What is marketing? Everybody associates it with advertising but it is inherently different. A marketing strategy can include advertising but it is a whole sales strategy concept. In the dictionary of marketing terms it describes marketing as: The process of planning and executing the conception of ideas to create exchanges that satisfy goals.
What this basically means is that marketing is a blanket expression for everything you have to do when you have a product or service to be sold. To make customers aware and also to want whatever you are selling.
The Growth in Marketing?
We have to consider if sales is marketing? Or perhaps advertising? As we touched on before marketing is an overall strategy of awareness, and sales and advertising are just a part of the much bigger picture.
Perhaps three or four decades ago marketing was primarily just sales, but now it is the marketing department that will inform the sales team of what product to sell, in which marketplace and at what price. In the past companies would just have a sales department perhaps with an advertising guru who did a little market research? Perhaps there may have also been a promotional arm or an outside agency to handle that sort of thing.
Things really started to change in the 1970’s and as firms grew larger and had many product offering, different brand managers were employed, along with segment specialists. The need for a dedicated marketing department became apparent.
Everybody Should be Involved in Marketing
The whole company should be aware of the marketing strategy, marketing crosses over into every part of a business. From the fork-lift truck driver to the CEO, everybody should be made aware of the visions, goals and messages the company is trying to achieve. And all this should be born in mind whatever they do for the company, so they can relate to your customer’s needs. This strategy is called integrated marketing communications which basically boils down to every employee should carry a consistent message.
There are so many variable and different factors that can effect whether a customer remains a customer or a potential customer becomes an actual customer. The marketing department is normally held responsible as far as this is concerned but really it is the whole company’s responsibility.
What Does a Marketing Department Do?
The marketing department should be the spearhead of any company, it should guide the rest of the business into developing, producing, servicing, and delivering products and services to its customers. The marketing department will have a better overall view on the company’s objectives than any other department. It know what the customer’s needs and wants are, but it should act together positively with product development and also customer service.
The department will also know at what price a product or service should be sold, both to be profitable for the company and in what market segment. This is not the job of the sales department whatsoever. Marketing should be involved in all company discussions, as it is key in not only to only promote a brand but also will have identified a marketplace to sell into. In the concluding part of this blog we look at other reasons why marketing works.