The subject of marketing is complicated but quite interesting. On the one hand, you’d think that the term “marketing” is self-explanatory and doesn’t need to be clarified. On the other hand, there are more than five hundred definitions of this concept, with each of them describing a similar, yet slightly different entity. With so many definitions available, the task of understanding which activities are related to marketing and which are not can be daunting.
While the most popular opinion is that marketing consists solely of selling and advertising, in reality, it’s just the tip of the mountain. Even though these two components definitely are a vital part of marketing, this concept isn’t limited to them, and sometimes they can even be counted as secondary elements.
The marketing process begins far before a company manufactures a product. It starts with managers determining the needs and wants of people, and it continues even after the product has been released and is being supported.
A true marketing expert knows that in order to sell a product, an entrepreneur has to write a marketing brief, understand the client’s demands, create an appropriate product or service, set a price that will satisfy both parties, and develop reliable distribution channels, while not forgetting about promotional activities. As you can see, advertising and selling a product is in fact just a small part of a large marketing mechanism.
If we were to try defining marketing as a term, the basic definition would sound something like: “Marketing is a set of business activities performed by an organization and aimed at receiving profits by satisfying the needs of its customers.”
In a broader sense, a substantial number of entrepreneurs view marketing as a business philosophy. According to this interpretation, the marketing concept deals with such aspects as market studies, pricing mechanics, forecasting the customers’ wants and needs, and satisfying them more efficiently than the competitors, with the end goal being the increase of the organization’s profitability.
However, if you want to understand this term completely, these definitions aren’t enough, as you also have to know what the marketing program consists of. Traditionally, marketers talk about the four Ps of delivering services to a client:
Product deals with the features, characteristics, and overall presentation of services and goods and how they relate to the consumer’s needs.
Pricing is used as a tool for establishing a price that pleases both the company and its clients.
Promotion includes such business activities as advertising, public relations, branding, exhibitions, etc.
Place is used for determining whether the product will be sold online or in a physical space as well as organizing the process of delivering goods or services to the customer in the most efficient manner.
At this stage, you probably have a firm understanding of what marketing is, and now you’re about to understand its purpose.
The Purpose of Marketing
If we were to look back at the definition, we would conclude that the purpose of marketing is satisfying the demands of a company’s clients. To phrase it more poetically, the primary objective of marketing is to study the target audience so well that the product or service would be able to sell itself.
Additionally, to understand how marketing can fulfill its purpose, it’s crucial to learn the core principles of marketing, which include:
- Scientific market research.
- Market segmentation.
- Manufacturing and selling flexibility.
- Technological and methodological innovation.
- Strategic planning based on market studies.
Running an organization in adherence to marketing principles allows sustaining a dynamic and cyclical operational schedule as well as ensuring the company’s adaptability to the turbulent changes occurring on the market.
The Different Types of Marketing
Marketing activities can be divided into groups and divisions on different criteria. However, if we were to categorize marketing based on the channel used, then the classification would look like this:
- Print press Marketing (Newspapers, Magazines, Booklets, etc.)
- Television and Radio Marketing
- Online Marketing (Company Website, Email, Social Media Marketing, SEO, etc.)
- Branding Marketing (Product and Service Labels, Logos, Packaging, etc.)
- Direct Marketing (occurs when an organization’s representative directly contacts its active and potential consumers)
- Philanthropic Marketing (participation in charity events and supporting non-for-profit community initiatives and projects)
Currently, online marketing is considered to be the most efficient type of marketing, as it allows a company to almost immediately reach a global audience, given the organization’s management is willing to invest in proper search engine optimization.
In conclusion, based on the definition, purpose, principles, and types of marketing, it’s obvious that marketing, as a business concept, is mostly oriented on the satisfaction of consumer demands, as it’s the only way for a company to stay competitive in the 21st century.