Eight fundamentals you really need to know about Marketing

How much do you really know about Marketing?

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked Q&As to help bust some of those marketing myths, and help you understand the role it can play in the success of your business.

  1. What actually is marketing?

Some people assume that marketing is just about advertising. In fact, advertising is just a small part of marketing. There is so much more to it than a few clever adverts and popular campaigns. The world’s leading professional body for marketing, The Chartered Institute of Marketing, describes the practice of marketing, as:

“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

  1. Why do businesses need marketing?

Marketing is a key management discipline that spans many aspects of your business.

Marketing has a direct influence on the types of services and products that your business creates, how it prices those products, and packages them, as well as how it promotes them and where it sells them.

Marketing exists solely to help your business achieve its vision and objectives. The process of successful marketing requires a disciplined “test and measure” approach that will be different for every single business.

To put it simply, to make money, every business NEEDS customers.

To grow, every business needs to KEEP their existing customers and ATTRACT new customers.

Marketing, therefore, is the process through which a business creates and keeps a customer.

It is absolutely central to how a business both operates and grows.

  1. What are the key aspects of a business that marketing will oversee?

The key aspects of a business that marketers will oversee include:

  • Product/Service Development

Marketers are involved in the development of key products and services ensuring they meet and continue to meet customer needs.

  • Pricing

Marketers take into account competitive factors, and market willingness to pay, along with a range of other measures to help set pricing strategy.

  • Product/Service Placement

Often referred to as distribution or channel management, marketing is integrally involved in deciding where and how a company’s products or services can be bought.

  • Promotional activity

Marketing teams are responsible for planning, generating, and delivering all promotional activity for a company.

  • Customer Acquisition

Often working hand in hand with a company’s sales force, marketing is responsible for helping the firm ‘acquire’ customers.

  • Customer (Relationship) Management

Once a customer has been acquired, it usually falls to the marketing team to manage that customer relationship. Known as CRM or Customer Relationship Management, it is often supported by technical systems and processes to support the customer.

  1. What is a target market?

A target market is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message and are most likely to buy your products or services. They are usually united by common characteristics, like location, demographics, or behavioral traits.

The more clearly your target market is defined, the better you can understand how and where to reach your ideal potential customers.

  1. Why is it important to identify a “target market” for your business?

Marketing is an expensive activity, so narrowing down your target market from ‘everyone’ to a more specific type of purchaser is best practice.

Your business needs to identify and understand smaller segments of the whole marketplace so you can dominate your segment. Marketers call this ‘Segmentation.’

  1. How will segmentation of my target market help my business?

‘Segments’ of the market can come in broad categories such as Baby Boomers, or Millennials, but you will need to get much more detailed than that to achieve the best possible conversion rates for your business.

Do not be afraid of getting highly specific. This is all about targeting your marketing efforts more effectively, not stopping people who are not in that segment from buying your product.

People who are not included in your targeted marketing can still buy from you, they are just not the key focus when crafting your marketing strategy, plans and campaigns.

You cannot target everyone, but you can sell to anyone. Most importantly, your target market should be based on market research, not a gut feeling.

  1. What is market research and is it worth doing?

Market research is the analysis of information about either the whole market or your specific target market. This might include:

  • Internal customer data – location of customers, frequency of purchases, types of products purchased, or customer gender.
  • External data – from market research studies from organisations like Mintel or Euromonitor which can be helpful to identify industry wide trends and opportunities.
  • Survey data – from asking your own customers for feedback.
  • Qualitative data – from conducting a Customer Focus Group, where you will get very in-depth information from a small select group of customers.

It is a marketer’s role to identify possible sources of information and then collate and interpret those for the business.

Marketers use market research to answer a range of questions they might have including how to define target markets, identifying trends and opportunities and, above all else, because they can’t possibly know everything.

  1. What is a marketing channel?

A marketing channel is the route to market for a product or service.

This can include, for instance, direct by phone, online via a website, online via a marketplace (for example, Etsy or Amazon), through small retailers, through large retailers, in person and via social media channels (i.e. a TikTok shop).

The Cunningly Good Group has over twenty years of experience in supporting some of Scotland’s best-known brands as their marketing agency.

If you would like to find out more about our services, which include marketing strategy, communications, graphic design and website design, please visit our website www.wearecunninglygood.com or give us a call on 01738 658187.

About The Author: Tricia Fox

Tricia is a Chartered PR Practitioner and Chartered Marketer with more than two decades of experience in developing marketing strategies and managing campaigns for clients. She is a specialist in crisis communications and an accomplished, multi-award winning major event marketer.

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