Marketing refers to promotional activities that a business undertakes in order to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product or service. The term is often used in association with sales and describes any activity aimed at increasing the sale or client base of a business. In recent years, The New York Times has described it as “perhaps the most powerful marketing tool in the world.” The power of marketing is particularly evident in the contemporary consumer culture, where increasing brand awareness is the prime objective.
The key elements of marketing research and its impact on the production and sales of a firm are well-documented. Market Research is a fundamental requirement for any enterprise, large or small, new or old. It is essentially a study of what sells. It can be done through focus groups, consumer surveys, product tests and product positioning; all of which bear upon what sells and how to increase sales through better marketing practices.
Another important aspect of marketing research is defining marketing objectives. This involves identifying both the desirable attributes of goods or services to be marketed and the means by which these attributes can be communicated to customers and other prospective buyers. Marketing research can also help determine what marketing messages are most likely to resonate with customers and which are most likely to yield the greatest return for the company.
In addition, marketing strategies need to be determined and implemented. These marketing strategies will depend on both the size of the firm and the scope of the products or services to be marketed. The marketing strategies of a large corporation may be very different than those of a small boutique. While the latter’s marketing plans are primarily geared towards developing brand recognition and increasing sales, the larger firm’s marketing strategies are directed towards increasing cash flow and maximizing the firm’s competitive advantage. However, regardless of the size of the firm, its marketing management process should ultimately be focused on two basic goals: developing new sales leads and securing future sales.
Marketing also involves establishing a strong customer relationship management system. The MRO (media and customer relations) concept centers around the core values of marketing: identifying, anticipating, and delivering value to customers. The MRO concept focuses on providing cohesive, integrated communications and support systems that are designed to effectively channel messages between all stakeholders. In essence, MROs improve communication links between all members of the marketing team to assure consistency in communications, products, and offers and to ensure customer satisfaction. The focus on customer satisfaction maximizes customer loyalty and commitment, creates a sense of ongoing ownership and influence, and ensures that all members of the marketing team have an opportunity to effectively influence and shape the marketplace.
Marketing incorporates a variety of disciplines and ideas. These disciplines include planning, organizing, educating, advertising, public relations, sales, product development, customer service, information technology, research and development, and many more. The goal of marketing management is to create a powerful association between the products and/or services being offered and the company, enabling the company to effectively sell its products and promote and advertise its services. This allows companies to leverage its assets by selling to and reaching potential customers, while also increasing its profitability. As marketing is an ever-changing discipline, companies must constantly evolve their strategies and use a variety of tools to successfully compete in the marketplace.