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Sales and Marketing Schools

Sales and Marketing

Marketing has traditionally aimed to attract customers and move them to buy a product or a service on its message and merits alone. (This assumes that the message reaches the intended target audience as planned.)

In practice, marketing may only prepare the foundation for a prospective customer to buy, or make them more susceptible to the suggestion to buy, but it is the sales force that often must close the deal and turn the prospective customer into the highly-sought-after money-paying customer.

Since the sales and marketing departments often operate as though they were unconnected, prospects sometimes fall through the cracks. The ability to effectively coordinate the sales and marketing functions has the potential to make the difference between profit and waste.

To gain the best advantage, one must have a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of both sales and marketing and use their complementary natures to increase a company's bottom line.

The Importance of Marketing Research

Wouldn't it be great if you could find or create a product or service that everyone wanted to buy? That certainly is the dream of many entrepreneurs and companies. Of course, such a product doesn't really exist. That being said, some products and services definitely sell extremely well. But before you can determine which ones will likely do the best, you need to start with good marketing research.

Marketing research plays a very important role in a business. By conducting marketing research you can gather vital information which will reveal both problems and opportunities. Once you determine what these are, then you can make the most informed decisions about your own marketing strategies. Also, the research will allow you to examine the strategies of your competitors. It will also give you invaluable information regarding consumers in general. And those consumers include your current as well as your potential customers.

Some businesses make the mistake of relying on "gut instinct", guessing, or their own best judgment. Unfortunately, this can result in huge losses as none of it is based on hard facts. That is where the research comes in. When you gather facts via marketing research you have real data with which to work. It removes the risk of guesswork which often leads to bad decisions. Solid marketing research will give you up-to-date, valid, and reliable data.

Your marketing research may reveal that there just is no demand or interest in the product or service you want to sell. And that is very important information because it can save your company a tremendous amount of time and money in the long run. Following are some other things which you can learn from your marketing research:

  • Determine the best types of marketing strategies to implement.
  • Obtain a good understanding of current economic conditions which may be affecting the market, so you can determine the best ways to market in the midst of those conditions.
  • Provide crucial data which enables you to best predict how consumers will respond to various marketing strategies and programs.
  • Uncover opportunities within the market.
  • Discover and define current marketing issues and problems.
  • Understand which elements (e.g., laws, economy, policies, and environment) are within your control and which are not, and make sound decisions accordingly.
  • Discover or create alternatives as needed based on the information collected.
  • Constantly evaluate and improve the marketing decision process.

As you can see, each of the above is very important in guiding the direction a business takes. The best decisions are made on sound information which comes from good research.

There are two important characteristics which should be part of marketing research. For starters, it must be objective. Proper marketing research is done in a way which is unbiased. Therefore it needs to be done in an ethical manner to ensure that the findings aren't skewed to satisfy certain personal or political agendas. Marketing research should also be systematic. Logical and sound steps and procedures should be adhered to. The data collected needs to be properly analyzed to provide accurate information.

If marketing research sounds interesting to you, you might want to consider a career in this particular field. Jobs in marketing research include such positions as project manager, analyst, vice president of marketing research, or the director of research to name a few. A typical starting position is often that of a project manager or operational supervisor. More and more companies prefer project managers to have a graduate degree such as an MBA. Operational supervisors and assistant project managers can often start with only a bachelor's degree.

Marketing research will always play a vital role in our economy. There are many opportunities in this industry, and it is a great field to consider if you desire a career with a lot of potential for advancement.