In earlier times organizations believed that all they needed to do to stand out in the market, was to have an outstanding product or service. This belief is summarized in this old quote “A good product sells itself”.
However, with the rise of the industrial revolution and the multiplication of competition in the various industries, organizations realized that no matter how fantastic your products or services are, if you do not tell people about them, very few persons may know about it. And as expected, only a few purchases will be made.
Organizations today take marketing very serious, probably even more serious than you may expect. For instance, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Netflix, and other big brands invest millions of dollars per annum on marketing, because they realize the truth in the statement, “what is not in sight, is not on the mind”. If they do not keep themselves in the sight of consumers, they may gradually lose their position to the competition that keeps themselves visible.
Since Marketing is so important, what is it all about, and how do I go about it? This article will be doing an in-depth discussion on Marketing, and answering every question you may have on the subject. Let’s go already!
What is marketing?
Investopedia.com defines marketing as the activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
Coschedule.com defines it simply as the act of driving profitable customer action. It involves all the strategies and tactics an organization employs to position products and services in the marketplace, and motivate their target audiences to make a purchase.
The Basics of Marketing
Marketing as a concept revolves around four things namely, Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Regardless of your marketing strategy, it always revolves around these four things. They are popularly known as the “Marketing Mix”, or the 4P’s of Marketing. This idea was popularized by Neil Borden in the 1950s. Now we shall look at each of these 4P’s in detail.
As the name suggests, this refers to the goods or services an organization wishes to offer to prospective customers. The product should meet a need in the market, or satisfy consumer demands for a greater amount of a product already available in the market.
Before preparing for a Marketing Campaign, marketers need to understand the product they wish to sell, its uniqueness, and if the product can be paired with another product already available in the market.
In addition, the following questions should be considered:
Ø How many products variations should be produced: For instance, if it is an Ice cream company, they can decide on which type of Ice creams they wish to sell and which flavors.
Ø Packaging: They should also decide how their goods should be packaged. If it is an Ice cream company, should their products come in cups, plates, etc.?
Ø Servicing: They should also answer the question of how these products will be serviced, if they are non-perishable goods.
Pricing refers to the amount an organization is willing to offer its goods or services to prospective customers. Although it may seem like a very easy thing to do, however, there are some considerations to make before fixing a price, as the price of a commodity, goes a long way in determining how well it will be received, how much profit an organization can expect to make, etc. Here are some things to consider before deciding on a price:
- Price of similar products in the market. You have to consider the price of competing products in the market before deciding on the price for your goods. A lesser price may be more attractive to consumers, and give you an edge over the competition.
- Cost of Production: The cost of producing a goods or service is a major consideration when fixing the price of a commodity. If the cost of production per unit is $3, it is expected that the price will definitely be above $3.
- Cost of Marketing: The cost of adverts and other marketing activities also influences the price of a product.
- Payment options: If the cost of a product is significant, it makes sense to consider providing payment options for prospective customers. Paying in installments is an option to consider in such cases.
Have you ever heard the expression “round peg in a square hole? That is what a product will experience if it is not place in the right place.
When we talk about Place, we are referring to the location a product will be sold. You do not want to try selling Ice to an Eskimo? A product needs to be sold in the area where it is most needed.
In addition, Place also refers to the platform for selling the product. Will the product be more successful if sold online or offline? Will a combination be perfect? These are questions to consider when deciding on a place.
It is one thing to have a great product or service, and it is another thing entirely for people to be aware that such a product exists. This is where Promotion comes in. In Promotion, you reach out to the public via adverts, Press conferences, etc., informing them about your products and their benefits. The following are key considerations when promoting your Product:
Ø Channels of Promotion: There are several options available to promote your product. There are online options and offline options. In the online/offline category, there are various options suited to different kinds of products.
Carefully select the promotion method most suited to your line of products.
Ø Message: Every promotion has a central message it is communicating about a product to the public. A great message will drive sales. This central message is also known as a product’s value proposition.
Types of Marketing
Marketing is a very broad field, with so many branches. This section will be discussing some of the most popular types of marketing.
According to the Oxford dictionary, Content Marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Today, many organizations use content marketing to attract their audience and subtly introduce their products to them. For more details on this, visit www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/.
In email marketing, you send out emails to prospective clients informing them about the products or services your organization offers and how it can benefit them.
Email marketing according to various statistics is a very effective means of marketing, as it has a high return on investment. According to figures published on Coschedule.com, you can expect to get a return on investment of $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Social Media Marketing
www.wordstream.com defines social media marketing as a form of marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. It involves activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
Social Media marketing is a popular type of marketing today, as most organizations have social media accounts through which they reach out to present and prospective customers. It is also a viable means of marketing as there are billions of persons that can be reached through Social Media.
For more details on the Social Media Marketing, read our article on the 20 benefits of Social Media Marketing Here!
Online Video Marketing
Hubspot defines online video marketing as using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium.
These videos could be shared on the organizations’ social media channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. This is another important type of marketing that an organization can utilize to drive their visibility as well as sales.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is renowned for driving traffic to an organization’s website or blog. In search engine optimization, you structure the content available on your website, and perform other tasks that help improve your site’s Google rankings, and attract an audience that is interested in the topics and products your website offers.
This type of marketing is another popular type of marketing today among most organizations.
Influencers are people with a large following on Social media. Influencer Marketing involves contracting influencers to tell people how great your products or services are.
Most people will pay for a product they have never used if an influencer tells them that the product is great. This is one reason why this type of marketing is popular among new companies or companies trying to introduce a new product into the market. So far, this type of marketing has proven to be usually successful.
Benefits of Marketing
Like most good things, Marketing has many benefits. However, we will be identifying a few here. They are as follows:
Increased Sales: If you get your marketing right, it will lead to increased sales of your products or services.
Access to Data: As you interface with customers in your marketing, you gain relevant insight into what can be improved about your product to drive its popularity in the public.
Trust: If your marketing is done right, it helps you build trust among prospective customers. For instance, in content marketing, as your audience keeps accessing quality content on your site, they will easily trust you as an authority in that area. And it takes trust for prospective customers to pay for your products.
For a business to thrive today, Marketing is a key component that has to be in place. However, as seen earlier, one has to choose the type of marketing most suited to their organization to reap the dividends of it.
The above list of the types of marketing is only a few of the several kinds of Marketing. Study them and select the one most suited to your organization, for maximum impact. Thanks for reading through.