The official definition of marketing, as prescribed by the American Marketing Association (AMA), defines it as “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.” In layman terms, marketing refers to the activities a company undertakes to promote the buying and selling of a product or service.
The core function of marketing is to match a company’s product or service to its ideal customer, individuals who want access to those products, in an effort to return direct sales and profitability. It’s best to think of marketing as a strategic business investment, with the capture of new customers as its ROI. While public relations is more focused on the long term reputation and relationship between customer, brand and stakeholders, marketing’s end goal is typically a short term undertaking with the ultimate goal of driving sales and achieving direct revenue.
Within this catch-all definition of marketing, are various types of marketing, of which some are very new to the industry. These include influencer marketing, relationship marketing, viral marketing, and keyword marketing, among others (visit AMA’s site here for the full list). Here at 3d Public Relations & Marketing, a huge pillar of our services and expertise involves influencer marketing, which focuses on leveraging individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orienting marketing activities around them. This type of marketing is particularly effective because of its organic nature of messaging; an influencer recommendation is more likely to be received by consumers as legitimate and credible.
Although there are a variety of marketing strategies at your discretion, it’s critical a company has the following four P’s in order to effectively market a product or service: product, price, place and promotion. Let’s dive into them a little more below:
Product: Product involves the item or items the business plans to offer to customers.
Price: Price is the amount of money at which the company will sell the product for.
Place: Place refers to the distribution of the product. Will the company sell the product at a physical location, online, through both channels?
Promotion: Promotion encompasses the integrated marketing communications campaign, which includes activities like advertising, sales promotions and sponsorships/endorsements. This is also where the roles of public relations and typically marketing converge, as effective public relations has a key role to play in any marketing campaign, and the two are reliant on one another for success.
Now that you have a foundational understanding of marketing, it’s time to decide on how to implement a workable strategy at the core of your business! Remember, marketing is never a one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s important to pinpoint which type of marketing will result in the largest ROI. A great marketing professional will provide strategic recommendations for a personalized approach that best suits your company’s needs.