost traffic and convert a casual audience into loyal customers.
Types of Traditional Marketing
Print marketing involves marketers reaching out to target audiences through offline formats. Brochures, informative flyers, and mail advertisements are a few examples of print marketing that marketers hand out or deliver to consumers’ homes. Businesses may also try to reach wider audiences by placing ads in magazines, newspapers, and other publications. While marketing teams focus on producing concise written content, they must also determine how to pair text with visuals. The most effective print marketing materials complement engaging writing with relevant images, branded color schemes, and other eye-catching elements.
Billboard marketing is another way to expose more consumers to a brand and features content on larger physical surfaces. Consumers can find these kinds of advertisements in crowded areas like Times Square, along popular highways, or on the walls of buildings. Some companies may pay for mobile billboards, placing ads on the sides of trucks or public vehicles. All billboards follow the same principles of print marketing, combining written content with coordinated color schemes, images, and other visuals. Marketing teams need to get creative with billboards, such as applying bold colors or humorous content, since drivers and passersby may only have a few moments to take in a message.
Event marketing relies on both company-sponsored and public events where a business can have conversations with customers and spread its brand through physical materials. Examples of company-sponsored events include hosting a conference or learning convention. Organizations may also join public events, such as setting up a booth at a local community arts fest. Companies should supply marketing teams with materials like tents, banners, and flyers for interested individuals. If possible, it’s also helpful to have a sample of a product for consumers to view. Each event provides an opportunity for marketers to share information with consumers and answer any questions, spreading their company’s brand and earning new customers.
Product marketing is vital to the success of a new product launch and is applicable across many industries. Even before the product is built, these marketers are doing intense market research to ensure that the product is the right fit for a company’s customers and that it serves a useful purpose. Then, the product team will use the product marketer’s insights as a guide on what to include in the new product. As the product is being built, the marketer will arm the sales team with the necessary knowledge and materials that will help them sell the product to current customers and reach out to new audiences. After a launch, the product marketer will ensure that customers aren’t having adoption issues and will craft marketing materials to make sure that the product stays relevant as time goes on.
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