Introduction to Marketing

Introduction to Marketing

In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– understand the marketplace and the importance of marketing
– learn the difference between marketing and sales
– discover the career opportunities that marketing provides you with

What is a Market?

Traditionally, a market was a physical place where buyers and sellers gathered to buy and sell products and trade services.

Economists’ Point of View:
Economists describe a market as a collection of buyers and sellers who transact a particular product or service.

Marketers’ Point of View:
Marketers often use the term market to describe various groupings of customers who buy their products and services. They view other companies with similar or substitute product as constituting the industry and groups of buyers as constituting the market.

Understanding the Marketplace – Types of Markets

1) Consumer Markets
Consumer purchases are generally made by individual decision makers or a decision-making unit, either for themselves or for others with whom they have relationships.

2) Business Markets
Business marketing focuses on understanding business buying centres and how businesses purchase in different ways to consumers.

The lines between the two are blurred sometimes.

What is Marketing?

There are plenty of possible definitions.

Simple definition:
“Marketing is a set of actions that organizations take to influence the behavior of people or organizations that they depend on to thrive.”

The above definition underlines the fact that marketing needs action. Since we’re suggesting that organizations “influence” stakeholders and potential customers, does it make our definition cynical? Marketing is not necessarily about manipulating, but about influencing audiences by an offering that can be perceived as superior than the competitors’.

A more developed definition is the latest one crafted by the American Marketing Association (“AMA”) in July 2013:
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Marketing requires an ongoing effort to adapt to the changing environment and doesn’t focus only on getting more customers, but also on retaining them.

The goals of marketing are to attract new customers by promising superior value and grow current customers by delivering satisfaction.

Importance of Marketing

The heart of your business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of your business depend on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is a process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers.

Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close. Thus, it’s an essential part of any business.

Here are a few reasons why it’s important for the success of a business:
– Getting Word Out
– Higher Sales
– Company Reputation
– Healthy Competition

Who does marketing?
The short answer to the question of who does marketing is “everybody!” Let’s take a moment and consider how different types of organizations engage in marketing.

(1) For-Profit Companies

For-profit companies can be defined by the nature of their customers. A B2C (business-to-consumer) company like P&G sells products to be used by consumers like you, while a B2B (business-to-business) company sells products to be used within another company’s operations, as well as by government agencies and entities.

Another way to categorize companies that engage in marketing is by the functions they fulfill. For example, P&G is a manufacturer while Walmart is a retailer.

Though they have different functions, all these types of for-profit companies engage in marketing activities.

(2) Nonprofit Organizations
When a nonprofit organization or government entity engages in marketing activities, this is called nonprofit marketing. For example, the Army or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

However, there is a difference between these two types of activities. When the Army is promoting the benefits of enlisting, it hopes young men and women will join the Army. By contrast, when the EPA runs commercials about how to properly dispose of motor oil, it hopes to change people’s attitudes and behaviors so that social change occurs.

Marketing conducted in an effort to achieve certain social objectives can be done by government agencies, nonprofit institutions, religious organizations, and others and is called social marketing.

(3) Individuals
Can individuals market themselves and their ideas?

If you create a resumé, are you using marketing to communicate the value you have to offer prospective employers? If you sell yourself in an interview, is that marketing?

Some people argue that these are not marketing activities and that individuals do not necessarily engage in marketing. What do you think?

Why study marketing?

Marketing offers you a variety of career opportunities.

Marketing is the interface between producers and consumers. In other words, it is the one function in the organization in which the entire business comes together. Being responsible for both making money for your company and delivering satisfaction to your customers makes marketing a great career option.

There’s a huge variety of jobs available in the marketing profession. Below are a few of the opportunities available:
– Marketing Research: Responsible for studying markets and customers in order to understand what strategies or tactics might work best for firms.

– Merchandising:
 In retailing, merchandisers are responsible for developing strategies regarding what products wholesalers should carry to sell to retailers.

– Sales:
 Salespeople meet with customers, determine their needs, propose offerings, and make sure that the customer is satisfied.

– Advertising:
 Whether it’s for an advertising agency or inside a company, some marketing personnel work on advertising. Television commercials and print ads are only part of the advertising mix.

– Product Development:
 People in product development are responsible for identifying and creating features that meet the needs of a firm’s customers.

– Direct Marketing:
 Theses professionals communicate directly with customers about a company’s product offerings via channels such as e-mail, chat lines, telephone, or direct mail.
Marketing vs Sales
Marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing revenue for the organization. They are closely related but don’t arrive at the same time in the purchase funnel (which we will introduce in the next lesson). They are generally two different departments in a company and require different skillsets: a good data analyst working in the marketing department is not necessarily a good sales person.
For the full comparison table, please refer directly to this page: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Marketing_vs_Sales
Criticism of marketing
Criticism of marketing seems to be as old as marketing itself. Let us remind you of our first definition of marketing:

“Marketing is a set of actions that organizations take to influencethe behavior of people or organizations that they depend on to thrive.”

There is basically a debate based on the following 3 statements:
#1 Marketing is manipulative
#2 Marketing is ideological
#3 Marketing is immoral

#1 Marketing is manipulative

What is the difference between influence, that is at the core of marketing, and manipulation?

Both use emotions to create a cognitive bias. Nevertheless, manipulation has a darker, malicious connotation, lack of choice, etc.

Marketing a product or service doesn’t eliminate the choice, but influences it with advertising, packaging, awareness, …

#2 Marketing is ideological

Some people argue that marketing is ideological. Criticism of marketing is one of the main points of anti-capitalism and anti-globalization movements. The argument is that marketing makes people believe that their happiness lies in consumerism.

The book No Logo, by Canadian journalist Naomi Klein, is an international bestseller and one of the most well-known books that criticizes marketing. It states that investments in marketing has created powerful brands (Nike, McDonald’s, Shell, Microsoft, …) that have led to a concentration of power, unemployment, and poverty.

#3 Marketing is immoral
Marketing can create demand that is not always sound. Many of us are aware of the influence of clothing brands at Junior High School, the way that some kids feel or are treated when they don’t wear certain brands. Do brands have a moral responsibility?
Common Types of Unethical Marketing:

– Surrogate Advertising: In certain places there are laws against advertising products like cigarettes or alcohol. Surrogate advertising finds ways to remind consumers of these products without referencing them directly.
– Exaggeration: Some advertisers use false claims about a product’s quality or popularity. A Slogan like “get coverage everywhere on earth” advertises features that cannot be delivered.
– Puffery: When an advertiser relies on subjective rather than objective claims, they are puffing up their products. Statements like “the best tasting coffee” cannot be confirmed objectively.
– Unverified Claims: Many products promise to deliver results without providing any scientific evidence. Shampoo commercials that promise stronger, shinier hair do so without telling consumers why or how.
– Stereotyping Women: Women in advertising have often been portrayed as sex objects or domestic servants. This type of advertising traffics in negative stereotypes and contributes to a sexist culture.
– False brand comparisons: Any time a company makes false or misleading claims about their competitors they are spreading misinformation.
– Children in advertising: Children consume huge amounts of advertising without being able to evaluate it objectively. Exploiting this innocence is one of the most common unethical marketing practices.

Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp