Although a relatively simple concept, marketing can easily be misunderstood. For example, it is not just a posh name for selling. While a sale is often the ultimate objective of a marketing campaign, it’s not the whole reason behind it. Campaigns are strategic, well thought out activities that focus on distributing informative or persuasive messages to a target audience. This serves to boost a brand’s reputation and position the company at the forefront of their industry.
Advertising is also not the same thing as marketing, although this misunderstanding is augmented each time the media discuss ‘marketing gimmicks’ rather than ‘advertising gimmicks’.
“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying consumers’ requirements profitably.”
– The UK Chartered Institute of Marketing
In order to understand marketing, you should be aware that there are four key issues encompassed in defining and mastering it:
- You must IDENTIFY your customers’ needs. Research linked to marketing decision making is the hallmark of a marketing-orientated company. Knowing who a potential customer is and what they want is half the battle. You can create excellent content with a solution to their problems, and voilà! You have a purchase.
- Customer SATISFACTION is the name of the game. The benefits offered by your products or services must meet their needs. If that isn’t the case, a repeat sale just won’t happen. Loyalty is key in making your company a successful business.
- PROFIT is (hopefully) the result of your marketing efforts, and imperative to business survival.
- Part of marketing is the ANTICIPATION of future product/service demands. Research can help greatly with this, as you can easily obtain all the answers with a short questionnaire to existing and potential clients via social media and email.
To summarise, marketing is an ongoing activity to better your business and meet your sales objectives. It’s easier to achieve these goals if you understand and meet consumers’ needs.
Check back tomorrow for a summarised, visual version of this article.
If you’ve got anything you’d like us to cover in these beginner guides, leave a comment and we’ll try our best to get the information out there for you!