What are the Basics of Marketing?

One marketing reality that many entrepreneurs aren’t aware of is that marketing touches every department in the business.

That’s because marketing is essential for understanding consumers’ needs and behavior, from product development and advertisements to customer support, internal and external communications, and even inventory management.

So, what exactly is marketing?

The basics of marketing start with these three activities:

  1. Conduct market research to identify an ideal target market of customers
  2. Create a customer value proposition that your target market wants
  3. Decide upon your marketing mix, also known as the 4 P’s of marketing: 1) Product, 2) Promotion, 3) Price, 4) Place.

Market research refers to a set of information-gathering activities focused on the customer. The job of market research is to examine the market that is associated with a good or service to determine how the audience will receive it. A variety of tasks are required to complete the process.

Your Value Proposition (VP) is a fundamental business model decision that serves as the core strategy a company chooses to separate themselves from the competition.

Once you have your market research and your value proposition worked out, its time to go deep into your Marketing Mix. This is where the magic happens and how beginning marketers can start to gain customers and make sales.

Marketing Basics for Beginners

Marketing is a set of techniques businesses use to promote products and services and ultimately propel consumer actions. It’s an intricate process that goes beyond advertisements. Rather it affects the entire product cycle.

4 P’s of Marketing

The 4 P’s of marketing are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

Let’s now go through each.

Product

Products refer to a good/service that your business is striving to sell to consumers. Including the marketing aspect here would involve:

  • Understanding how many product variations to put on the market- for instance, if it’s a toothpaste, you must consider which to manufacture, e.g., whitening, sensitive, or all-around protection.
  • Knowing how to package the products- If you decide to manufacture vehicle accessories, will you put them in a bag or box?
  • Servicing. The things to bear in mind include return policies and warranties.

Price

Sounds simple, right? Well, there’s more to pricing than setting a particular amount. Things to consider include:

  • The market rate. To understand the market rate, you would need to perform a competitive analysis and thorough market research. Only then will you figure out the ideal price consumers would be willing to spend on your products.
  • Discounts and offers. Do you intend to participate in Black Friday sales? How and when do you plan on giving discounts and special offers?
  • Financing options. Is giving customers flexible payment options right for your business?

Promotion

Promotion is a marketing tactic that helps to build awareness about your product. Your business should be able to measure profits for promotion to be successful. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What channels (offline and online) do you wish to use?
  • Where and when do you plan to promote your products? At tradeshows? In shopping stores? During the festive season?
  • What is your message?

Place

It would be best to determine the proper distribution areas that will increase the chances of successful sales. For instance, you might want to decide whether having a physical store like a restaurant or an online one would make financial sense. Moreover, depending on your business’s phase, will it be better to market your product locally or internationally?

Popular places to Market

To understand marketing better, it would help to know the various marketing areas that exist. Here are the most common you’ll likely use.

  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization(SEO)
  • Online video marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Social media marketing

How Do You Do Basic Marketing?

Aside from learning the different types of marketing, nailing the implementation requires understanding the most effective marketing strategies. Before we get to that, here’s a look at how a well-executed marketing tactic can bear significant profits.

Successful Marketing Example: A Case Study of Nike

Ambush marketing is a strategy whereby a company exploits an opportunity to push for its brand as outsiders during an ongoing event. The best part about this technique is that your company needs not to spend money to sponsor the event. Here’s how Nike does ambush marketing successfully.

In 1992, Michael Jordan, the famous now-retired basketball player, covered Reebok’s logo during the Barcelona Olympic games. As you might well know, he is the face of  “Air Jordans,” a shoe brand that Nike produces. A few years later, during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games,

Nike utilized ambush marketing again to promote their products. Reebok was again sponsoring the event. However, it was tough to tell as Nike was seen everywhere, from athletes’ shoes to billboards all over Atlanta.

The 2012 London Olympics was Nike’s most successful ambush marketing tactic. The company’s Find Your Greatness campaign initiated lots of buzz surrounding its brand and products.

Basic marketing strategies to build and expand your customer base:

  • Free workshops. Consider offering free “how to” lessons to promote your products. Remember to focus on the right audience. For instance, if you are a software company, you might want to hold a class for online influencers.
  • Become a member of business networks. Business groups, especially the local ones, could help make your business known. For instance, you could participate in their market days.
  • Blogging. Having a blog is another way to create awareness about your products. Furthermore, you could leverage social media by sharing your posts on a platform like LinkedIn and Twitter. Remember to implement these sites’ SEO to improve conversions.
  • Referrals. Talk to any business owner, and they’ll tell you the significance of word-of-mouth referrals. Don’t shy away from asking your customers for referrals. Consider giving discounts for those that end with a purchase.
  • Print advertising. Though traditional, these tactics work to date. Sending out flyers and posters is a fantastic way of telling people about your products.

There you have it, a comprehensive guide on basic marketing. Having a solid marketing strategy is the best way to get the profits your company wants. By understanding the 4P’s and knowing which marketing type and technique is suitable, you can also become a marketing guru.

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