Upon hearing the word “marketing,” we often associate this with selling and advertising of goods and services. This is the usual misconception of marketing. It does not only revolve around selling and advertising your products but also in public relations and sales; there is so much more to marketing than the things inside a cup. If people will persist to carry on this misconception, it is not unlikely that their businesses will not thrive. It is quite alarming that many people don’t have the sufficient knowledge of business, especially marketing plan, but they are still into business. They are like cats chasing for lights which they cannot clasp. As businesses are established to cater people their needs, the company doing business should also make itself prosper, and studying marketing and accounting is of great help.
As trade and industry are continuously growing in this age of business, more and more companies are seeking ways to efficiently improve the way they are handling their businesses as innovative as those that are in the current trend but as unique as possible. Companies should learn even just the basics about marketing to apply it to the business that they are running for it is said that marketing is the heart of a business.
So, what should business establishments do in order to constantly advance in their business and make it prosper? What is marketing then? How can one’s knowledge in marketing benefit the business operations and the company itself?
In this article, we will discuss in brief the fundamentals and the very basics of marketing and focus on the marketing strategies that most companies applied to devise a new scheme in their business, which can definitely change one’s perspective about marketing.
Marketing, in its very basic, is the management process in which goods and services are shifted from conception to delivery to customers. Management process involves the setting of goals for the company, planning specific actions and steps to provide a way to achieve the goal, controlling and or organizing the activities in a company, and leading the execution of such steps or actions.
In order to have a successful marketing plan and to develop a marketing style to promote products and services to customers, one must know the essential elements of marketing, which is also known as the marketing mix of the 4 Ps, the backbone of marketing. The four elements are as follows: product, price, place, and promotional strategy.
In the creation of a marketing plan, the starting point in conceptualizing your product is to know who is your target market and what are the products that they desire. This is called the identification stage. You can include the specific demographics in your study to understand more your customers for it cannot be denied that different groups of people have different tastes and preferences. For example, for children below the age of teenagers, they might want to have new gadgets and new stuff for playing games and alike. For teens, many are becoming attentive to the way they dress and their appearance, so mostly, they prefer to have a new set of clothes or a new pair of shoes or any footwear. They might also be more inclined in their academics and choose school stuff and art materials instead. For others, especially girls, they might be starting to take care of their skins, so beauty products are essential for them. As for early adults and adults and young professionals, they may also have different preferences although some are somewhat similar to what the teens are yearning. Young professionals may need to have a formal attire for their job, an elegant makeup kit, a classy bag, or a plushy perfume. Retirees and people of age may also different needs and wants in their lives. The above only proves that studying your market is very crucial for the identification of what goods or services you are going to offer in the market.
The next stage is the selection of specific products or services. For example, if you have already established your target market and have known what are the things that they need, the next thing is to choose what products or services will you offer to them. You cannot leave your product be in general form; you have to specify and provide even the tiniest detail of your product. Conceptualize and brainstorm on how are you gonna acquire the product. For merchandising companies, consider the cheapest price available from your source—better do outsourcing before finalizing the decision on where to buy your supplies. For manufacturing, consider also the materials that you are going to use in your production. You have to have a wise verdict on deciding where to buy where you can have discounts if you will buy in bulk. Better if you will buy directly from trusted manufacturers and suppliers for they provide the lowest price.
The last stage is the development of a product, the end process where the result of the careful research and conceptualization will be put into action and actual creation or purchase of a product.
Pricing should also be taken into account in marketing. The goal in setting your price is not only for maximization of profits; there are a lot more reasons on why and how you set your prices. One is to compete in the market. Most companies want to maximize profit as much as possible, but increasing your price too much might result in having no profit at all. Why? Because your competitor’s price might be a lot more lower than lowers. Always think that you are not the only one with the same type of business; there are always others who are also doing similar business as yours, so consider them in making your decisions for your pricing. Another is to create a shift in the market pricing. You can also be a risk taker to initiate the decrease or increase the market price. But, this doesn’t mean that you are going to change the price of your product tremendously. There are still things to consider like complementary and alternative goods, which really affect the pricing of your product. Other reasons for setting your price are to change market share and to create different revenue scenarios.
Now, let’s talk about how a company should set the price of its goods and services. For merchandising companies, the one that buys products that are already available for sale and sells them to the market, they should consider the cost of purchasing a certain item. Although different companies have different strategies for setting the price to have a target profit, the most common is the markup by a certain percentage. How? The cost of the product is multiplied by a certain percentage and that will become the sales price of the product. For manufacturing companies, they must consider the cost of the direct materials, direct labor, and factory overhead. Direct materials are those materials that are directly used in the manufacturing of that certain product. Direct labor is the labor that is placed into the production by the workers. Factory overhead includes selling and administrative expenses and other factory expenses. The total amount of these three is the cost of the product. Then, a certain percentage is multiplied by the cost to come up with the sales price.
The next important element of marketing is the place. The location of your product must be accessible enough to your target market or, if you are selling online, there must be someplace for a transaction the customers will find it less hassle and burdensome. Some places may have good access to the main road and busy streets, but the competition in the area is way too much for your company to handle. Expect heavy competition if your company is lying between competitor stores.
There are a lot of promotional strategies that are proven effective by many companies. Below are some that are on top of the list:
Marketing strategies are used in order to stay relevant in the industry and stay connected with its customers. Below are some marketing strategies that are commonly used to explain the benefits and features of a product to a certain target market. Although there are so much more marketing strategies out there, here, we will discuss the significant few.
Articles or white papers are used to share some innovation or to showcase your expertise and knowledge on a certain product or service where technical information is needed to convey technical information to specialized buyers. Companies will write articles to a range of outlets such as forums, article banks, and publishers to gain audiences and to boost the sales especially online. Many companies are adopting this strategy even from before as this is less costly compared to other marketing strategies.
B2B marketing or business to business marketing is also one of the most commonly used marketing strategies. This marketing strategy allows businesses to sell their products or services to other businesses or establishments that will make use of their product to resell them, augment as their own, or support their internal operations.
This is new marketing strategy where consumers can develop, modify, and use the marketing resources that are brought online through integrated digital experiences, by which they are specialized for every user. As social media and Internet sites are in the spotlight nowadays, the aim of this marketing strategy is to use online advertising methods through social media sites that are commonly used by people like Facebook and Twitter.
Community marketing focuses on the needs of existing customers. This would carry out the business motive in connecting existing customers with prospects, connecting prospects with each other, connecting a company with customers or prospects to gain trust and loyalty, and connecting customers with customers to improve satisfaction and connection.
Direct marketing is a marketing strategy, communicating first hand to customers and prospects the advertisement from the company. The communication is usually through different media such as email, websites, text messaging, flyers, newspapers, and magazines. However, although customers can receive the information first hand, some direct marketing have been criticized for having poor message strategy or poorly compiled demographic databases.
As our society is becoming wider, more groups with different cultures can be observed. Diversity marketing, which is also called in-culture marketing, seeks to connect with these different cultures in the market. Its idea is that marketing and advertising must offer options in communicating to these diverse groups. With this, many companies strive to construct different communication methods to make contact with these groups.
Because many are into online communication, businesses also transitioned their way of communication. Email marketing become a primary way to connect with customers for some businesses as electronic mails can be organized and systematic depending on how you handle them. Electronic mails are also a formal way in transacting business especially those recipients handling huge businesses.
Creating events also entice customers to go on shopping, especially if sales and discounts are also incorporated during the event for people would usually expect these if there are events. It creates a reason for people to shop as most people need a reason to go on shopping. This can also attract passersby if they will notice event banners and advertisement design for the event, and in turn, will make the company name known to people.
Freebie marketing involves the selling of products or services with a freebie or giving out freebies for loyal customers. For example, if you collected 10 stamps from buying a particular product, you will get a free round-trip plane ticket to other parts of the world. Well, that is quite exaggerated, but that is somehow the idea of giving freebies to customers. Another is when you buy the specialized set of the newly launched item, you will get a token or an action figure of your favorite anime character. You can make anything that sounds interesting to customers.
Some companies would invest in publishing in newsletters the events that their company are having, especially the current ones, the highlights of their events, as well as the number of participants that attended during the said event. It is quite alluring for people to know that this company is progressing and is becoming known to the society. It is also a way for the company to establish the name of their brand.
Niche marketing is finding and studying what the people currently needed the most and what product most likely fits or suits an underserved customer. By identifying the problem, the problem that some people were provided with inadequate service, the solution is to know what to serve to these people and how to serve them efficiently for their satisfaction and contentment. If a company could solve a problem like this, the probability for the business to thrive is more likely to increase, and there is no doubt the business would prosper.
While many companies want to advertise and do their marketing online, others also would like to take their customers to the offline world and create, as much as possible, more engaging customer experiences. This is quite challenging since companies have to make sure that the environment they are creating for the customers can draw the attention of people more than the attention they are giving to the Internet, by providing them a fresh and peaceful experience offline.
Making use of the internet, online marketers systematized a way to advertise their product on the internet through the use of online banners and pop-ups to get the attention of a customer. However, sometimes, pop-ups could be annoying to some people because these may hinder and delay what they are doing and trying to accomplish. There are also hacking strategies incorporated in online marketing to penetrate even those that have secured lines.
Public relations marketing or PR marketing is done by marketers working with media to bring awareness to their products and services as media are very influential to the public. This marketing strategy can be used at its full potential to advertise to people through public influence the name of the company and increase its prestige.
According to this marketing strategy, building relationship with customers is essential than trying to sell them something without emotional connection. Marketers believed that the more you invest emotionally to people, the more they are going to love your product, and the more they love your product, the more they are going to purchase it and ma even recommend it to their peers.
The idea of reverse marketing incorporates the traditional way of marketing where companies will leave their advertisement hanging so that people would seek their products or services or will focus on the effect of the product and not on the product name. This is found to be effective if done appropriately and with consideration to the top priority needs of people.
Social media marketing focuses their target on people that are active in social media. Many companies find this marketing strategy effective if their target market is those that spend their time scrolling through social media sites. As we can observe, many businesses emerge on Facebook and Twitter, and most of them are easy to access and provides a quicker way for people to purchase an item.
The idea of social marketing is that a company’s goal is to provide goods and services that a consumer wants, the company’s requirements, and society’s long-term goals interests. The company should determine the current desires and needs of a society and deliver these needs for their satisfaction.
Viral marketing and viral advertising are ads paid by a sponsor company that are launched in pre-existing sites such as YouTube. Marketing may take the form of a video clip, interactive games, ebooks, or web pages. It utilizes social networking services to increase brand awareness.
Also called WOM marketing, word of mouth marketing is influenced by organizations seeding messages through a network and rewarding regular customers to engage in WOM discussion about a brand, organization, resource, or event. Marketers create something that is worth talking and then encourage people to talk about it.