Marketing refers to several activities that a business undertakes to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product, service, or asset. A business normally undertakes marketing activities in order to reach a target audience. For example, if a business is a manufacturer of food products, it undertakes marketing activities such as advertising its products and distributing brochures or pamphlets describing the advantages of buying the particular product. It also advertises its services and provides information about its products and deals with sales and distribution. It also hires experts and engages in research activities for the purpose of understanding what types of customers will be most likely to purchase its products.
The term marketing strategy is used, in addition, to refer to the various techniques and strategies that are used to implement the marketing strategy of a business. One such strategy is called the branding strategy. The branding strategy is, in fact, the name given to a particular set of marketing practices undertaken to create a positive image of the company for the consumers. The marketing strategies that are implemented by a firm depend largely on the size and nature of the firm and the type of products it manufactures and/or services. Different firms adopt different marketing strategies for reaching their target audience. A large, medium-sized firm may adopt an extensive variety of marketing practices, whereas a small, medium-sized firm may focus on a few marketing practices, such as distributing handbills or producing brochures.
When marketing involves direct communication with consumers, it is known as direct marketing. In this case, consumers interact directly with the marketer or the seller about the product or service. A marketing strategy that involves indirect communication with consumers can be described as an indirect marketing practice. Examples of indirect marketing practices include advertising in publications and other media, including the Internet, television, radio, and newspapers. Another form of marketing involves offering discounts, bonuses, free merchandise, and other types of trade-offs to consumers in order to increase sales.
Another form of marketing strategies is undercover marketing. Undercover marketing focuses on the use of deception to persuade consumers to buy a product or service. Some classic examples of undercover marketing include cigarette advertising, which often use images of smokers to make smoking more appealing to younger consumers; soft drink advertising, which often include images of exotic dancers and other glamorous women and even yogurt marketing, which depict the product as the victim of a vicious cycle of eating and drinking, as opposed to portraying the product as a sugary treat that many children prefer. Similarly, undercover marketing also has a contemporary relevance in online marketing strategies.
To explain marketing better, one must take a look at its 4 Ps. These are quality, price, place, and promotion. When properly implemented, these 4 Ps. Provide a complete picture of the marketing strategy. Let’s take each of these separately and understand each in turn. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of marketing.
Quality: Quality is the most important aspect of any marketing strategy. There should never be any compromise on quality. Remember, the product is being promoted for the consumer’s benefit. It is important that consumers feel comfortable buying or using the product. The key to making consumers feel at ease is ensuring that they understand the nature of the offer.
Price: Price always matters. Sometimes, marketing refers to the cost of the product when excluding all other factors. Sometimes, marketing refers to the overall cost of the offering while ignoring all other costs. Marketers therefore need to decide what part of the offering is actually profitable. There are various techniques that help marketers reach this decision.
Place: Marketing strategy largely depends on the place where it is marketed. Marketers therefore need to determine which place is most appropriate for their strategy. Once again, there are various techniques to reach this question. For starters, market research can be done through consumer research. Consumer research can help in defining the right place to market. This can be done by compiling a database of all possible consumers.
Adoption of the right marketing approach can be crucial to the survival of any business. The first step towards adoption of the right marketing approach is effective planning. Marketers therefore need to conduct market research and plan their advertising campaigns accordingly. Marketing planning includes a whole lot of things. These include analyzing the competition, defining the product development strategy, identifying the target and audience, creating appropriate advertising techniques, evaluating the results of the campaign, and making corrective changes, etc.
Planning also entails a comprehensive understanding of the client’s business and its needs. This comprehensive understanding is necessary for developing an appropriate marketing strategy. Marketers must therefore identify the customer base and develop a marketing strategy that will address those needs. One important aspect of marketing strategy is a well thought out advertising program. Advertising programs include creating a distribution list, designing an attractive brochure, distributing literature to the targeted consumers, etc.
Effective distribution also enhances the chances of attracting customers to the product. The marketing strategy, thus, needs to address the issue of distribution. Another important thing to consider in developing an effective distribution plan is the timing of distribution. A good marketing strategy must have a strategy of distribution. The timing of distribution should coincide with the launch of the product.
The marketing strategy of a brand involves the consideration of the target audience. It is very important to know the target audience of a brand. Some brands may be suitable for a particular age group, while others may be more appropriate for a younger audience or one with some specific needs. The marketing strategies that are used by a brand should take into account the objectives of increasing consumer awareness of a brand as well as appealing to an audience.
Successful marketing strategies are not necessarily successful because of their effectiveness in reaching a specific audience. A marketing plan that targets the right audience and reaches them effectively can be more effective than marketing strategies that may not reach the target audience at all. Good planning and implementation of the marketing strategies are very important. Without such planning, the marketing strategy may not be very effective. Hence, the need to employ several marketing strategies that are effective and cost-effective is very necessary.