Updated: May 24, 2019
Marketing is an important function within any business, as it is effectively the planning and execution of how that business will communicate with its desired audiences and create profitable relationships.
Any new business or brand will need to promote itself, that is, it will need to connect with a target audience for whom it solves a particular problem.
If a company does not utilise marketing, then it will simply remain unknown and will not achieve any exposure.
Not having marketing is like trying to keep a candle alight without providing it with enough oxygen.
Marketing is a huge subject and has many important facets. Firstly, there is the strategic side of marketing, where the high level goals and targets are set.
These early decisions in any business can become the blueprint of success for many decades into the future, so detailed planning in marketing is extremely important.
Having a framework of ‘where we are now?’ and ‘where do we want to be?’ is extremely important.
There are many decisions to be made for any business embarking on marketing itself. For example, a business must decide on a sustainable and profitable business model.
A business model is part of the planning process, and determines just how the business will work to generate profitable income.
The business model looks to examine how products and services will be converted into revenue. How this can be done without burning too much expenditure, time and effort i.e. being profitable and worth the effort.
A business model will also look to answer the question of scalability. Does the business have the legs for expansion in the future, can it grow, or will it be limited by any factors that will impede its growth?
These may come in the form of limited personnel, lack of funding, too limited an audience, too niche etc…
Marketing in the planning stages, is important to ‘set the sail’ of the future direction of the business.
As well as the basics of forming a plan, marketing will also consider what the portfolio of products and services will be? What will they be priced at and what will be the channels where they will find their natural audience.
The aim of marketing is to find a substantial group, or segment, of customers that want and need the product or service (or educate them that they do) Telling them about it regularly / persuasively and servicing their requirements better than the competition.
The communications aspect of marketing is also very important. This is effectively the messages that will be created to communicate the marketing plan.
Considerations such as; where will our product or service be positioned? What is our core message and what is our style, tone-of-voice that will go throughout our marketing communications.
The above forms the basis of what is known as branding. Again, branding is a huge subject, but with branding essentially a business is aiming to carve out a definitive and specific place in the mind of the customer, that clearly differentiates it from other competing brands.
An example of this can be seen with the drink Cola, with Coca Cola and Pepsi wanting to differentiate from each other and creating a loyal following for their respective brands, despite having a product that is actually very similar in blind taste tests.
The process of marketing is therefore very important in delivering high quality, persuasive messages that create awareness and a positive response from the target audience.
If these brands did not have a structured approach to their marketing, then the result would be far slower growth, lack of coordinated communications, poor awareness and sales, and a lack of accurate measurement of progress.
Marketing, just as finance and HR, is a key function of any business and is pivotal in creating solid growth and security, in tandem and collaboration with the other important foundations of the business.
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