Let’s face it, marketing is a huge topic.
Whether you want to launch a new product or take a four-year marketing degree, you should first understand the basics. If you haven’t read much about marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
So, what’s marketing?
Marketing is a process of engaging or interacting with potential customers to buy your products or services.
Without good marketing, a business is likely to close down.
Why should you care? Marketing is a catalyst that sets business promotional strategies on its feet.
If you’re wondering what the hype is all about, we’ll cover the basics for you.
Even though modern businesses are changing rapidly, the core marketing concepts remain the same. It’s what businesses use to fulfill the needs of customers. And given the importance of customer needs, this is an area you should understand well. Let’s jump right in.
The product is what a business sells – it could also service. The basic idea of this concept is that businesses want to introduce products that meet the needs of the end-user.
Think about it.
Customers are interested in buying a product at a lower price.
What makes your product stand apart from the competitors? Will it solve the need of the target audience? How can you make the product better?
It’s how much you charge for your product. The price you set for your product will determine the sales and profit you make.
So, the way you price your products or services will determine the margin you hope to obtain, the purchasing power, and your financial goals. Before you set the price for your product or services, you should understand how the competition prices their products. What possible substitutes are there?
If your space is saturated, the rule of thumb is to offer a cheaper price (not the cheapest). Similarly, if you’re in a new space, you should charge a premium amount. What does the market leader in your niche charge? What is the highest price customers are willing to pay? How does the price compare to the competition?
This is the location of your business. It could be anything like an online or physical store. While `location’ may seem irrelevant on the web, it isn’t.
You should focus on going where your customers are. Which outlets can I use to sell the products? What distribution channels work best? Do I use middlemen or go directly to customers?
Promotion is not just about getting your brand out there but generating revenue. Why promote a product if you can’t drive sales?
What’s cool in today’s web is the fact that there’re tons of tools to make your life easy. You should understand the channels your customers consume information, the most effective message when selling your products, and the ideal period of promoting your product.
Evolution of marketing
Marketing has undergone a gradual change since the late 18th century and early 19th century. This change can be traced under the production, product, sales, and marketing orientation era.
In the early 1930s, it was believed that whenever a business has a good product, there was an automatic customer response. If the product was good, there was no need for special marketing.
Following the failures of the production philosophy, sales orientation kicked in the 1940s. It stated that having the right product isn’t enough – you must resort to aggressive sales. You should focus on producing the best product, find the buyer, and convince them through high-pressure tactics.
It came into place in the 1950s and helped businesses understand customer needs, wants, and desires. Goods were produced based on customer specifications.
This is what we use today. The `mantra’ of any successful relationship is establishing a long-term relationship with customers. This approach is shifted to delivering customer satisfaction.
How to learn more about marketing
Marketing is a highly evolving field with new concepts, tactics, and theories coming up every day. Some of the books that can keep you grounded include: Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi, Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith, Permission Marketing by Seth Godin, Positioning by Al Ries, among others.
You’ll also find lots of information about marketing on Forums like Reddit, Quora, and twitter chats. Of course, marketing communities can be a great place to learn and exchange ideas.
You can join marketing communities in platforms like Facebook, Slack, LinkedIn, etc.
Marketing as a career
Marketing can take you in different directions. Think of it as a storehouse for sales strategy, media planning, advertising, and more.
You’ll find many opportunities in categories such as promotions, advertising, brand management, market research, etc.
Since there are so many tracks of marketing that you can follow, you can start any business you’re passionate about.
Some common job titles in marketing are:
- Marketing manager
- Marketing specialist
- Marketing consultant
- Advertising Sales Representative
- Market Research Analyst
- Marketing coordinator
- Art director
- Chief marketing officer
- Director of marketing
One thing we’ve been hearing about is marketing, and it’s here to stay. With the basics covered, you can now start a career or a business of your choice. To round out your knowledge on this vast topic, you can read more books and participate in forums.