What is Marketing? The dictionary definition of marketing is “the process of promoting or selling something through any sort of advertising or social promotion.” Marketing actually refers to several activities a business undertakes in order to sell the sale or acquisition of a particular product, service, or item. It can also be defined as the science of identifying, predicting, and satisfying customer needs.” This definition clearly defines what marketing is about. However, in a very broad sense, marketing can be described as a process in which a business attempts to satisfy customer needs in order to increase profits.
Traditional Marketing The traditional marketing practices that are often referred to are mass marketing, direct mail, television advertising, and the like. These marketing practices may seem to be effective in getting the message across to potential customers. Unfortunately, many times these efforts do not result in increased sales because they do not effectively reach the targeted market or because they fail to satisfy the targeted audience. This is commonly known as the ‘blame game’ or the’my way or the highway’ syndrome. Many organizations will often use a variety of marketing channels to achieve their goals, thus perpetuating the problem by making it difficult for prospective customers to differentiate between what is offered by their competition and what is being offered by their own organization.
The Internet also offers an opportunity to increase sales with a marketing activity that is more targeted than other advertising channels. Online marketing is increasingly becoming an important component of business strategy. The Internet allows for increased brand exposure that traditionally could not be achieved in other media. The Internet provides the opportunity for companies to increase their visibility to the target market by offering a more customized approach to web promotion. As a result, a large percentage of the audience is now spending a large amount of time on the Internet searching for products and services that are similar to what was found during previous search inquiries. A well-designed Internet marketing campaign can directly influence this behavior and even alter the perceived brand image of companies.
Many business owners believe that marketing strategies should only include ‘traditional’ strategies such as direct mail, television and radio advertisements. While these strategies have proven successful in the past, a more comprehensive understanding of what is marketing is necessary in order to ensure success. Marketing today involves the distribution of promotional materials, including catalogues, newsletters and websites. In addition, the Internet has provided companies with the opportunity to advertise directly to the target audience, increasing the number of prospects who are able to receive the company’s information and reach out to make a purchase. These strategies are proving to be highly effective in creating new leads and retaining repeat customers.
Another term that is commonly associated with marketing is’Customer Service’. The term Customer Service refers to a consistent and systematic approach to resolving customer concerns. The objective of customer service is to ensure that customers are given the highest level of satisfaction when engaging with a business.
When developing a comprehensive marketing plan, it is important to consider how to create a targeted and knowledgeable target audience. A large part of the effectiveness of marketing lies in the ability to reach out to potential customers and effectively communicate with them on an ongoing basis. It is important to choose the best marketing mix that includes each of the four main components, all of which play a significant role in the success of any advertising campaign. Knowing what is marketing is only half the battle; developing a strategy to reach potential consumers and maintain strong customer loyalty is the other half.