Marketing has been defined as the process by which a product or service is developed to promote awareness and to gain acceptance in the market. This definition excludes advertising, but the two activities are often intertwined. Marketing therefore describes the entire process an organization undertakes in order to engage its intended target audience, create strong relationships with customers, and obtain a value for the user in exchange for investment. This process has three key elements: identifying potential customers, developing marketing strategies, and communicating with customers.
Marketing research helps identify the consumer’s preferences and potential uses of a product. Market research can be performed through many channels, including surveys of customers and other individuals such as suppliers, retailers, and others. Surveys are the most commonly used tools in marketing research, but may not be as informative or precise as they should be. The methods chosen will depend upon the desired outcome of the marketing campaign, including its cost, its applicability to a particular business and industry, the resources available and the extent of market penetration of the chosen product or service. Some companies use consumer opinions and feedback, consumer surveys, focus groups, and market surveys to gauge market conditions and suggest changes in their marketing strategies.
Developing a marketing concept is an important first step in the development of a marketing strategy. A marketing concept is the basis of the marketing program of a company. Once a marketing concept has been formed, the next task is to determine which marketing approach will be most effective. In other words, what type of marketing will be most appropriate for this product or service? Will online marketing prove more effective than traditional marketing? What types of marketing tools will be most appropriate for this product or service?
Once a marketing concept is decided upon, the next step is to develop a marketing program, which is a sequence of marketing actions that will bring the product or service to the attention of interested consumers. This process is often referred to as selling the marketing concept. The key goal of selling the marketing concept is to ensure that the product or service reaches the consumers where they are most likely to purchase goods or services. Most companies employ direct marketing techniques, such as advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio and television, but many companies also use indirect marketing techniques, such as trade shows and promotional opportunities at fairs.
The third stage of developing effective selling strategies involves developing a marketing management system. Marketing management systems are designed to improve the effectiveness of individual sales, marketing, distribution and advertising programs. In addition, the marketing management system improves the coordination of these programs and ensures that each aspect achieves the overall marketing objectives. The objective of the marketing management system is to promote excellence, maximize profits and reduce costs.
Marketing research is used to gather information on customers, target markets, products and services to help establish the marketing program, sales and marketing strategies. Marketing research should always be performed according to a plan. It is vital that marketing research is objective, well written and well conducted. Marketing research aids in creating a strong marketing program by gathering accurate information from consumers. This allows businesses to develop marketing plans that meet the desires and needs of the current and potential customers.