Understanding Marketing BasicsPublish Date: Oct 20, 2009
Whether you are starting a business or looking at a marketing career, it is important to understand the basics of marketing. Marketing essentially is the process a business uses to determine consumer needs, create products and services based on those needs, and make the consumer aware of its products or services.
Successful marketing is the foundation for successful sales
Whenever you interact with your customers or potential customers, you are often involved in some form of marketing. You do this in order to ultimately get the consumer to buy whatever product or service you are offering. Successful marketing is the foundation for successful sales, because marketing starts the process of getting the potential customer interested and thus paves the way for the sale to occur at a later point in time.
A lot of people think marketing merely means advertising or promoting a product. But it is much more than that. Advertising is actually just a small part of the overall marketing process. It creates awareness and desire, but there is much more that must occur long before any advertising can take place.
Marketing starts with research. This research includes evaluating things such as market trends, consumer buying tendencies, problems and needs of consumers, what current products and services exist to meet those needs, how they are priced, how they are delivered to the customer, and so on. Once the initial research is done, the next step is improving a current product or marketing it more effectively if it doesn't need improvement, or developing a new product or service to meet a consumer need. All of this involves more research and then testing.
Once the product or service is ready, then the next step in marketing is launching it. This is where advertising and promotion come in to play. Again, research will show the best advertising methods to reach the particular type of consumer who will be interested in the product. The marketing process is always ongoing. Every successful company is frequently, if not constantly, evaluating its marketing in order to ensure the most profit.
This leads us to a key marketing concept, which is the "marketing mix". Understanding the marketing mix will help you sidestep serious mistakes as you develop your plan for creating and/or marketing your service or product. The marketing mix is often referred to as the 4 Ps of marketing, although they aren't truly synonymous.
The marketing mix really refers to all the different ways a business has to market a product or service. The 4 Ps can help a business determine the best marketing mix. The 4 Ps of marketing are product (or service), price, place, and promotion. Understanding these elements will help a company determine the appropriate marketing mix. A good marketing mix is crucial to success.
Determining the best price is a very important part of your marketing process.
Your product or service needs to be something which your customers can easily understand – if they don't, they aren't going to buy it. So this is a crucial part of good marketing. Clear instructions, examples of how the product is used, and defining its benefits and features to the consumer will all help to increase understanding.
Determining the best price is a very important part of your marketing process. If consumers perceive your price as unreasonable they won't likely buy your product. On the other hand, if it is too low they may underestimate the value of the product or service and bypass it. Also, how your price compares to competitors' prices can play a significant role in whether or not consumers buy from you.
Once you have your product and price, you need to determine the best place or location for your customers to find and purchase your product. This may be a boutique, a shop in the mall, the Internet, sales staff, or a catalogue which you send them via mail, just to name a few.
Last of all you need to determine how you are going to promote your product or service. Promotion and advertising are how you make your target market aware of your product and also influence them towards deciding to buy it from you. Proper promotion can generate interest, build trust and credibility, and ultimately lead to a sale.
While there is much more to marketing, failing to grasp these basics can lead to disaster and significant losses. Understanding these marketing basics, however, will set the foundation for your business success!