We have made considerable efforts to deal with different aspects of marketing and its terminology without making sure that the basics are understood. For an absolute beginner entrepreneur or small businessman/woman, marketing can be just a vague notion that is not quite tangible. If we add digital marketing and its terminology, we tend to make matters even more confusing. So, let us define marketing and some of the basic terms to research and study – for an absolute beginner in business and digital marketing.
The basics and definition
Marketing is a business concept completely driven by the needs of the consumer. Its whole purpose is to analyse and define the needs of the consumer in order to try and satisfy those needs in a superior way than the competition does. Doing business in such a way, if you are successful, will lead to a high level of satisfaction, trust, and loyalty from a customer which will result in a long-term relationship that leads to profitability in the long run and continual consumer satisfaction. However, marketing is not only the prerogative of large companies but it is also extremely important to small/local companies. To achieve this, as a company, we need to:
- analyse and define the market and its needs
- segment it and choose the right target market
- adapt the 4P elements to suit market needs
- analyse the satisfaction of customers and adapt accordingly
An adequate marketing strategy cannot be created without full knowledge of the market and its needs. The market is also a collection of different customer preferences and desires and a successful company needs to identify the group of customers (target market) that it can try to satisfy through its marketing activities. So, the marketing concept requires extensive market research, data analysis and rational market segmentation that must lead to the creation of an offer tailor-made for the target market. This offer comprises of 4 basic elements that we call marketing mix.
The elements of the marketing mix
Elements of the Marketing mix are the core offer of a company to the customer/consumer on the market. These four elements (4Ps) are combined, moulded and adapted to each market segment to suit the customer and their needs to the highest possible degree.
Product (service) is the core value we provide, the offer to the customer. It can be a service or a physical object that has certain characteristics that satisfy a consumer need. The product is not static, it is always a subject of development and change aimed at its adaptation to the changing needs of the market.
Price is the amount of money paid for the product. The price should be linked and determined by the value of the product but it is also influenced by the market (competitors’ prices), costs, expenses, and discounts.
Placement represents the distribution network of our product. These networks today encompass social networks and digital markets as well as traditional networks (small and large market store chains)
Promotion is PR, advertising, and the complete promotional strategy of the company. It ties in and balances all other elements to create and present and offer tailor-made for the target market.
Marketing is digital
The whole world and all of our customers are digitalising their life and the way they are doing business. Habits and the way of communicating are changing. Internet, Web sites, social networks, blogs, influencers, etc. have all made it very easy to communicate with a customer and also made communication a two-way street. Traditional ways of communicating do not appeal to customers anymore. Consumers tend to react and respond to the Brands they can communicate with directly, passive marketing based on billboards and flyers does not allow that. Using digital marketing made it possible for companies to communicate with the market and monitor its response at the same time, which allowed them to adapt to the observed trends of the markets. It also allowed them to try, to a certain degree, to create, control and lead trends on the market.
Social networks, in particular, have allowed companies to efficiently use digital marketing to raise brand awareness, promote new content, products, and services, develop trust with consumers, maintain an existing client base and expand it, and also to research, analyse, and monitor the markets to adapt to its needs even better.
When we consider that digital marketing can be up to 60% cheaper and up to 3 times more efficient than traditional marketing, it is clear why digital marketing is developing fast.
The web site has been a starting point for digital marketing development and has so far proven to be the basic content source when building brand awareness. It is the starting point of every brand in the digital world. Combined with Google Analytics, AdWords, etc it is the basic digital marketing element today. These tools allow companies to track, monitor, and analyse consumer interest when visiting a web site, check who the buyers are and why visitors left without buying. In this way, they are a source of information for changing, correcting and innovating marketing strategies and tactics in the digital world.
Today, social media is the most powerful platform for building marketing campaigns and creating and developing brands. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn with their following count in the billions, represent an endless field for marketing experimentation and development. These are the networks that can be used to develop a personal relationship with a consumer and to invoke an emotional response, engaging a customer in the marketing activity of a company.
Blog, Bloggers, and Influencers
In today’s marketing and digital world, the customer tends to believe what others are saying about the company rather than what the company is saying about itself. In these conditions, companies are inclined to use other means of communicating with their target audience. Using blogs or bloggers and influencers has come to be a way of creating an image of a company and Brand promotion to the public we want to communicate with (customers and potential customers) Experienced bloggers and influencers that communicate with our target audience can be beneficial in raising brand awareness and realising planned marketing strategies.
These communication lines are also connected to new innovative and interactive marketing tools that are very beneficial to companies using them.
These aspects of digital marketing are also closely tied to Search Engine Optimisation which is one of the most important elements of marketing online. SEO is the process of optimising the content of a website, blog, or social media post by adding elements relevant to search engines to increase the rank of a web page and generate a high rate of traffic.
Marketing has evolved from its beginning and changed to adapt to the fluctuating markets, technologies, and habits of the consumers. As a term, marketing is often not completely understood and it is important to research it and study it further. In light of its continual development, we have pointed at some of the topics for study and analysis. However, in order to create and implement an effective marketing strategy, it is important to know that the market for marketing professionals and companies is very well developed.
The market has a veritable sea of knowledge and experience, so hiring a professional might be a good starting point when drawing up your marketing strategy.