A beginner’s guide to understanding marketing
A guest post by Karen Hamada.
Marketing refers to activities a company takes in order to promote the buying or selling of certain products or services. Everything from market research to writing website content falls under the umbrella of understanding marketing.
Professional marketers’ aim in an organisation is try to get the attention of key potential audiences. Promotional activities are usually targeted at certain audiences and often involve celebrity endorsements, memorable packaging or graphic designs, catchy slogans and phrases, and overall media exposure.
If you want to begin understanding marketing, knowing the value of your offering is not enough. You need to show it to the customers. That is where you need to apply the 4 Ps of marketing.
Understanding the four Ps of marketing
Marketing thought leaders came up with the concept of the “Marketing Mix” in the late 20th century. It was actually a set of concepts and tools that allow companies to achieve their goals within a market. This model is based on the principle of the four Ps.
This is the thing or service you are selling. As a marketer, you need to understand the nature and characteristics of your product (or service) and then think about how to package or present it. You need to know all the features and specifications of the products your company sells.
You will have to research in order to know how much your product should cost. Learn how much your competitors are charging for their offerings, and understand how much your customers are willing to pay.
In today’s date, there are several channels – from radio ads to social media – through which you can promote your products or services. It is important that you understand which medium (or media) is right for your brand.
Another important thing about marketing is that you need to make sure that your customers are able to find and purchase your product (or service). Moreover, it is your duty as a marketer to figure out how much inventory to hold and where to keep it. You can create strategies which help bring customers to you (or your website) through the use of engaging content.
Most marketing strategies are built on this concept – the 4 Ps of marketing. And if you want to become a marketing expert, you need to have a better understanding of this concept.
How to reach your target audience?
Before you start working on your marketing strategy, you need to develop a clear idea about who your target consumers are. Also, you need to understand why the consumers will be interested in your product or service. For example, if you are selling academic writing services, you know your target audience will be students who are struggling to solve their papers.
In order to get good results, you need to do market research first. You can consider going through industry reports, monitoring trends, engaging your buyers in conversation, and other ways to understand the psyche of your target audience. Then you can build a marketing plan developed on the insights you received for content purpose.
The research will help you understand which channels are best for marketing your products or services. As you start working on the marketing strategy and apply it to practice, you will find the actual results in your website analytics. You can then make the necessary changes in the strategy until it is perfect.
What are the major types of online marketing?
Once you clearly understand who your target audiences are, you will have to find out what is the best way to reach them. Some of the most effective channels for online marketing are:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Influencer marketing
You may need to use multiple marketing formats. However, you also need to make sure that you do not spread your resources too thin. Don’t use your resources on particular marketing channels if they are not going to help you reach your goals. It is always better to focus your efforts on one or two effective channels than investing your resources on 5-6 unoptimised marketing campaigns.
Understanding the marketing funnel
Another crucial thing about understanding marketing is the concept of the marketing funnel. These funnels help illustrate where the customers are at in their buying journey. They can be unaware of your product (or have a particular problem), research different options, or ready to make an actual purchase.
While you can find several different illustrations of the funnel, in most cases, the funnel maps out the phases of the customer buying process in the following stages:
- The top of the funnel: The customer is unaware of your product or company.
- The middle of the funnel: The customer is actively researching products.
- The bottom of the funnel: The customer is ready to make a purchase.
If you can create a specific strategy for the customers in each phase of the funnel, you have better chances of getting the results you are aiming for.
How to become a marketing expert?
Now that you have a basic idea about the work of a marketing expert, you should know what it takes to be one. As you may already know, there is a huge demand for skilled and efficient marketing experts in today’s date. So, if you want to become a professional marketer, here is what you need to do.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in marketing or communication.
- Gain some on-the-job experience by joining an organisation as a marketing intern.
- Get professional certificates for marketing specialists. You can find a number of reputed organisations on the internet which offer digital marketing certifications.
- Get familiar with digital marketing tools and resources.
- Apply for an entry-level marketing job, and then work your way up.
- Stay up to date with the latest marketing trends.
That is how you can achieve your goal of understanding marketing to become an expert. However, in order to survive in the dynamic field of marketing, you need to constantly improve your knowledge and skills. If you can do that, there is no stopping you.
About the author
Karen Hamada is a senior marketing manager at a reputed e-commerce company based in Australia. She is also a part of the team of experts at MyAssignmenthelp.com, where she offers marketing law assignment help to students on request.
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