What is Marketing? A Comprehensive Guide

What is Marketing? A Comprehensive Guide

October 19, 2022
(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)

If you ask someone what marketing is, they may respond with various answers. Some would argue that it is selling, whereas others will refer to it as advertising, promotion, or anything else, but getting a particular and meaningful answer is challenging!

This post will give you a good overview of everything you need to know about marketing and related topics (especially around the internet).

We will look at:

Understanding What Marketing Is

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines marketing as "the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service." In other words, it is the act or business of promoting and selling items or services, including advertising and market research. Furthermore, regardless of size, marketing is now an essential part of any company's or organization's growth plan.

Furthermore, many organizations will take a shotgun approach to their marketing tactics without fully understanding them all on the premise that they need to advertise themselves and increase sales.

Marketing is a collection of concepts or ideas that include promotions, designing and creating materials such as landing pages, geographical landing pages, social media content, market research, improving customer experience, segmenting markets, content marketing, etc.

Therefore, for this post, we will define marketing as any technique that helps a small business, brand, or individual accomplish their goals.

Definition of Marketing Research

Under the marketing umbrella is a technique that covers a small business’s efforts to recruit, engage, and retain clients. This is achieved through the use of data to help find and establish marketing opportunities.

This data is used to build, develop, and analyze marketing plans, track performance, and better understand the overall marketing process.

Marketing Research can be defined as the data required to address these concerns, develop a data gathering strategy, oversee and implement it, analyze the findings, and communicate the results and implications.

Importance of Marketing

The following points will educate you on the importance of marketing.

Marketing Aids in the Increase of Sales

Marketing is one method of communicating with your clients. Clients will gain a deeper understanding of your goods and services due to this approach. They will also be more aware of the advantages of hiring you for your services.

Similarly, marketing is the process of informing many people about a specific service or product. Your sales will ultimately rise if your clients are aware or well-informed.

Marketing Generates Revenues and Profits

Many small businesses can and do benefit considerably by diversifying their marketing efforts to generate more revenue.

As my old supervisor would say, “you can’t have a party if you don’t invite people.” The same is true with your small business marketing if you have to let people know, who you are, what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and how you do it.

Improve Your Company’s Objectives

Your aims and objectives define the success of your small business. Marketing may help you to determine your goals better. Furthermore, the use of specialized marketing strategies will improve the appeal of their brand.

This will encourage you to maintain your good reputation. It will also aid in establishing clear goals and objectives so that your personnel knows them.

Build Your Brand’s Reputation

Another benefit of adopting marketing strategies is that they can help you build your business reputation. It is critical, however, to ensure that you are providing high-quality, helpful services to your target market. You will not only build an incredible reputation for your services but also for your brand.

Makes It Easier to Make Decisions

When a company hires a marketing expert, they should do everything necessary to improve sales through effective marketing methods. The first step in these activities is understanding your audience or buyer persona.

Furthermore, when a small business like yours understands its target market thoroughly, you can better decide what lines and details to employ to persuade clients to hire you for your services.

7 Types of Marketing

Here is a list of seven marketing types and a basic explanation of each:

1. Content Marketing:

Content marketing is the strategy for attracting and acquiring prospects by developing and delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content.

Content marketing is defined by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as “the use of a variety of strategies to express a brand’s narrative.” In today’s competitive marketplace, more marketers are switching their “traditional advertising” to content marketing to boost prospects, client stickiness, and emotional attachment.

2. Search Engine Optimization:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses more on the technical strategy of digital marketing to increase exposure in the search engines.

SEO consists of two parts main parts:

  • The first is the technical level. With this, it is about ensuring that a website is properly indexed by the search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo) by using the right keywords, content, code, and links.
  • The second is focusing on keywords on the site and within the content that helps it to rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The bottom line is that SEO strategies usually include various elements and tactics.

3. Inbound Marketing:

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy focusing on gaining clients by using various techniques to pique their interest. These strategies include email marketing, content marketing, event marketing, and web design.

Furthermore, one goal of inbound marketing, which includes content marketing, is to establish the organization as a trustworthy source of helpful information and problem-solving solutions, resulting in improved client trust and loyalty.

4. Outbound Marketing:

When the phrase “inbound marketing” became popular, a new term for traditional marketing arose: outbound marketing.

With outbound marketing, the marketer uses outbound marketing tactics such as billboards, digital display advertising, television, and radio to engage the prospects. Today it is more widely used to increase awareness and preference for a specific brand.

5. Influencer Marketing:

Influencer marketing is defined by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as “the utilization of individuals who have influence over potential customers and the structuring of marketing operations around them to transmit a brand message to a larger market.”

In other words, influencer marketing is the practice of enticing or compensating influencers and comprises celebrities, online content creators, advocates, employees, and others. They help to disseminate information about your small business to their (large) audience.

6. Green Marketing:

Green marketing refers to creating and promoting environmentally friendly products and businesses more conscious of their impact. Furthermore, it is intended to reduce harmful effects on the physical environment or to increase its quality.

This phrase can also refer to initiatives to develop, promote, package, and reclaim items in an environmentally responsible or responsive manner.

7. Guerrilla Marketing:

Guerrilla marketing refers to a unique and innovative approach aiming to obtain the best outcomes with the fewest resources.

4 P’s of Marketing

The four Ps of marketing are the key considerations that must be thoughtfully considered and wisely implemented to market a product or service successfully. They are product (or service), price, place, and promotion.

The four Ps are often referred to as the marketing mix and encompass various elements considered when marketing a product.

These include:

  • What your clients want
  • How your service meets or fails to meet their wants
  • How your service is perceived in the world
  • How it stands out from the competition
  • How your small business interacts with your clients

Since the four Ps were introduced in the 1950s, more Ps have been identified, including people, processes, and physical evidence.

  • People focus on the personalities that represent your product or services. In the current era, that means not only your sales and customer service team but social media influencers and viral media campaigns.
  • Process deals with the logistical part. Consumers are increasingly demanding faster and more efficient delivery.
  • Physical Evidence is perhaps the most modern of the seven Ps. People want to know that you are a legitimate and established business that will deliver what you promise.

Marketing’s Goal

Simply said, marketing aims to produce a return on investment (ROI) for your business. Furthermore, digital marketing professionals and teams collaborate with their sales teams to execute strategic digital activities that produce traffic, qualified leads, and revenues.

Different Aspects of Marketing Strategies

Marketing is a collection of strategies and tactics rather than a single strategy. I have compiled a list of essential marketing methods to keep in mind. Some of the aspects of a good marketing strategy are listed below:

  • Marketing Plan: When developing a marketing plan, you must analyze all business areas. A small business such as yours will not be able to achieve its objectives without a marketing strategy.
  • Digital marketing: This discipline focuses on developing a plan for the internet and online space.
  • Mobile Marketing: This refers to all marketing strategies and actions only focused on mobile platforms and applications often found on smartphones and tablets.
  • Viral Marketing: This type of marketing spreads from one person to the next in a short period of time and isn’t something you can plan for; it just happens organically.
  • Email Marketing: This is one of the most profitable and productive approaches in terms of ROI. This entails sending emails to your defined and segmented list of prospective or current clients.
  • Inbound Marketing: This is a method of attracting qualified internet traffic and closing deals by creating relevant content.

Advertising versus Marketing

When it comes to advertising and marketing, it is important to remember that advertising is a component of marketing.

Marketing

Market research, sales strategy, product development and delivery, public relations, and customer service are all aspects of marketing. Furthermore, marketing is critical at every stage of a small business’s sales cycle.

Likewise, marketing techniques influence all types of media, including paid, earned, and owned. It specifies the steps that would satisfy your clients’ wants and needs, thus helping you determine the most effective method for meeting them.

Advertising

Advertising is a paid-for strategic endeavor to raise awareness of your services to achieve larger goals. In other words, it’s not the only technique for marketers to sell a service or product.

Advertising is usually limited to commercial media (such as direct mail or email, print ads, search engine ads, social media ads, broadcast, or out-of-home media). Simply put, it’s a commercial approach that incorporates the paid placement of branding or messaging.

Sales and Marketing

Historically sales and marketing have been divided. However, they should be more intertwined than ever.

Sales

Sales professionals need to develop intimate relationships with their clients and rely on marketing intelligence to help them do so. They also take the marketing-qualified leads and pursue them.

Marketing

Your marketing team is in charge of helping generate good leads by informing potential clients about your brand and services.

Bottom Line

As mentioned above, marketing and sales teams must collaborate closely and have a cohesive approach to achieve a successful plan. Nonetheless, this ensures that sales personnel only receive high-quality leads.

Eventually, marketing automation software can and will aid you in aligning your marketing and sales teams. This will allow them to work more efficiently toward a single goal.

Need for Marketing for Your Business

Below is a partial list of why your small service area business needs marketing:

It Enhances Brand Recognition

Enhancing your brand’s recognition in the areas you serve is crucial. It not only introduces people to your brand but also to the goods or services you offer. As a result, prospects will learn to trust your business and then become loyal clients, who, in turn, will spread the word about you to their family and friends.

Attract Prospective Clients and Improve Website Traffic

Increasing the number of visitors to your website is one method for generating more qualified leads and, as a result, increasing your ROI.

Increasing Profits

It is no secret that every business wants to grow its sales of goods or services. In order to achieve it, marketing needs to be there to support them. It may also be used in various strategies, such as boosting your website and SEO, generating email campaigns, etc.

Increasing Brand Credibility

A high level of trust in your brand fuels client loyalty and repeat investments. Moreover, it helps to boost profits and revenue along with positive reviews from your clients. Furthermore, these reviews are available online and offline (word of mouth). The latter still works as one of the most effective forms of marketing.

Metrics Monitoring

Metrics are beneficial when developing a marketing strategy. Likewise, it helps to examine the approach and follow its development. It also helps to determine what you can update or alter to increase campaign improvement over time.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a comprehensive guide to what marketing is! I hope that it has given you a good overview of everything you need to know about marketing. If you need help marketing your small business, reach out to me today! I am here to help you and your small business grow!

Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  October 19, 2022

Chad is a Partner and our Chief Smarketing Officer. He will help you survey your small business needs, educating you on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad is passionate about rural marketing in the United States and North Carolina. He also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

See Chad Treadway's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway