Marketing 101: What It Is and Why It’s Important
We marketers can still remember all the marketing theories we studied in school: the 4Ps, the 7Ps, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and so on. And it’s true that what we learned right out of the books can be used in a real office setting — but only up to a point.
You might be wondering why these textbook theories don’t work well in a marketing campaign, or why you can’t seem to find the right market when using them. In this article, we’ll introduce you to what business and marketing really are.
Business and Marketing in the Present Time
Marketing has transformed into digital marketing, and social media influencers are often more effective at representing brands than celebrities. At the same time, marketing strategies have also evolved. To see how, let’s look at the definitions of business and marketing, and how they have changed.
Why do businesses exist?
“Business, in simple terms, is when a person or organization profits by providing goods and/or services in exchange for money – engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities.” (Immerse Education)
In the past, the sole purpose of a business was to maximize profits and cultivate good relationships with stakeholders (Tejvan Pettinger, Economics Help). But why do they exist in the first place?
The answer is simple: to add value to the product and the company as a whole.
Not all customers’ problems are solved successfully. A solution has to be meaningful to customers, and cater to their needs and wants. A lot of research is required to identify what exactly it is that customers want, and this cannot be assumed using logic.
A good example is Blackberry and their business model. Back in the late 2000s, they didn’t listen to their customers, who wanted a bigger touch screen. In spite of this, Blackberry stuck to their design concept and didn’t innovate or develop a new product to satisfy their users. This resulted in their eventual demise.
Why is marketing important?
Once you establish a business, there is one more question that you have to ask yourself: is it visible to potential customers? That is the moment when marketing enters the picture.
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (American Marketing Association, 2017)
When most people think of marketing, they think about advertising, press releases, and social media posts. However, if you look at it at a deeper level, you can see that there is much more to it than just promoting businesses.
The following are the reasons why your business needs marketing:
1. Marketing adds value to your business
I once saw a person in their mid twenties selling hair ties on Tiktok. They went from living in a small apartment and to owning a house, solely by offering a simple solution. This made me realize two things: that social media is a powerful tool, and that marketing is crucial for any type of business.
What is so special about these hair ties, you ask? It is less about the product itself and more about how the entrepreneur found their niche and how they approach customers. Their personality and presence are value added to the product. Therefore, making your product valuable and relevant to customers is very important. It might even be the only reason why people think your product is worth buying!
2. Marketing supports other departments
Once the vision and mission of your business is defined, it's the marketing department’s responsibility to share it with the world.
It is true that the management team is the one making decisions, but marketing improves their plans by researching potential consumers and reaching out to them.
This also facilitates the process of product development, which is the responsibility of the research and development (R&D) department. In shortt, marketers are people who work to create value to the solution the company offers, generate sales, and help with the company’s cash flow.
3. Marketing helps you find potential customers
Marketing research exists for a reason: to find target markets for products, to add value to them, and sell them. But before selling a product, finding the right niche is crucial. You might have a great product and slick advertisements, but if they aren’t related to your customers’ needs, they are pointless.
As for finding your target customers, there are many types: new consumers, regulars, impulsive customers, and so on. Your intention is important in selecting these customers. Therefore, be careful with what and how you want to communicate with them.
Being a marketer isn’t an easy job. It’s not all about social media. You can be a very introverted person and still be a great marketer if you do things the right way. At this point, theories aren’t as important as they used to be — it’s all about creativity and the visualization of ideas. And at the end of the day, marketing is more than what you think it is!