Marketing is a business concept that describes the process of an organization communicating the value of a good or service to potential customers. The goal of marketing is to influence the customers to purchase the good or service. Marketing is a large part of a business’s decision-making plan, as it requires a lot of research in order to determine the target market. This is done through market analysis and market segmentation (dividing the broad target market into sections of customers who have common needs). Marketing not only solicits the purchasing of goods and services for the company; it can be used for creating value in the minds of the customers in relation to the business’s products, regardless of whether they are actually selling a product at that point or not.
Marketing concepts take the form of four approaches:
- Relationship marketing: the goal of this type of marketing is to gain and maintain good customer relations by providing excellent customer service and, in turn, building customer loyalty.
- Business marketing: similar to relationship marketing, business marketing aims to maintain relationships between businesses and organizations and concerns itself with industrial, capital and intermediate goods (opposed to final products).
- Social marketing: the goal is to gain and maintain customer relations, except with an emphasis on societal benefit in either production or selling methods.
- Branding: this approach follows the company’s philosophy to build a strong sense of brand value (value proposition in the mind of the customers).
Firms rely on operations (sale of goods and services) to survive. Marketing allows businesses to better communicate why their products should be purchased by customers in order to maintain operations and compete in the economy.