Marketing is defined as the process by which a firm or an organization communicates with prospective customers to make them aware of its products or services. Marketing is a powerful communication tool. It is also known as advertising or marketing and is quite an established practice throughout the world. Marketing is one of the most important factors in sales and is an integral part of any business. According to a recently published report, a whopping 85% of the top companies increase their marketing spend annually.
Marketing refers to various activities that a company undertakes to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product, service, or asset. The New York Times has described it thus: “the art of telling stories so enchanting that people sometimes lose track of their purses”. Marketing is a very important element of any business and involves a four P’s strategy:
Prior to embarking on the marketing process, firms should create a comprehensive marketing plan. A marketing plan contains a description of the product or service and the marketing objectives. In addition, it provides a concise definition of the target audience, the advertising methods, and the budget allocation for each phase of the marketing process. A good marketing plan ensures that marketing activities are aligned with the company’s goals and aims.
The fourth point includes creating a strong customer profile. This refers to understanding the customer profile or the group of people likely to purchase a particular product. This can be done by conducting research, collecting demographic information, analyzing customer behavior, analyzing product attributes and features, using survey tools and formulating an effective marketing strategy. This helps in defining the target audience for marketing activities.
The fifth and final point refers to creating a marketing strategy for a product may include the design of advertisements, the selection of promotional materials, and the distribution of these materials. Once a marketing strategy has been formulated, a firm should use all the available resources effectively to market the product. This may include media marketing, Internet marketing, product promotions and product reviews. Marketing strategies should include all the options available to a company. In fact, research shows that most of the major marketing mistakes are made at the start stages of marketing because firms do not have a clear vision of what they want to achieve.
Marketing through social networks has gained popularity recently. This is because companies have discovered that social media marketing can be highly effective. However, it is important to remember that marketing through social networks should focus on quality rather than quantity. A company should also create a number of promotional tools that work hand in hand with their social media marketing strategies. Viral marketing focuses on viral growth of ideas through word of mouth and this is one of the most important aspects of marketing strategies.