Introduction to Marketing

Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart." 

Introduction to Marketing Introduction to Marketing

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Table of contents

    - Joe Chernov

    Marketing is a word we are all familiar with, but how much do we know about this core business function? How is marketing related to a brand's customer? The first word that comes to your mind when you hear marketing is probably advertising. In fact, these words are frequently used interchangeably. But did you know that marketing is much more complex, and advertising is just a small (but significant) part of marketing? Interesting, right? Read along for an introduction to marketing and all its functions!

    What is Marketing?

    Marketing, as commonly misunderstood, does not just comprise the advertising of products. Marketing as a business function encapsulates a lot more. Although advertisements are the most common forms of marketing - as people come across tens or hundreds of them every day, on their TVs, laptops, phones, on a banner while driving, or on moving vehicles - marketing does not end there. Today, marketing includes the engagement and satisfaction of customers and their needs. Marketing aims to communicate a product's benefits and values to its customers and society.

    Marketing can be defined as an organisation's efforts to communicate its values and benefits to customers, partners and other parties involved.

    Marketing activities now also focus on effectively engaging target customers to understand their needs. Value generation and exchanges between the organisation and the customers are crucial to marketing.

    A marketing campaign can only be considered successful if the following has occurred:

    • effectively engages the customer,

    • understands customer needs,

    • develops superior customer value-generating products,

    • appropriately prices the products,

    • effectively distributes the products, and

    • appropriately promotes the products.

    Marketing is a five-step process that enables a business to generate customer value and is as follows:

    1. Understanding the marketplace and the customer's wants and needs,

    2. Designing a marketing strategy that is customer-driven,

    3. Developing a marketing program that will deliver superior customer value,

    4. Building profitable relationships with customers, and

    5. Creating profits and customer equity by capturing value from customers.

    Marketing, as a whole, is a set of activities that help an organisation create value for its customers while building profitable relationships with them. To achieve this, businesses create a marketing strategy. Let us take a look at what this means.

    Difference between Marketing and Advertising

    Advertising and marketing are often used synonymously due to their similarities. Despite their similarities, marketing and advertising are not the same. Advertising is a part of marketing.

    While marketing involves research to understand the market, customer needs, and purchase behaviour, advertising solely focuses on promoting a product among target customers.

    Advertising is a set of activities a business performs to make people aware of their goods or services.

    Advertising

    Advertising is a one-way channel that communicates the features and variations of products to people. It is a method that is employed to boost sales and revenue by reminding people of the product. It is used to convince target customers that this offered good or service is superior to its competitors and to improve customers' perceptions of the brand. Advertising aims to attract new customers while retaining the existing customer base. It also aims to increase customers' need or want for the product.

    There are several common types of advertising we come across in our everyday lives, and they are listed as follows:

    • Traditional advertising - Advertisements on TV, in newspapers, or radio are examples of traditional advertising.

    • Retail advertising - Advertisements seen within retail stores.

    • Mobile advertising - Mobile ads appear on smartphones, tablets, etc.

    • Online advertising - Advertisements of products on the internet, e.g. on websites.

    • Outdoor advertising - Billboard or banner advertisements that can be seen outside on the street and in other crowded areas.

    • PPC advertising - Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements increase a company website's traffic.

    Marketing

    Conducting extensive research to understand the target market and its behaviour plays a key role in marketing. Companies also pursue research to help the marketing team construct an appropriate marketing strategy that builds profitable customer relationships. These strategies are implemented to reach marketing goals. Here are some common types of marketing:

    • Digital Marketing - The use of search engines, emails, and other electronic communication methods.

    • Social Media Marketing - A form of digital marketing. It uses social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, etc., to market products.

    • Relationship Marketing - Marketing strategies that focus on customer satisfaction and building a relationship between the customer and the brand.

    • Global Marketing - Using a unified global marketing strategy for international brands.

    Introduction to Marketing Types of marketing and advertising StudySmarterFigure 1. Types of Advertising and Marketing, StudySmarter

    Therefore, advertising is just a tiny part of marketing that focuses on creating awareness of the product among the target customers in the target market.

    Introduction to Marketing Strategy

    As mentioned, value generation for customers and building a profitable relationship with them is essential for marketing. A marketing strategy guides a business in achieving this goal through specific actions.

    A marketing strategy is a set of actions the organisation plans to achieve its marketing goals.

    The business's resources are taken into consideration while developing a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy helps an organisation decide on its target customers and how it will communicate the product and its benefits to them. This process involves segmentation, targeting, differentiation and positioning.

    Market Segmentation - The process of dividing the available market into smaller groups based on consumers' needs and behaviours.

    Market Targeting - Selecting a focal market segment for targeted marketing.

    Market Differentiation - Modifying or adjusting a product to suit the target market better.

    Market Positioning - The process of influencing customer perceptions about a brand or product to be considered more desirable than the competitors'.

    A marketing strategy involves the following elements:

    • the organisation's core message,

    • target segment's information,

    • product's value proposition.

    A marketing strategy also includes the product, price, promotion and place - the 4 Ps of marketing. These factors help an organisation receive the anticipated response from the target audience.

    Introduction to Marketing Planning

    Once the marketing strategy is in place, the company needs to start working on implementing them and generating the desired results. Marketing planning defines the marketing activities and the timeline for completing each step. It helps guide and align all associated teams.

    Marketing planning is the implementation of marketing strategies to achieve the marketing campaign's goals.

    The marketing plan will contain details like:

    • The platform for promotion,

    • Research to evaluate the pricing, place, promotion and product decisions,

    • Key messages or values tailored to the target demographic,

    • How success is measured.

    Introduction to Marketing Management

    Marketing management comprises planning, organising, controlling and implementing marketing strategies.

    Marketing management is the process that helps a business successfully perform its various functions to achieve its goals.

    Marketing management helps in achieving the following objectives:

    • profitability,

    • satisfying customer demands,

    • attracting new customers,

    • building a positive reputation,

    • market share maximisation.

    Marketing management is essential for promoting new ideas and boosting the company's financials. It can help the company succeed in selling its products despite competition. Marketing management involves defining the business's mission statement, understanding the business's market position, analysing the business's strengths and weaknesses, planning and implementing marketing strategies, and evaluating them. Evaluation of the process is essential as this helps companies understand and collect data about what works in which market and take corrective action, if necessary.

    Marketing strategies are based on five marketing concepts - production, product, selling, marketing and society.

    You can read more about this topic under Marketing Management

    Introduction to Marketing Concepts

    Marketing concepts explain the various methods through which businesses can achieve profitable customer relationships. The five marketing concepts are as follows:

    1. Production,

    2. Product,

    3. Selling,

    4. Marketing, and

    5. Societal.

    Introduction to Marketing Concepts StudySmarterFigure 2. Marketing Concepts, StudySmarter

    Production concept

    The production concept relies on the fact that consumers will opt for readily available and affordable products. Products should be manufactured at lower costs to make them more affordable. This concept focuses on quantity rather than quality. The business focuses on efficient product distribution and production improvements.

    Product concept

    The product concept focuses on the quality of the products. This concept targets customers who prefer products with high performance and the best quality. Therefore, the company makes an effort to improve its products continuously.

    Apple is a brand that has managed to maintain a huge base of loyal customers by consistently providing high-quality products.

    Selling concept

    This concept is essential for the types of goods or services consumers typically do not consider buying. Such products or services need large-scale selling and promotion efforts to capture customers' attention. For example, insurance or blood donations.

    Insurance companies such as MetLife advertise by appealing to people's emotions and encouraging them to get themselves insured.

    Marketing concept

    The marketing concept relies on understanding customers' wants and needs better than the competitors, enabling the business to provide superior customer value. It is a customer-centric concept that focuses on finding the right product for customers.

    Contrary to the selling concept, the marketing concept has an outside-in perspective, which implies that the focus starts with the customer and their needs, and all the other marketing activities are supplemented accordingly.

    Societal Concept

    The societal concept argues that marketers should formulate marketing strategies to benefit both the consumer's and society's well-being. Companies following a societal concept consider the company's requirements, the consumer's short-term wants, and the long-term interests of the consumers and society. This is a socially responsible concept.

    The British cosmetic store, The Body Shop, excels in animal, environmental, and human rights issues.

    Introduction of Marketing Fundamentals

    The marketing fundamentals are what is commonly known as the 4Ps of marketing. The following are the 4Ps of marketing:

    • Product

    • Place

    • Price

    • Promotion

    Product

    Product is what the company has to offer. It can be tangible (such as clothing, chocolate, etc.) or intangible, also known as services (such as health care, transportation, etc.). A product can have different variants and serve various purposes. The marketing team determines the value-adding determinants of the product, such as its packaging and servicing policies.

    Place

    Place refers to the product's distribution location. Products should always be available to the target customers. The marketing team should also decide the method of distribution. Businesses should determine whether it would be most beneficial to sell the products online, in a physical store, or both.

    Price

    Pricing a product depends on many factors, such as the cost of production, the price of similar products in the market, and how much people are willing to pay. Deciding the payment methods, providing financing options etc., should also be selected. The marketing team should also decide whether or not to offer discounts.

    Promotion

    Promotion describes all the steps the marketing team takes to make people aware of products and their features or uses. The marketing team also needs to decide on the promotion channel and method. Promotions can be offered online, offline, in-store, or during events. The language or tone of communication is also an essential factor.

    In short, marketing is a complex and core process that helps an organisation or brand build valuable and profitable customer relations.

    Introduction to Marketing - Key takeaways

    • Marketing can be defined as an organisation's efforts to communicate its values and benefits to customers, partners and other parties involved.
    • Types of advertising include traditional, retail, mobile, outdoor, online, and PPC.
    • Types of marketing include digital, social media, relationship, and global.
    • Marketing management is the process that helps a business successfully perform its various functions to achieve its goals.
    • A marketing strategy is a set of actions the organisation plans to achieve its marketing goals.
    • Marketing planning is the implementation of marketing strategies to achieve the marketing campaign's goals.
    • The marketing concepts include production, product, selling, marketing, and societal.
    • Product, place, price, and promotion are the marketing fundamentals.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    Is a customer the same as a consumer?

    A consumer is a person who buys a product or service from a business. 

    A consumer is a person who uses a product or service provided by a business.

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