Marketing is not just an important part of your business’ success. In a sense, it is the business itself. Every other part of the business depends on marketing.
As Mark Cuban – owner of several entertainment and media companies as well as the Dallas Mavericks – says, “No sales, no company.”
Cuban’s phrase is eloquently put, and it’s one hundred percent true. So here are the basics of marketing.
What Exactly Is Marketing?
The term covers a wide variety of different activities. But they’re all associated with selling the services and products that your company offers.
Among all marketing activities, advertising can be the most obvious, but it also includes consumer research, for instance.
Consumer search helps you had better understand the consumers’ wants and needs; while Product Design – another facet of marketing – helps, you match the services and products to these needs.
The one thing that marketing does not include, according to certain marketing professionals, is the act of the sale itself. That is the result of marketing.
A marketing director job encompasses activities such as:
- Determining the need for a given product through consumer research and competitive analysis (quantifying and observing patterns of sales of similar goods)
- Creating products or modifying existing ones in order to match consumer needs and desires.
- Figuring out strategies to reach potential customers so they learn about your products and persuaded to buy them.
- Designing marketing campaigns based on your determination of what is the most effective way to reach customers.
- Confirming relationships with customers through loyalty programs and follow-up campaigns.
Not only can marketing help in determining a consumer need, but it can also help manufacture one. It begins with understanding the potential consumer.
A well-known marketing blunder in the 21st century was related to U.S. companies trying to sell deodorant in China.
The failure was because, unlike most Western ethnicities, ethnic Chinese do not have a problem with this type of body odour.
Another contributing factor is the fact that the Chinese commonly consider sweating healthy; viewing it as something, that purifies their body. That’s a lot different from the common American way of viewing it as a problem.
Marketing isn’t able to create a need out of thin air, but a lot of campaigns involve creating awareness of a product as well as the desire to own it.
What is important is that the awareness makes people interested in the product, so that it can help shape a need
- Some strategies used to create awareness of a product in a context that stimulates desire to own it includes:
- Promoting scarcity. Apple has increased demand for their iPhone 5 by cutting off further shipments for two whole week’s right after announcing the release.
- Developing a bond between the product and the consumers, such as announcing it to a selected audience first, then inviting consumers to participate in development or launch.
- Interacting on social media, such as responding to comments whether favourable or not.
Responding to Consumer Demands
Successful companies rarely release a product and move on to the next. Instead, they keep involved with their product, modifying and improving them continuously.
Again, Apple is a great example, as they frequently update their software and back it up with clear, extensive information releases about changes.
This keeps their customers involved, and it’s no surprise that the company has the highest customer loyalty and satisfaction ranking among major brands.
Finding the Quickest Path Between Brand and Consumer
As social media evolves and becomes increasingly important when it comes to consumer experience, successful companies have been more and more involved.
For instance, Oreo – who rated highly for social media use by Ad Week – has campaigns which tie into various social events, such as their Vine video series featuring the cookies in classic horror movies.
Designing Campaigns That Match Consumer Preferences
Companies that can respond quickly to the preferences of consumers raise awareness and increase brand loyalty and satisfaction.
For instance, Netflix uses other media such as the New York Times. Letting consumers know what films and series are coming to their platform.