Marketing refers to various activities that a business undertakes to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product, service, or item. In recent years, The New York Times defined it as “the art of convincing people so enthralled with the advertising messages they see and receive that they lose track of their dollars”. This is quite an old concept that is generally associated with branding, but it should be noted that marketing goes much deeper than this. It is all about reaching out to the right customer. In essence, marketing is all about making what you have to offer something that your potential customers would want.
Marketing activities include various processes aimed at creating awareness of products and services, defining a brand, developing a customer base, and ensuring a better match between products and customers. However, these activities are inter-related and not one and the same. For example, in order to reach out to the right customer, a marketing activity may involve launching a website, creating a corporate identity, launching a TV commercial, producing a media campaign, and engaging in PR activities such as press conferences and pitches. All these activities are aimed at creating awareness, a better match between the products and the potential customers, and developing a loyal customer base. However, none of these activities would help in determining the eventual success of the product or service.
The key to a marketing strategy is to ensure that all the previously mentioned key factors are in place. A company should focus on advertising and marketing activities that create a better match between the company and its consumers. For example, if the company is selling a particular television set to the children’s group, it should not waste money on advertising that only a small percentage of the target audience will take note of. In addition to this, if the advertising only includes adults, it is pointless to launch a TV commercial about children’s programming because children do not watch television.
As per the philosophy of linearity, marketing strategy is usually a time-to-time affair and cannot be changed drastically based upon the changing market scenario or consumer behavior. This concept, however, does not mean that companies should throw up their hands and wait for results. In fact, marketing today is an interactive process that requires immediate response from the consumers. If a marketing concept is not able to capture the interest and attention of the target audience, then it is of no use at all. To ensure that a concept gains the acceptance of the consumers, companies should work on formulating a unique marketing strategy by combining the basic tenets of marketing.
Companies should ensure that they offer the best value to the consumer by using four Ps: quality, price, personalization, and product knowledge. Each of these Ps has a distinct meaning to the consumer and it is important that the marketing company understands them well enough to guide the customer correctly. It is also essential that the marketing firm understands the needs of the consumer and takes into account their preferences when formulating a marketing strategy. By understanding the preferences and dislikes of the consumer, companies can easily tailor their product offerings to better suit the needs of the target audience.
With the aid of new technology, marketers can now easily reach out to millions of consumers within minutes by using their mobile phones. Therefore, marketing strategies need to be customized to suit the latest consumer demands. The Internet also offers tremendous potential for advertising and marketing as there are several social networking sites that allow people to advertise about their products and services. Social media marketing helps in sharing information about the new product with a large audience that can be targeted via social media. There are numerous other forms of advertising strategies that companies can implement, but these four Ps are perhaps the best ones to start with when formulating a brand new marketing strategy.