What Is Marketing? Basics of Marketing & Types
Marketing is the process of getting the public educated on and excited about an organization’s products and services. A marketing team’s efforts in market research and consumer trends guides the strategy behind other aspects of the business and helps companies to consistently meet the needs of consumers.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is one of, if not the, most important aspects of a business. What good is selling a life-changing product if customers have never heard of it and don’t know anything about it? That’s where capable marketers come in handy. Marketers help companies identify consumer and industry trends, formulate campaigns and captivate audiences by showing how their products shine over others.
What, exactly, is marketing? Simply put, marketing is the activity of getting people aware of and interested in a brand and its products, often by promoting its offerings so that customers perceive them as valuable or desirable.
What Do Marketers Do?
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, marketing is all around us. Billboards along a highway, commercials on TV, advertisements in magazines, brand posts on social media and optimized content on a website are all everyday examples of marketing.
One of the most famous examples of marketing is Nike’s slogan “Just Do It.” Pairing “Just Do It” with world-class athlete spokespeople has proven to be one of the most effective marketing campaigns of the last 30 years. The phrase resonates with competitive athletes and fosters a sense of pushing yourself to be a better athlete (in your Nike gear, of course).
One of the reasons why marketing is so heavily emphasized is that it often helps inform other aspects of the business. Product, sales and advertising teams are all affected by the efforts of a marketing team. Marketers are responsible for guiding the decisions of these teams with valuable insights, so they compile data in the form of market research.
Market research entails gathering information about a business’ key demographics, their affinity toward a company’s current products and what other competitors are doing. A marketing team’s in-depth market research informs product and engineering teams on what to create, sales teams on what to sell and advertising teams on what to communicate.
Why Is Marketing Important?
Marketing is a core component of business success because it impacts a company’s ability to reach customers, develop a brand and generate revenue.
Benefits of Marketing
- Establish a customer base
- Develop a trustworthy brand
- Add value to company products
- Generate higher sales profits
Marketing serves as a lifeline that connects brands to potential customers. Market research enables teams to determine who their target audience is and tailor their messaging and communications accordingly. Businesses can then generate positive perception within consumers who are most likely to find value in and buy their products.
Over time, a well-planned marketing strategy solidifies a company’s brand and messaging. This is crucial because consistent branding tells consumers what to expect from a company and leads to a reputation. If a business can continue to meet these expectations and live up to its reputation, it can create trust among loyal customers and add value to its brand in the eyes of consumers.
The ultimate reward for these efforts is higher sales, and some of the most effective brands have become synonymous with winning and success. For example, many customers will pay more for a Nike shoe than an anonymous brand’s shoe based on the reputation of the Nike brand alone. An ideal brand highlights what makes a company unique, setting it apart from competitors and transforming its products into coveted items among consumers.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
The 4 Ps of marketing is a popular framework for understanding the areas involved in marketing strategy. Sometimes known as the marketing mix, the four Ps of marketing — product, price, place and promotion — are vital to every good marketing campaign.
Product is the good or service that the company is offering. Quality products should be able to satisfy customer needs, while also being able to satisfy customer demand. To effectively market a product, marketers need to pinpoint the value it brings to the customer and why customers would want it. The marketing team can start working on campaigns once these, and many other, questions are answered.
Price is obviously a large factor into whether a consumer buys your product or goes to a competitor. Good marketing teams rely on industry research to appropriately price their products so they boost their market share and reach more happy customers.
It’s critical that marketing professionals take place — both digital and physical — into account when marketing a product. Is a certain product more marketable in-store or online? Should you sell a certain product internationally? How do you market to certain geographical locations? How much does a location’s culture affect your marketing abilities? Marketing teams need to be hyper-aware of where they’re marketing to truly optimize their efforts.
What good is a marketing effort if there isn’t some excitement and build-up around a product? Promotion includes the advertising, promotional strategy and public relations surrounding a product. “Should we create a commercial?” “Should we sponsor a podcast?” “Should we just run a Google Adwords campaign?” With some help from market research, marketing executives should be able to know when to target their audience and through which medium. Executing the promotion step of the marketing mix is vital because it helps to build fervor for a product and brand awareness.
Types of Marketing
Marketing isn’t just a one-size-fits-all effort. There are different types of marketing campaigns depending on where an organization’s customers spend their time and how they prefer to be reached. Below are eight popular types of marketing:
Types of Digital Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves the use of social media channels (like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) to build a brand, connect with customers, drive website traffic and increase sales. These platforms have proven to be excellent marketing tools because they have the ability to educate customers on products, individualize consumer social media experiences and engage with an audience in a way that wasn’t possible before. Marketers rely on data analytics tools to develop targeted ads and timely posts that increase social media engagement with brands and boost revenue.
Content marketing focuses on creating relevant, interesting and valuable content that attracts an audience and converts them into customers. Marketers are turning to this form of content because it boosts SEO traffic and increases both the quantity and quality of customers. A clever content marketing example is Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The company labeled its iconic bottles and cans with popular names to build stronger bonds with customers. The experiment was such a resounding success in Australia that it ended up being implemented in 80 countries worldwide.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that relies on the virality and popularity of social media influencers, who are paid to promote and endorse products. Essentially, companies pay social media accounts with a large following to include their product in an Instagram, Snapchat or even Facebook post. Influencer marketing has proven profitable for both the company and the influencer. The company potentially gets millions of views of their product and the influencer gets paid. For example, to reach Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 340 million Instagram followers, companies need to pay about $1 million per post.
Have you ever wondered how a search engine picks its search results for your specific query? How does it know what to choose at the top option? Much of that has to do with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of increasing unpaid (known as organic) traffic through a variety of technical and content-related practices that make it easier for a search engine to read, understand and rank a site. Optimizing a site’s content, photos or backend procedures provides an uncluttered and efficient experience for both a user and a search engine, resulting in higher rankings. The higher rankings provided by this free method of marketing boosts traffic and converts a casual audience into loyal customers.
Types of Traditional Marketing
Print marketing involves marketers reaching out to target audiences through offline formats. Brochures, informative flyers and mail advertisements are a few examples of print marketing that marketers hand out or deliver to the homes of consumers. Businesses may also try to reach wider audiences by placing ads in magazines, newspapers and other publications. While marketing teams focus on producing concise written content, they must also determine how to pair text with visuals. The most effective print marketing materials complement engaging writing with relevant images, branded color schemes and other eye-catching elements.
Billboard marketing is another way to expose more consumers to a brand and features content on larger physical surfaces. Consumers can find these kinds of advertisements in crowded areas like Times Square, along popular highways or on the walls of buildings. Some companies may pay for mobile billboards, placing ads on the sides of trucks or public transportation vehicles. All billboards follow the same principles of print marketing, combining written content with coordinated color schemes, images and other visuals. Marketing teams need to get creative with billboards, such as applying bold colors or humorous content, since drivers and passersby may only have a few moments to take in a message.
Event marketing relies on both company-sponsored and public events where a business can have conversations with customers and spread its brand through physical materials. Examples of company-sponsored events include hosting a conference or learning convention. Organizations may also join public events, such as setting up a booth at a local community arts fest. Companies should supply marketing teams with materials like tents, banners and flyers for interested individuals. If possible, it’s also helpful to have a sample of a product for consumers to view. Each event provides an opportunity for marketers to share information with consumers and answer any questions, spreading their company’s brand and earning new customers.
Product marketing is vital to the success of a new product launch and is applicable across many industries. Even before the product is built, these marketers are doing intense market research to ensure that the product is the right fit for a company’s customers and that it serves a useful purpose. Then, the product team will use the product marketer’s insights as a guide on what to include in the new product. As the product is being built, the marketer will arm the sales team with the necessary knowledge and materials that will help them sell the product to current customers and reach out to new audiences. After a launch, the product marketer will ensure that customers aren’t having adoption issues and will craft marketing materials to make sure that the product stays relevant as time goes on.
How to Get Into Marketing
Marketing is a unique field, filled with people who are analytical, yet have an in-depth understanding of human psychology and storytelling. Companies all over the world need competent marketers as more and more products are developed. Who best to evangelize a product other than the people who have the most knowledge about the industry? If you think that mixing analytics with storytelling sounds intriguing, then a career path in marketing might be for you.
This is the perfect time to get into a marketing role. It’s expected that the advertising and marketing industry will eclipse $786 billion by 2026. Digital marketing has taken on a larger role, with click-and-display ads becoming popular tools for marketers.
Marketing Education Requirements
Most marketing jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, journalism, graphic design or a similar major. This shows hiring managers that you have a firm marketing background right away. Of course, having a degree isn’t the only way to break into the industry. There are plenty of reputable courses and bootcamps that can help you become a quality job candidate (or to learn more if you’re already in the industry).
Marketing Career Path
There are a few career paths that can be taken. In a more traditional marketing sense, newcomers normally start out as marketing coordinators and then work their way up to marketing manager, marketing director and then CMO.
Digital marketers have more options when it comes to roles and paths to take. These marketers usually start out as coordinators and can then experience roles like marketing specialist, search engine marketing manager, social media manager, or marketing director on their way to a CMO or VP of Marketing role. New job titles and responsibilities have been constantly popping up over the last few years due to the advent of new, groundbreaking technologies in the marketing field.
Marketing Career Paths
There are many important roles that make up a marketing team because of the sector’s importance to the overall goals of a company. Below are the job outlooks and average salaries for six common marketing positions:
Marketing coordinators provide a variety of administrative functions for marketing teams. These tasks can include website maintenance, copy editing, meeting coordination and event planning. Seen as an entry-level position into the world of marketing, most coordinators usually have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, PR or journalism.
- Marketing Coordinator Job Outlook (2019 - 2029): 7 percent growth
- Marketing Coordinator Median Annual Salary: $58,831
Marketing Research Analyst
Marketing research analysts are important to the overall success of a marketing team. Typical duties include forecasting marketing and sales trends, gathering data on competitors, measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and presenting results to executives. This job title is one of the fastest growing titles in marketing, if not in business as a whole. A capable marketing research analyst has the ability to save companies precious time and money with thorough research and strategy skills.
- Marketing Research Analyst Job Outlook (2021 - 2031): 19 percent growth
- Marketing Research Analyst Median Annual Salary: $63,920
Social Media Manager
A social media manager oversees a company’s marketing campaigns and activities conducted on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Creating content, developing a content schedule, monitoring posts and enforcing brand guidelines are a few tasks this position performs. Social media managers should also know how to measure social media metrics with popular tools, including Google Analytics, Sprout Social and BuzzSumo.
- Social Media Manager Job Outlook (2020-2030): 10 percent growth
- Social Media Manager Median Annual Salary: $72,136
A brand manager makes key decisions on how a company should present itself to target audiences and how to craft a brand that produces the desired perception. This role conducts market research to understand where products or services fit into a certain market and how to set a company apart from its competitors. Once they establish a brand strategy and marketing budget, brand managers collaborate with teams across the organization to ensure a company’s brand remains consistent.
- Brand Manager Job Outlook (2020-2030): 10 percent growth
- Brand Manager Median Annual Salary: $102,240
Marketing managers are charged with crafting the marketing strategies and tactics that help drive traffic and boost customer acquisition. They’re entrusted with seeing through the entire lifecycle of a marketing campaign and with building key relationships with partners and agencies throughout the field. Marketing managers need to have superb hard and soft skills, a demonstrable background in marketing and a knack for creativity.
- Marketing Manager Job Outlook (2021 - 2031): 10 percent growth
- Marketing Manager Median Annual Salary: $127,150
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a C-level executive responsible for setting overarching goals that guide all marketing processes and strategies. Through market research, the CMO understands a company’s market position and envisions where it should be positioned in the future. The CMO then determines goals that guide marketing-related initiatives in areas like branding, product development, customer outreach and sales.
- Chief Marketing Officer Job Outlook (2019-2029): 4 percent growth
- Chief Marketing Officer Median Annual Salary: $223,943