Marketing is one of the most important aspects of every organization. Marketing deals with the way an organization undertakes to engage with its target audience, develop strong relations to make value from the targeted customers, and create awareness so as to obtain a profit in exchange for the value the customers obtain. In simple terms, marketing is about getting the word out through any channel possible. It is also about the ability to shape perceptions about your products or services so that the decisions of the consumers are driven by logic and not by emotion or interest. Marketing therefore is the most important aspect of any business.
However, as this definition suggests marketing is a very broad concept, it can be difficult for the small business owner to grasp the concepts of marketing and all that it entails. In order to understand what marketing is about for the small business, you need to perform market research. Market research determines the trends on the market, what the competition is doing, where there is demand and how much the product or service is in demand. Knowing these facts will help the owner of the small business understand the nature of his or her product or service and help him or her come up with strategies for marketing that will yield the best results.
Marketers use market research in different ways. Marketers conduct market research in various ways. Marketers can use surveys, focus groups, surveys among others. These techniques help the marketers know what people want to buy and what they do not want to buy. Apart from market research, marketers also use different techniques for promoting their products or services.
For example, marketers can use direct marketing i.e. cold calling, creating personal advertising campaigns, using blogs and web sites and other forms of Internet marketing. They can also use marketing techniques like viral marketing, Pay-per-click search engine marketing, search engine optimization and other forms of online marketing techniques. These techniques have helped marketers in increasing the sales of their products or services. This has made the Internet marketing, especially the social media marketing, more important today than ever before.
What is Marketing then? It is the process of creating a marketing strategy intended to increase the sale of a product or service by communicating with the target customers directly or indirectly. A marketing strategy can be in the form of a television advertisement, radio advertisement, magazine ad, newspaper ad, brochure or any other form of communication. It also consists of other activities like producing press releases, participating in trade shows, providing samples of the product or service, hosting seminars, distributing flyers etc.
Marketers have to be extremely careful while creating a marketing strategy as it plays a major role in deciding the success of a product or a service. The marketers have to determine which form of marketing is best suited for their product. To know what is marketing, marketers refer to four factors which are customer needs, target market, competition and motivation. To know what is marketing, let us take a look at each of these factors:
What is Marketing thus refers to the ability of marketers to satisfy customer needs. There are many companies who fail to understand that marketing has to do with satisfying the customers needs. Marketing has to be done according to what the customers want, not what the marketer thinks they should sell. Marketing therefore is not about creating a product or a service to suit all market segments; rather it has to be targeted to suit the particular needs of a market segment.
What is Marketing thus also refers to product development. Marketing professionals need to have a thorough knowledge of various market verticals, including e-retailers, online sellers, web based retailers, packaged goods dealers, importers, exporters etc. The marketers therefore have to learn and practice various skills and tactics to successfully promote the products or services through each of the verticals. In addition, marketers have to use various media and marketing tools effectively to reach out to the masses. This includes newspaper ads, television commercials, radio commercials, out of home television advertising, product promotions, point of purchase promotions, catalogues, brochures, mailing campaigns, point of sale promotions and other forms of direct marketing.