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Marketing – what is it and basic types

Marketing is an inseparable element of the company’s functioning on the market. No matter what industry you operate in, you don’t exist in a vacuum. The life of an enterprise depends on whether you convince customers to your products. You must communicate with them to sell them. That’s what marketing is for. What exactly is its definition? What are the types of marketing? Find out now what marketing is!

Marketing – the “invention” of the 20th century?

The concept of marketing appeared relatively recently, as it was around the time of World War II, in the USA. However, the fact that it was only then called this phenomenon does not mean that marketing itself was not born until the mid-twentieth century. Because the first ads can already be found in excavations straight from ancient Greece or Rome. After all, competition in the world of selling products and services has never slept. However, it must be admitted that it was the 20th century – not to mention the current times – that was the time when the market developed extremely dynamically. We operate in a consumer-oriented society with extensive needs and open to new products and services. The number of brands, products and solutions is growing not only from year to year, but also by the minute. And if so, the activities themselves that are to encourage the customer to choose product X, not Y, are evolving.

Modern marketing – the one we know today – therefore differs from previous attempts at promotion by one detail that is of colossal importance. It has the form of organized strategic activities, subordinated to a specific goal. Although there is a lot of room for creativity in it, there is no chance and chaos. Then, the likelihood of budget overflows is highest.

What is marketing?

The question of what marketing is is more difficult than you might think. Not at all because there is no definition of this term. On the contrary. Over the past few decades, a whole lot of them have appeared, as well as disputes about what marketing is and what is not. For example: are PR activities part of marketing or a completely separate plot? And … does it matter?

If we define marketing as all activities that support the sale of products and influence customer decisions – not necessarily. Because this group of activities includes almost everything – from designing the brand logo to activities in social media or price reduction.

One thing is certain: marketing focuses on the needs of consumers and satisfying their needs through a specific offer of products or services. By acting in this direction, the company increases the likelihood that the customer will choose its offer, rather than the competition – because it will be better suited to his expectations.

Is marketing the same as advertising?

It cannot be denied that both concepts are closely related. However, they are not the same. Advertising is part of marketing strategies. These are specific messages aimed at promotion, which are sent to recipients. But marketing itself covers a much broader scope of activities – those that have, among others:

– inform the customer about the existence of a given problem / topic or its exposure,
– inform about the existence of a specific brand / product and maintain this awareness in the long term,
– arouse interest and encourage interaction (which at the beginning does not have to be a purchase),
– help “push” the customer towards conversion – understood not only as buying a product, but also, e.g. leaving contact details or starting communication with the brand,
– build a positive brand image based on a specific set of values,
– build and maintain communication with the target group of potential customers – also to research their needs on an ongoing basis and to better match the offered products,
– build long-term relationships and brand attachment – so that the customer returns to it many times.

The very description of these marketing goals shows that advertising alone is only a fraction (very important!) Of this area of functioning in the business environment.

Is marketing the same as sales?

The sale transaction is the last stage to which marketing activities always lead. So that’s the result of marketing. However, marketing alone does not focus on closing sales, i.e. negotiating the target terms of the contract with the customer. The marketing funnel leads the customer from interest in solving a problem or response to needs, through interest in a product or service, to inducing the need for a specific solution. Activities in its area are also carried out after the sale – so as to maintain communication with the client and make him come back again. So let’s keep these differences in mind and look at marketing as a separate element of market communication – the most diverse and crucial for business efficiency in the business world.

The 7P concept, i.e. the elements that make up marketing

To understand even better what aspects marketing covers, you can refer to one of the concepts of marketing mix, i.e. a network of related elements that affect the market environment of an enterprise.

In the first version, created in 1960, E Jerome McCarthy talked about 4P, and thus about the success of the company’s strategy is influenced by:

product – its quality, design, packaging, brand and fit to customer needs,
price – the demand for it also depends on how much the product costs. But this does not mean that the pricing policy must be guided towards the maximum reduction in rates;
place – a market where products go,
promotion – and this includes, among others, advertising and PR activities or merchandising.

Currently, the literature also adds further aspects to this list, such as:

people – it’s both about the customer service staff and the customer himself,
process – the way in which customer service goes from interest in the offer to after-sales service,
physical evidence – all “tangible” elements of the company’s image that affect its perception, e.g. the brand’s logo, its website, visual identification system or the appearance of its headquarters.

There are also another “P“, e.g. “pleasure“, i.e. the pleasure of using services, so important in today’s consumer market. So, as you can see, issues related to defining marketing are a river topic. One thing is certain: if you take any action with a view to ultimately increase sales – this is part of marketing. Since marketing includes such a large group of diverse activities, you can guess that there are also various divisions and classifications. It all depends, of course, on what criteria of division will be adopted.

Traditional and internet marketing

Marketing, especially online, is a very broad category of activity. Which one will you choose? It depends, among others from the industry in which you operate, as well as your target group or promotional goals. However, it is worth looking at the most popular types.

SEO marketing
These are all activities related to website positioning. The absolute foundation of communication with clients in the 21st century. Why? You will answer for yourself if you think for a moment where you are looking for e.g. information about good restaurants in the area or proven ski equipment. Modern consumers direct their first steps to the Internet search engine and most often click on the first few results on the list. And if so – the position your website achieves in SERPs (search results) determines how effectively you reach customers.

Content marketing
It’s so-called content marketing, and therefore all activities related to “textual” communication with the recipient. This broad category includes content published on your website (and not only, but also because of SEO), external image articles, as well as product descriptions and much more. The better and richer the content you create, the greater the market potential of your brand.

Social Media Marketing
So all activities related to market communication carried out in social media – e.g. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Warning! It is not only about paid advertising, but above all about adding interesting posts, as well as building a community and communication with its members.

Video marketing
Contrary to appearances, this is not the same as TV commercials. The content of video materials that are posted for marketing purposes can be completely different. Popular are, for example, thematic guides with product placement, cooperation with vloggers or purely image-based clips.

These are automated activities that aim to display to the consumer ads related to what he has previously searched on the web. For example, a person who has visited a website of an online store with clothing displays his ads when he visits other websites. Remarketing is one of the most interesting solutions especially in the context of abandoned shopping carts.

Word of mouth marketing
Based on product and service recommendations – these are now more and more often authentic opinions obtained from customers.

It is also worth mentioning on mobile marketing – activities aimed at interacting with smartphone users (including, among others, sending SMSs with information about promotions!), and above all about inbound marketing, i.e. ‘inbound’ marketing, which is aimed at waking up interest of the recipient – so that he himself actively searches for content related to a particular brand, as well as offers. Strategies based on it are considered to be the most effective.

This, of course, does not exhaust the list of marketing varieties. But it will never end, because new ways of reaching the customer are constantly emerging – along with the evolution of the market itself, technology and social needs. Keep this in mind when planning your marketing strategy – to be effective, it must be adapted to current trends.

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