What is marketing?
Your common Oxford dictionary definition defines Marketing as "the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising". Marketing is an umbrella term that includes strategies, tactics, and processes to create, communicate, advertise, and sell products of value to generate a loyal consumer base. The idea is to devise creative ways to attract new clients and retain the old ones. A lot of hard work goes into it and a person skilled in communications can easily get the desired result.
This article is here to immerse you into the world of marketing and give you a detailed view on what is marketing, why we need it and how is marketing as a career path.
Now, Marketing has multitude of aspects. From catering to the students as one of the top lucrative career paths Marketing is also the key to success for any business, be it a roadside Dhaba or a Multinational company. Simply put, marketing is an intersection between promotion and sales.
In 1960 Philip Kotler, the Father of Marketing introduced Marketing as a Discipline in Universities. He believed that Marketing is an essential tool of economics and that the demand for a product depends not only on the price but also on how the customer perceives the product which requires advertising, promotion activities, a well-defined sales funnel, delivery and distribution channels. Philip Kotler defined marketing as "the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit".
Last but not the least, Marketing is defined by its 4 P's – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. A Product can be an idea, a good or a service. Price is the amount that a customer pays to acquire a product. Place or Distribution refers to the logistics channel. It is the act of delivering products to the customers. Finally, Promotion of the product is the key item of marketing. It involves advertising the product through sale, coupons, billboard ads, pamphlets, newspaper advertisement and so on.
Importance of Marketing
A successful business stems from a strong marketing plan. But let's deep dive into the reasons as to why Marketing is SO important.
- Customer Education:- Whether you are the CEO of a young startup or a multi-billion dollar company, you and your team know the ins and outs of your product but how do you expect your customers to know how your product adds value to their lives? One of the basic roles of marketing is to educate your customer about your product. Marketing is at the center of value proposition and if your goal is educating your customers then rest assured you can rely on Marketing to do it for you in a creative and fun way. Emails and social media posts showcasing new releases and alerting customers to an upcoming sale,online business listings that help local consumers find you, phone calls to stay in touch with your customers and of course advertising are a few examples of how you can use marketing to build the kind of awareness that generates revenue.
- Building Customer Relationships:- Much of the 90s involved face-to-face or in - person interaction with the customer but how do you continue to engage with your customers even after they’ve walked out of your store or how do you keep in touch with them, how do you keep track of your interested clients and how do you keep them engaged? The answer is Marketing. Marketing builds customer relationships and ensures that your client remembers your product. Sending follow-up emails, replying to customers on social media handles, and mailing out postcards with special offers, sale or information on new services are just a few of the ways that marketing can help you stay in touch with your target audience.
- Brand Awareness:- The very first step of Marketing is brand awareness. Why is it important? Simply put, to make sure your customers remember you. It forms the foundation of acquiring customers. Brand Awareness is done so that the customers can recognize and recall your brand. Remember Mentos? This simple candy brand made such a catchy and powerful advertising jingle that the 90s kids can hum the tune today even after 15 years from when it aired first time on television. THAT is the power of Marketing. From the primary colors associated with your brand and the logo to your delivery channel, everything is brand awareness.
- Informed Decisions:- Marketing helps your management team make informed decisions. Every company needs to answer some key questions – what to produce, how much to produce, when to produce and for whom to produce. This is where Marketing steps in. It provides relevant customer insights that help the company answer the above questions. Marketing acts as a direct link between the company and its customers.
Marketing as a Career Choice
Marketing is a field that thrives on innovation, modern ways of branding, latest technology, and constant change. It is one of the career choices that ensure that the student after entering the job market, gets a varied experience, learns multiple skills, and even takes home a hefty pay. This career choice fosters creativity.
But is marketing the right career choice for you? If you’re a creative person who likes to crunch data, analyze consumer behavior, and has excellent communication skills then 10/10 you'll make a great marketing manager.
Some of the key subjects taken by marketing majors are:-
- Business to Business (B2B) Marketing
- Consumer Behavior
- Global Marketing Techniques
- Marketing Research
- Marketing Strategy and Management
- Product Management
- Retail and Sales Management
- Logistical Strategies
- Corporations and Financing
Now what does a marketing professional do? It’s the marketing professional's job to create, manage, and boost brands. A marketing professional is at the helm of branding and communications. It is the marketing team's job to understand and convey the customer's preferences, likes and dislikes to the company to further refine the product and the brand.
Some of the top marketing areas are:-
- Market Research
- Brand Management
- Content Creation
- Social Media Manager
- Media Buyer
- Influencer Marketing Manager
- Public Relations
This article tried to cover the basics of marketing and we hope you've got a clear idea about it. Marketing is not a magic word or a technique, to acquire loyal customers, one needs to focus on their product or idea that they are selling. If your product isn’t worthy of consumers expectation, no matter how much you advertise it through different sources or appoint people to try to talk about it on public platform, it will fall flat. So, a piece of advice would be to lay the foundation strong and then reap the benefits.
Some of the key topics covered in Marketing are:-
- Introduction to marketing
- The marketing processes
- Market information system
- Consumer behaviour
- Business buyer behaviour
- Market segmentation and targeting
- Product management strategy
- Branding strategy
- Customer relationship