What’s it: Marketing is the activity of a company to identify, anticipate, promote, and sell its products. It aims to satisfy consumer needs profitably.
As part of a business function, marketing includes creating, communicating, and delivering value propositions to customers and managing customer relationships in a profitable manner for the company and its stakeholders. It involves anticipating changing demand, promoting a product, ensuring its quality, availability, and price meet market needs, and providing sales services.
The company selects consumers who are by the products marketed through market targeting. They may also involve public figures such as celebrities and take advantage of their popularity to promote and boost product sales. In addition, they will create attractive packaging or designs to attract more people.
Marketing also helps consumers. They find it easier to find suitable products for their needs. If the marketing is by the target, the company gets many buyers and revenue.
In traditional marketing, we look at marketing from the following four components:
We call those four elements the marketing mix, which includes selecting and developing products or offerings, pricing, selecting and designing distribution channels, and all aspects of generating or increasing demand for products, including advertising.
What is marketed
Marketing is not just for goods and services, where they both represent tangible and intangible products. But, it can also involve the following ten things:
Goods. It includes all the physical items that we see daily and is a significant part of any marketing effort.
Services. For example, the services provided by hotels, air transportation, car rental, barbers, beauticians, accountants, bankers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, etc.
Person. Examples include leading artists, musicians, CEOs, doctors, lawyers and funders, and other professionals.
Place. Examples include the marketing of cities, territories, and entire countries competing to attract tourists, residents, factories, and corporate headquarters.
Property. Examples are office buildings, apartments, and so on.
Event. Examples are sports events, property exhibitions, book fairs, musical performances, and so on.
Experience. An example is the rides in various tourist attractions. Companies can create, deploy, and market experiences by organizing several services and goods such as Rafting, Puppet Palace, Ferris Wheel, etc.
Organization. Examples are museums, performing arts organizations, corporations, and non-profit organizations, all of which use marketing to enhance their public image.
Information. Examples are those provided by Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and other data provider companies.
The marketing department is responsible for various functions and activities. The following are among them:
- Market research
- Product design
- Customer service
- Customer relationship management
The marketing department conducts market research. It is essential to get information about the target market, which becomes an input in designing the right marketing mix.
Companies must know the characteristics of the consumers they target based on demographic, geographic, or psychographic variables. They then identify a need to be satisfied. The research results are discussed with other business departments to design the right product.
Once a product is available, the marketing department makes decisions regarding pricing, promoting, selling, and distributing it.
The five main marketing philosophies or concepts are:
- Production concept
- Product concept
- Selling concept
- Marketing concept
- Societal marketing concept
These concepts underline the philosophies that guide the company’s marketing efforts, each of which assigns a relative weight to the company’s interests, customers, and society.
The production concept emphasizes product availability and prices. Consumers will prefer widely available and cheap products, according to this philosophy. Therefore, companies should focus on high production efficiency, low cost, and mass distribution.
The product concept emphasizes offering quality, performance, and features. Companies should concentrate on making superior products and improving them from time to time.
The selling concept focuses on aggressive sales and promotion efforts. This concept underlines consumers usually showing refusal or reluctance to buy. So, the company has to persuade them.
The marketing concept is more integrated than the selling concept. It involves understanding and identifying the target market and customer needs, building integrated and profitable marketing.
Societal marketing concept combines the marketing concept and efforts to maintain or improve the welfare of consumers and society. Long story short, marketing efforts must be carried out by considering the long-term interests of consumers and society. It is becoming increasingly popular amid environmental degradation, resource shortages, world hunger and poverty, and a lack of social services.
The marketing mix represents an essential element for marketing success. Experts divide it into four elements in a traditional mix: product, price, promotion, and place. Marketers consider all four suited to the needs and preferences of consumers in the target market.
- Products are about the features and qualities that make a company’s offering valuable to consumers.
- Price is related to setting an appropriate price by considering potential demand, production costs, and competition.
- Place is related to aspects such as where the company must sell products and how to develop effective distribution channels
- Promotion is about communication with customers to attract customers, encourage them to buy and retain them.
Experts then extend on those four elements to accommodate the marketing of intangible products (services), which have different characteristics from tangible products. The three elements added are:
- People is about choosing the right staff to deal with customers
- Process is related to how the company develops systems, procedures, and policies for delivering products to customers
- Physical evidence is about how companies build comfortable physical environments for customers to influence their emotions, such as store interior design.
Each of the above elements has a different degree of significance in each marketing mix, depending on the company’s strategy. But, to be sure, each of them must be developed and combined into a coherent and integrated plan.
The relationship between marketing and other business functions
Marketing success does not stand alone without the support of other business functions. Its strategic decisions must be integrated and coordinated with other key business functions. Thus, they work together to achieve the company’s goals.
Take the finance department as an example. Marketing requires a budget for promotion. Without adequate financial support, it cannot make decisions about the budget.
Likewise, the human resources department assists the marketing department by recruiting and developing staff to have the appropriate skills. So, they can support marketing programs.
Furthermore, the operations department uses market research data to determine which products to produce in the future. In addition, to support sales, the operations function manages additional output, inventory, supply, and delivery.
What to read next
- How is the Marketing Department Structure Organized?
- Marketing: Meaning, Function, Philosophy
- Marketing department: Functions and Responsibilities
- The Four Major Marketing Roles: What Are They?