Marketing is one of the more general terms used in business. It confuses people in other departments who want to know what marketers do. Sometimes it seems too general, but marketing does have a specific function in planning, provoking, meeting and confirming customers’ desire for the product, service or brand the marketer is promoting. What’s more, despite what many critics contend, marketing works.
Marketing can help develop better products and sales presentations, and it can drive more customers through the front door via advertising. When the public reads a favorable story about a product or chief executive officer, that publicity can pre-sell a new product.
Marketing can also help shape a company’s entire way of regarding its customers, fostering an approach based on value and customer satisfaction. Marketers are concerned with:
- Purpose – Marketing should be part of the company’s overall philosophy and vision.
- Profit – Marketing should focus upon maximizing profitability through satisfying the customer. Marketing is a business function with profit-oriented responsibilities as distinct as those of any other corporate department. The marketing department’s research helps determine the right time, place, price, product features and locations to use in order to sell more of the company’s goods.
- Professional strategies – Marketing encompasses numerous tactics to help assure that sales and profit goals are met via such specialized practices as advertising, research, public relations, promotion and pricing.
Can you give marketing direction?
One of marketing’s great attractions and drawbacks is that it is an art as well as a science. This makes creativity as essential as having the right facts, since marketers must arrange the facts in the correct order to be compelling and with the proper degree of flash and dash to gain attention and spur sales.
Marketers should be aware of all of their company’s previous successful, profitable campaigns. They should be able to communicate with customers and anticipate what the company will need to reach its promotion and sales objectives, now and in the future.
This entails considering both near-term and long-term strategies.
First, marketers must define their specific targeted markets, since that determines the context of the marketing battle and suggests which factors will attract or repel customers. The largest targeted efforts usually occur in consumer marketing. In this arena, brands endeavor to sell consumer goods to mass audiences. The next critical segment is industrial marketing, which offers goods and services to selected audiences. It is also known as business-to-business marketing. Marketers also build upon “derived demand,” wherein the sale of one product depends on the sale of another product. Computer manufacturing is a good example, since chip manufacturers would be idle if consumers stopped buying computers.
People tend to refer to markets as monolithic entities, but they are usually comprised of many different segments. Each segment – men, women, teenage girls, veterans, retirees – is a distinct population which has its own needs and responds best to its own preferred method of communication. Segmentation, a part of mass marketing, is used to fine-tune campaigns.
How do you adjust your marketing for the competition
Competition is omnipresent in the business world and presents constant challenges to marketers. Competition can come from many sources, from direct rivals to the market-at- large. For instance, consider the market for fountain pens. Many different types of manual writing instrument (pens, pencils, markers) are available at various prices. But because 85% of fountain pens are bought as gifts, purchasers of such pens are tempted by a vast assortment of other viable gift alternatives, not just other writing instruments. As a marketer, your job is to make your pen the most appealing gift. How can you control the competition, not only against other pens, but also against all other enticing gifts in your price range in entirely different product categories?
In addition to direct product-based competition, marketers must also contend with other inhibiting forces that can shape and curtail a marketing effort. These include legal restrictions that dictate what fair, accurate representations you can make. Other external forces that can govern how the marketplace perceives your product can come from such sources as political issue campaigns (say, environmental concerns), import restrictions or a lack of available labor.
To prepare for competition, which is inevitable, recognize your opportunities. Hint: they often arrive disguised as hard work. For those who are willing to take advantage of them, opportunities present a chance to re-position a product for a new audience or to revitalize an old, tired product. Social or life-style changes are a fertile breeding ground for opportunity. Changes in demographics, workplace relationships and health care are the type of large societal shifts that benefit marketers. Therefore, successful marketers try to anticipate change, whether it is in population, consumer behavior, technology or product development.
The Role of Marketing