What Is Marketing and How Does It Help Your Business Grow

The definition of marketing and its benefits

As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to grow your company. You want to attract new customers and keep the ones you have. For that, you need marketing. 

But what exactly is marketing? We’ll take a look at the definition of marketing, its benefits for businesses, and some strategies you can use to market your business.

What is marketing?

Marketing involves the development, distribution, promotion, and selling of products or services. It involves various activities designed to generate demand for a product or service through different channels. 

Another aspect of marketing is the planning and conducting of campaigns aimed at generating interest in a firm’s goods or services. It also includes developing and keeping connections with clients and partners.

As a professional marketer, it is important to understand how to take the needs of people or businesses and turn them into demand for services and products. This involves understanding what consumers or businesses want and then creating a marketing strategy that will meet those needs.

Marketing’s goal is to connect a company’s products and services with customers who need those items. This alignment eventually leads to profitability.

The 4 Ps

The 4 Ps of marketing is a simple framework that businesses can use to plan and execute their marketing activities. The framework helps businesses to identify and focus on the key areas that are essential for success.

The 4 Ps of marketing are important because they provide a framework for thinking about and planning your marketing efforts. Consider each of these elements to develop a winning marketing strategy tailored to your products and services.

The 4 Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. These are the four elements that make up a marketing mix

Product

The first P refers to the product or the actual item that you are selling. Every aspect of the product – from the design and development to the packaging and labeling – must be considered to make it appealing to consumers and successful in the marketplace.

Price

The price refers to the amount of money that you are asking customers to pay for your product. You must find a balance when setting your product’s price: it cannot be too high or low compared to similar items. At the same time, it must make enough money for your business to run sustainably. Market evaluation can help you determine the right price for your product.

Place

This refers to the location where your product will be sold. Consider things like distribution channels and retail outlets when making decisions about where to sell your product. The competitive environment is another factor to consider when choosing a selling location. Ensure that your product is competitive against similar products in the market in order to be successful.

Promotion

Promotion can include advertising, public relations, sales promotions, and direct marketing.  Use this marketing activity to generate interest in your product and get people to buy it. 

Marketing vs. advertising: what’s the difference?

The terms marketing and advertising are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two. 

Marketing is all about creating a relationship with your customers, understanding their needs and desires, and then finding ways to meet those needs. 

On the other hand, advertising is a way of communicating the value a business can provide – whether it’s a product or a service – to potential customers.

Advertising is just one part of the marketing process. Marketing, on the other hand, includes product development, market research, distribution, pricing, and customer service. In other words, marketing encompasses everything – from the initial idea for a product or service to the way it is advertised and sold.

Advertising is a specific type of communication used to promote a product, service, or brand. It is typically paid for by the company promoting its product, service, or brand. Advertising can take many forms, including television commercials, print ads, online ads, and billboards.

Both marketing and advertising are important parts of any business, but they serve different purposes. Marketing is about research, planning, and execution, with the goal of understanding your customers and what they need or want. Advertising is one way to realize that strategy.

Different marketing strategies

Marketing is a blend of various methods and approaches. Next, we are going to talk about some essential marketing strategies that you should be familiar with.

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing includes any type of marketing that isn’t done through the internet. This can include marketing activities like an outdoor marketing strategy, which involves advertising on public displays like billboards or buses. 

Print marketing is another common type of traditional marketing, which entails mass-producing printed materials for distribution. Examples include:

  • Brochures
  • Fliers
  • Postcards
  • Newspaper or magazine ads

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is the promotion of goods or services when the brand interacts directly with the customer. It is a dialogue, a one-to-one relationship: a letter or email, SMS, direct sale, a phone or video call, or a personal discount. 

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is the complex use of digital channels to promote a brand, a company, or a product. It involves the use of social media, email, and other digital platforms to reach out to customers. According to a report by Gartner, digital marketing accounts for the majority (56%) of total marketing budgets.

Some common digital marketing strategies include:

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO refers to the various activities done to attract potential customers through the use of search engines. 

Through SEO, you optimize your website structure to improve your visibility on search result pages. 

This can be achieved through a variety of methods, including:

  • Improving the quality and quantity of your website’s content
  • Optimizing your website’s title tags and meta descriptions
  • Using relevant keywords throughout your website’s content

This will help the website to rank high in search engines and move up to the top of the search results.

A study showed that nearly half of businesses (49%) claim that organic search (website traffic that comes from search engine results) brings them the highest marketing return on investment.

Email marketing

This is a way to promote products or services through email. Email marketing is a top digital media tool that can not only attract and retain customers but also increase brand loyalty.

Email marketing has many proven benefits:

  • It’s cost-effective – it has an ROI of 3600%; that is, you get $36 for every $1 you spend.
  • It’s easy to implement – create a design you can launch in minutes with the right tool.
  • It can be personalized – make your marketing messages personal and more relatable.
  • It automates the sales cycle – improve your client experience with an automated email sequence for onboarding, nurturing, and engaging both new and old clients. 

To subscribe to an email newsletter, customers typically enter their email address on a company website or social media page. Email addresses can also be captured through purchase or registration forms on websites.

Subscription form
When you sign up for the Poketo newsletter, you get a discount on your first purchase. Source: Poketo

These contacts are used to compile the customer base. Marketers use email services or email service providers (ESPs) to send mass advertising messages.

Poketo welcome email
This is what the first email looks like after you subscribe to the Poketo newsletters

Social media marketing

What is social media marketing (SMM)? It involves the use of social networking sites to promote products or services. Some SMM strategies employ the use of relevant posts and viral publications. Usually, a company creates a group in social media to post about their products, promotions, news updates, and contests. 

The main principle of SMM is delivering unobtrusive messages; that is, you should not be too pushy or sales-oriented in your posts, as this will turn off potential customers. Instead, focus on providing valuable and interesting information that your target audience will appreciate.

SMM can help you attract potential customers, draw traffic to your website, and share valuable content that engages your audience.

Starbucks post on Instagram
Social media can be used to build curiosity about a new product. Source: Starbucks’ Instagram page

Blog marketing

Blogging is a digital marketing tool that allows you to engage your business’ target audience with interesting and useful content. With a blog, you can:

  • Boost your SEO
  • Broadcast brand values
  • Talk about your product
  • Answer questions from your target audience
  • Shape their needs
  • Build your company’s brand image and authority

Here’s Selzy’s blog, where you can find many useful articles on marketing:

Selzy blog page with informative articles

Video marketing

Video marketing involves the use of videos as a tool to increase brand awareness, generate sales, and promote the company and its products in the market.

There are many types of videos:

  • Video posts and stories on social networks
  • Livestreams of events and webinars 
  • Animated informational content
  • Product reviews, etc.

According to the study, more than 80% of marketers say videos have helped them attract more leads and increase the amount of time users spend on the page.

Viral marketing

Viral marketing involves the distribution of commercial information through word-of-mouth. In this approach, the promotional offer should “catch on” with customers and evoke an emotional response.

A viral post on a social network or a video on a YouTube channel provokes an active response from the audience: users like, share, and leave comments on the piece of content. All this engagement naturally increases brand recognition online.

The importance of marketing for a business

No matter what type of business you have, you need an effective marketing strategy to generate interest in your products or services and reach your target audience. More business owners understand the importance of marketing and advertising. It is not for nothing that in 2022, worldwide digital ad spending is estimated at $441 billion, with a predicted increase to $485 billion in 2023.

Digital ad spending worldwide
The graph illustrates global spending on digital advertising over different time periods

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways that marketing may help your business.

Raising brand awareness

This is crucial since brand awareness enables you to establish a connection between your business and its goods or services. By increasing brand awareness, you make your business more memorable and recognizable to prospective clients, which leads to more customers and sales.

Generating traffic

Marketing helps generate traffic through activities that build brand awareness. As more people know about your business, you get more visitors to your site/app/social media page. As a result, you can build a pipeline of sales leads that you can eventually convert into purchasing customers.

Increasing revenue

By using marketing techniques, businesses can target a larger audience and generate more sales. Marketing also helps you focus on more important clients and explore new sales channels. This, in turn, leads to an increase in revenue. This is the most obvious benefit of marketing, and the one that all businesses are looking for.

Building trust and loyalty

Marketing also helps to build customer trust and loyalty. By creating a strong brand identity and developing positive relationships with customers, businesses can encourage repeat purchases and customer referrals. This leads to long-term customer loyalty and continued growth for the business.

Another way to build trust is by introducing diversity into the company’s marketing strategies. It’s important to use inclusive marketing, which pertains to marketing techniques and styles that do not discriminate against anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

Common marketing objectives

Peter Drucker, a management theorist, once said,

“The purpose of marketing is to make the action of selling superfluous. Its purpose is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service will accurately sell itself.”

He then expanded his definition with the following phrase: “If we turn off the phone, barricade the door, and shoot back at customers, they will still push through and ask us to sell them our product.”

The primary objectives of marketing can be divided into the following categories:

  • Gaining market shares or entering new markets where you can sell and promote your products or services
  • Building the company’s image, fighting competitors, taking measures to increase sales
  • Setting the price, studying of consumer characteristics of the product

Final thoughts

Marketing is an activity that helps a business identify and meet customer needs in order to make a profit. 

Marketing is a combination of diverse strategies and techniques. Some of the most important marketing are:

  • Traditional marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Blog marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Viral marketing 

There are numerous advantages to marketing for businesses, including increased brand awareness, higher traffic levels, increased revenue, and building trust and customer loyalty.

Marketing is key for any business that wants to be successful. You can’t just have a basic understanding of marketing; you need to constantly practice effective marketing strategies.

What marketing strategy is most effective for your business?

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