Marketing is a broad term that can encompass a wide variety of activities. Marketing does not only refer to promotional activities; it also encompasses strategic activities undertaken by organizations to improve a product, service, and brand awareness. The objective of marketing is to identify the needs of potential customers, to create a competitive edge over rivals, and to increase company revenues. Thus, marketing is not only a tool to advance a business; it is also a way to build long-term value chains.
Marketing is not just limited to advertising. It also includes sales promotion, quality control, information distribution, product development, and other non-advertising activities such as product testing and research. In fact, some marketers view marketing as the most important element in customer relations. Marketing therefore encompasses a very broad range of activities that are undertaken by marketers to engage consumers, enhance their purchasing decision-making process, and increase company sales.
Marketing involves several elements and is therefore very complex. Marketers use different techniques to reach their target markets. They can advertise through media, such as print, broadcast, and Internet; engage in product development activities, such as product testing and research; and perform market research, such as compiling customer data and conducting surveys. These activities help marketers understand their target markets better and plan strategies to reach them. In fact, some marketers consider marketing to be an integrated system of activities that integrate different business disciplines, such as strategic management, financial planning, human resources management, and production analysis.
Marketers have to determine what their consumers need and how consumers will acquire these needs. Marketing thus encompasses several activities. One of these activities is product development. Products can be developed through research and product development, including business development, product testing, and market research. These activities are undertaken by marketers to determine what consumers need and how they can get what they need.
Another important component of marketing is marketing research. Market research determines what people need, which firms must provide, and consumers’ preferences, which firms must acknowledge and satisfy. Market research helps marketers to determine if a new product or a new advertising strategy is a winner or not. Through market research, marketers learn which messages attract the most attention from potential buyers, which types of advertisements attract the most interest from customers, and which methods produce the best results. All these are determinants of success for marketing campaigns.
The third component of the marketing process is keyword marketing. Keyword marketing refers to using keywords in a web site, ads, and websites to attract a large audience interested in your products. Keywords are combinations of words that attract people seeking information about your product. It is like an auction site where marketers try to outbid each other in placing the maximum number of times keywords that they think prospective customers will enter to find what they are looking for. This is the most important factor in determining your market share and competing against other companies with the same products and services.
After all three components have been determined, marketers should still work hard to reach their goal. They should spend time developing a strategy, monitoring market trends, and working to reach their target audience. The challenge lies in making sure that the strategies work.
The challenge is not that marketers do not know the concept of marketing; rather it is that they often fail to execute the marketing concept consistently enough. In most cases, marketers will spend a lot of time trying to execute their plans. Asking potential customers to complete a survey is one way to measure the effectiveness of your strategies. Monitoring the results of these surveys can help you make changes to your marketing strategy if it is not producing results that you are expecting.