The term “marketing” has dozens of definitions. In the most general sense, this word means the activity directed on the reception of profit through the satisfaction of consumer needs. In other words, we are talking about the ability to sell products or services to the target audience.
Marketing, Marketing Research and Brand
Marketing is a quite broad and complex concept. It includes the study of consumers, a niche analysis, demand forecasting, analysis of competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and building communications with your target audience. One of the main tools of marketing is marketing research to study market situation and consumer. Such research is conducted for the formation of the strategy and tactics of a particular company, taking into account existing and probable factors.
Marketing researches allow to:
- To obtain data on the behaviour, characteristics, preferences of the target audience;
- To study a particular problem, for example, to identify the causes of declining sales;
- To assess the prospects of the product from the point of view of demand.
- To predict the situation on the market;
- Identify a niche for a new product.
Properly conducted marketing research provides the opportunity to reduce business risks and the probability of losses, especially in a market where offer exceeds demand.
One of the goals of marketing is brand promotion. This refers to the combination of name, symbol, images and other parameters that distinguish the product from competitors. For effective brand positioning in the market, it creates a system of values and characteristics of the brand concept.
The goals, objectives, functions of marketing
Marketing goals are to attract new clients and maintaining existing, needs. To achieve this goal, several problems can be solved by:
- Analysis of the customer needs – to know the demand of the product, what the targeting criteria should be considered when promoting;
- Study the proposals of competitors, features of pricing in your chosen niche, to develop a pricing policy based on the obtained data;
- Adapting the range of products or services under existing demand;
- Implementation of measures to increase demand increased sales of advertising, viral promotion, and other methods;
- Support and service for buyers in the category of regular customers.
For the effective solution of marketing tasks, it is necessary to understand manufacturing capabilities, to develop a clear sales plan, respond flexibly to changes in demand and to upgrade the range of products tailored to the needs of the target audience.
Marketing serves several key functions:
- Analytical: analysis of factors affecting the company and the level of demand. It also includes the study of internal factors in an enterprise environment;
- Production: management of competitiveness of the product, it’s quality;
- Management and control: planning of marketing activities, risk management, customer support;
- The function of effective sales: formation of commercial and pricing policy measures for the development of new markets, expansion demand;
- Innovation: bringing to market of a new product.
To implement these functions, different methods are used. This requires a proper survey, observation and the study of demand and market conditions.
Types of marketing
There are several types of marketing:
- Conversion: This is aimed at stimulating consumer demand (promotions, active PR products, discounts);
- Stimulating: It is aimed at identifying the reasons for low demand and the adoption of measures to increase the activity of consumers;
- Remarketing: This involves the recovery of demand (the study of the characteristics of the product, split it into several directions);
- Educational: It allows you to turn the potential demand into real sales;
- Mass: The aims are to increase coverage of the target audience;
- Target: Segmentation of goods for specific consumer groups;
- Direct: Open demonstration to consumers of product benefits.
Guerrilla marketing is the promotion of a product or brand using low-cost methods. For example by using interesting content via social networks. It is the process of promoting a service or product through opinion leaders. Such a leader can be any person that causes the trust to a specific audience viz. bloggers, media personalities or any authoritative people who frequent the forums. In addition to leaders, there are agents of influence – people who are are capable of influencing through their comments which in turn affect the behaviour of people.
Another popular direction is relationship marketing, aimed at building long-term relationships with partners and customers. That is a long-term relationship are the main factor of competitiveness. Customer retention is no less valuable than their attraction.
Viral marketing is the dissemination of commercial information about the product with the help of representatives of the target audience. The message is transmitted on the principle of “word of mouth”, and the main task is to create resonance, through provocations or scandal. A striking example is the distribution of users in social networks using photos of the original ads.
Eco-marketing (Green Marketing) allows you to create an effective system of doing business, given the focus on the sustainability of consumption, the preservation of the environment. It is the promotion of ecological goods and services business, dealing with the nature of products that can be recycled.
Internet marketing (or marketing of keywords) – most users today tend to shop online. It is here we find potential customers. The main objectives are the conversion of website visitors into actual buyers and an increase in profits.
The concept of 4Ps
There are several types of marketing concepts, one of them is the concept of 4Ps. This is the base model, comprising of:
- Product – you need to determine what functions will be able to carry this product, what will be its quality, variety and service for consumers, what are its key benefits. This includes branding;
- Price – it is necessary to develop pricing, determine price segment for the specific product, to include promotional events, promotions;
- Place – of that product that is purchased, it needs to be in the right place at the right time. We should define the geography of sales, distribution channels, the volume of inventory;
- Promotion is informing consumers about the product, the formation of needs. The promotion also involves planning the desired result, essential activities, media strategy, communication channels.
The marketing strategy choice is affected by the product life cycle. At each stage of marketing, we have to consider the relevant specific measures and actions. This nuance is taken into account in the marketing plan – a detailed description of the process of promoting and selling the product chosen strategy.