Marketing refers to promotional activities that a business undertakes in order to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product or service. In recent years, The New York Times has described it as “the only art of telling tales so enthralling that individuals lose sight of their wallets.” Essentially, marketing is an attempt by a business or organization to tell its story to as many potential clients as possible in as short a period of time as possible. This can take the form of print media advertisements, radio and TV commercials, or social media promotions such as Facebook advertisements. Although there are a wide variety of methods available for marketing, they all essentially fall under one central concept: The purpose of marketing is to create awareness of your brand or company to the general public in order to create sales.

When it comes to marketing, there are four Ps that marketers should abide by if they want their strategies to be successful. First, they must carefully select the demographic group to target. For example, if a cosmetics company wants to appeal to female consumers, then they would not be well advised to market exclusively to male consumers. Instead, they would make sure that their ads were strategically placed in media that is most likely to appeal to the members of that particular gender.

Another of the fundamental laws of marketing is that you need to distinguish yourself from your competitors. What may seem to be a smart marketing strategy on the surface – offering the most expensive rewards to the highest paying members – may actually hurt you more than help you. By offering the same incentives to each different demographic, a competitor is able to use price as a form of differentiation – people will pay more if they perceive themselves to be getting something special for the price of being a member. Thus, when choosing which advertising methods to pursue, it is important to carefully consider which ones will distinguish you from your competitors. Sometimes this requires conducting market research.

The third fundamental law of marketing is that marketing refers to the identification of a problem and seeking to find a solution to it. In essence, marketers seek to resolve what consumers think about what they buy. This process, marketing the product, goes far beyond simply having a slogan or a picture. Marketers spend massive amounts of time coming up with creative advertisements that will attract consumers. While some consumers react to television commercials without even thinking about it, other consumers get very engaged with these advertisements and tune into the television channel in droves. A successful marketing strategy not only involves creativity, but also must have a solid understanding of consumer behavior.

Marketing is largely an attitude, rather than a set of specific marketing concepts. Just as there are many different marketing concepts, there are equally as many varying opinions on how to use those concepts to best serve the needs of consumers. Marketers must learn to effectively listen to what consumers are saying in forums such as online message boards and the like, and then take this information and put it to work to find solutions to their problems. Some marketers might view this as overly intrusive, however, when the right approach is used the reaction from consumers can be quite positive.

One of the more popular elements marketers incorporate into their overall marketing strategy is social marketing, which refer to the use of such concepts as social networking sites, search engine optimization, and viral marketing techniques. Social marketing concepts are becoming increasingly popular, and marketers are finding it easy to tap into the potential of these sites to generate free leads for their companies. This type of marketing is often viewed as intrusive and unprofessional, however, it has been used successfully by countless marketers and has proven to be very effective. In the end, it all boils down to a need to understand the core principles of how marketing should be conducted. When marketers have mastered these fundamentals, they will likely find their businesses booming with tremendous results.

By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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