Marketing is an essential component of business. Marketing can be defined as the procedure by which a firm or an entity develops and disseminates a product or service so that it can be used or purchased by a particular end-user or group. Marketing is therefore a combination of various processes that yields concrete outcomes. The marketing management process thus involves financial, strategic, technological, informational, and social factors. Marketing is therefore a very broad discipline and covers many specific activities and areas such as research, development, pricing, advertising, and promotions. Marketing therefore covers the entire gamut of the process by which a firm or entity makes its products or services available to the end-user either through the marketing agencies or directly.
Marketing therefore covers the entire spectrum of activity by which a firm or organization satisfies its customers or serves the customer’s needs or interests. Marketing therefore is not only a practice but a philosophy or an underlying attitude that states that one should put into circulation and make available to prospective customers all the factors and aspects that make it attractive as a solution or a good alternative to existing solutions or goods and services. It is therefore important to understand marketing concepts before one embark upon a specific marketing program or tactic. There are five basic marketing concepts or aspects that need to be understood.
The first aspect of marketing is the marketing research. This includes compiling and analyzing data on the buying behavior, preferences, and buying habits of consumers and finding out what products or services provide the answers to these questions. The second important aspect of marketing research relates to understanding the target market or markets. This involves identifying and studying the attributes of potential customers or targets in order to develop a marketing concept. Target marketing therefore seeks to maximize sales by identifying the characteristics of potential customers that will motivate them to purchase a particular product or service.
The third aspect of marketing involves the development of marketing strategies. Marketers therefore need to come up with ways to make their products and services distinguish themselves from similar products and services being offered by competitors. They do this by creating new marketable features or qualities, re-examining their products or services to determine if they have neglected any aspect that consumers should be aware of, and by testing their marketing ideas in order for them to become more effective. Marketing strategies also include the planning and development of advertising programs and campaigns. This can be done through the creation of new campaigns and the implementation of new ideas and marketing concepts.
The fourth aspect of marketing management is the evaluation of marketing concepts and strategies. Evaluation includes testing, monitoring, and correcting the effectiveness of marketing strategies and concepts. Marketers use a variety of tools and techniques when conducting evaluation. These include research, survey, testing, focus groups, and case studies.
The fifth aspect of marketing is the integration of marketing research and marketing actions. Integrating marketing is done by making better use of the results of marketing research to identify potential business partners, customers, and other influencers. Then marketing activities are carried out in order for them to yield more positive results. Examples of integration include introducing new products or offering promotional gifts to attract more customers to one’s business.