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What is Marketing?


14 Aug, 2021

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what is marketing

If you’re in a marketing role like mine, it might be difficult for you to define “marketing” even though you see and hear it everyday.

This definition doesn’t feel helpful.

The selling part, such as cold calling, overlaps a little bit too closely with a “what is selling” definition, and the term advertising makes me think of Mad Men brainstorming sessions.

However, when I dug deeper into the subject, I began to see that marketing does overlap heavily with sales and advertising. Marketing is present at every stage of the business, from beginning to end.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the process of getting customers to buy your product or service. It’s about making people want what you sell.

It can also include public relations (PR) and advertising. PR involves giving information about your company to the media. Advertising is where you pay money to get your message out there.

In practice, however, these are often separate activities. The idea behind this separation is that PR is more about building relationships with journalists and influencers while advertising is about reaching an audience directly through paid campaigns.

In reality, both are important parts of marketing, but they take different approaches.

I would say that marketing is simply the way we communicate our products/services to potential customers. The actual communication method itself isn’t really relevant, so long as it reaches its target market.

Purpose of Marketing

There are many ways to market something, and each has a purpose.

Some examples:

To increase awareness of your brand. This could involve things like advertising on TV or radio, creating social media content, etc.

To persuade someone to buy your product. This could involve things such as direct mail, email marketing, phone calls, etc.

To generate leads. This could involve things that help you reach out to people who have expressed interest in what you offer. For example, if you’re offering a new software solution, you may use SEO to find people who are searching for similar solutions. You then contact them via email or phone call to ask whether they’d be interested in using your solution instead.

To retain existing customers by keeping them happy. This could involve things likes customer support, loyalty programs, etc.

To grow your revenue. This could involve things which allow you to charge more for your product or services. For example, if your product is free, you may need to start charging for it. Or, if your product costs $10, you may need to raise the price to $20.

To improve your image. This could involve things to make yourself look good. For example, maybe you want to create a positive impression of your company online. You do this by posting positive reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.

These are just some examples. There are many other ways to market something, depending on the type of product or service you offer.

How does marketing work?

The best way to understand how marketing works is to break down how it fits into the bigger picture.

When you think about how companies make money, you’ll notice that most of their income comes from selling products or services. So, let’s say that you run a small business and you want to make some extra cash. How might you go about doing this?

Well, one option is to cut prices. But, even though this will probably bring in more sales, it won’t necessarily give you any additional profit. Why not? Because you’ve already spent all of your profits making the original sale!

So, another option is to try to sell more of your products or services. If you were able to double the number of customers you had, you could potentially double your revenues. However, since this means you’ve increased the size of your customer base, you’ll now have twice as much competition. And, because every customer makes two purchases, you’ll also have twice as much inventory. All of these factors mean that you’ll actually end up losing money rather than gaining it.

So, what can you do? Well, there are lots of different options. Some of the better ones include:

Advertising – Advertising allows you to spend less time trying to convince people to buy your product and more time focusing on growing your business.

Promotions – Promotions allow you to get your message across in a way that doesn’t cost too much but still helps you increase sales.

Sales – Sales allow you to focus on getting potential customers to sign contracts with you so that you can make money.

Marketing is an important part of running a successful business. In fact, without proper marketing, you’ll never see any growth at all. It’s important to remember that marketing isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it involves spending money, sometimes it requires hard work, and sometimes it simply takes luck. But, no matter what happens, marketing should be done well. Otherwise, you’re only hurting yourself.

Types of Marketing

There are several types of marketing:

Direct Marketing

Indirect Marketing

Digital Marketing

Let’s talk about each one individually.

Direct Marketing

This refers to advertising that is sent directly to consumers. Examples of direct marketing include flyers, mailers, advertisements, and catalogs. Direct marketing is usually cheaper than indirect marketing, but it has lower conversion rates.

Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing is when you advertise through media channels such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites, social media, etc. This kind of marketing is often referred to as “advertising,” but it’s really a broader term that includes both traditional and digital forms of advertising.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing uses digital technology to create, distribute, measure, and optimize online content. The goal of digital marketing is to reach targeted audiences through electronic communication channels. For example, you may use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help your website show up higher in search results for relevant keywords. You may use email marketing to send messages to subscribers announcing new product offerings or upcoming events. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter enable businesses to connect with their current and potential customers.

Internet marketing: Internet marketing is the practice of using the Internet to promote products or services. It is a form of digital marketing.

Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is a type of internet marketing where companies market their products or services by creating and sharing promotional material such as videos, images, articles, blogs, news releases, podcasts, wikis, and other web 2.0 content on various social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is another type of internet marketing where marketers send emails to people who have subscribed to receive regular updates from a company. These emails could contain information about new products, special offers, promotions, and more.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization is a process of improving how pages rank in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. SEO also improves how users find your page within these search engines.

Content Marketing: Content marketing is marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, consistent, long-tail written content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — typically highly targeted individuals looking to solve a problem or achieve a need.

Affiliate Marketing: An affiliate program is a way for a site owner to make extra income by promoting someone else’s product/service and earning commission based on sales generated by the promotion. Affiliate programs can be very lucrative because they allow you to earn commissions even if you don’t sell anything.

Blog Marketing: Blogging is an excellent way to build authority, gain trust and drive traffic to your business. Blogging is free and easy to do; however, it takes time and effort to write good quality posts. To make money blogging you must invest some time and resources into writing high quality content.

Video Marketing: Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to get attention. Video marketing allows you to provide a solution to a problem, tell a story, entertain, inspire, educate, sell, brand yourself, etc. Video marketing is cost-effective, yet creates a large return on investment.

The above list isn’t exhaustive. There are many other types of marketing that you could use to help grow your business. However, these are some of the most common ones used by small businesses today.

How Much Does Marketing Cost?

It all depends on what type of marketing you choose. Some methods are free while others require a monthly subscription fee. The following table shows the average costs associated with various types of marketing.

Type of Marketing Average Monthly Fee Number Of Leads Generated Social Media $20 – $100 per month Email Marketing $10 – $50 per month Search Engine Optimization (SMO) $500 – $1,000 per month Content Marketing $2,000 – $5,000 per month Blog Marketing $300 – $600 per month Video Marketing $400 – $800 per month

You may not think that video marketing would cost much, but with a little planning and preparation, you’ll see great results. Think about it this way: You’re going to spend as much on producing your videos as you will on paying a professional videographer. If you want to produce a short promotional video, expect to pay around $500-$1,000. But, if you plan on making a longer video that’s worth sharing, you’ll likely end up spending between $3,000-$6,000.

You can create videos online for free using services such as YouTube, Vimeo,, and Wistia. You can either record your own voiceover or find royalty-free music from sites like SoundCloud and iStockPhoto. Then, add special effects, transitions, graphics, text overlays, and more. Once you have completed your video project, upload it to your website and embed it in blog posts, social media updates, or email campaigns.

A well designed landing page can increase conversions and reduce bounce rates. A landing page should include clear calls to action, so visitors know exactly what to do next. It should also contain CTA buttons, which encourage visitors to take specific actions. When designing a landing page, consider how the design looks when viewed on different devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and eReaders. Make sure that the layout works well across platforms and that the copy is easily legible.

Why Do I Need Marketing?

If you want to grow your business, then you need to market it. Here are some reasons why:

To Get Customers To Come Back Again & Again

People who come back again and again are called repeat buyers. They’re loyal to your brand and will buy from you over and over again. If you’re not getting repeat business, then something needs to change. There’s no reason why your customers should leave after just one purchase. Make sure that you follow up with them and keep them coming back for more!

Get More Traffic To Your Website

Traffic is what gets people to visit your website. When people visit your site, there are two things that happen:

1. People see your website

2. People click on links on your website and go somewhere else

When people first visit your website, they may only stay for a few seconds before leaving. But when those same people come back later, they might spend several minutes browsing around your website. This is referred to as “stickiness” and is extremely important for your online reputation.

Increase Sales On Your Products & Services

There’s nothing better than selling more stuff! Whether you’re selling physical products or digital goods, every sale makes a difference. You’ll know exactly how much profit you’ve made through your analytics dashboard.

Build A Better Brand For Your Business

You have a lot invested in your company. You spent countless hours designing and developing your logo, color scheme, and other branding elements. Don’t let this hard work go to waste! By using marketing techniques such as social media marketing, you can effectively promote your brand so that potential customers recognize your business and remember your name.

Grow Your Email List

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. It’s also one of the cheapest forms of marketing. So why aren’t you doing it?

Marketing and Advertising

Advertising is one of the spokes of the marketing wheel.

Marketing involves product development, market research and product distribution, sales strategy and public relations, and customer service. Marketing is important at every stage of a company’s selling journey. It can use various platforms, social media channels and teams within their organization for identifying their audience, communicating to them, amplifying their voice, and building brand loyalty over time.

Advertising is just one component of Marketing. It’s a strategic initiative, usually paid for, aimed at spreading awareness of a product or services as a part of the broader strategy outlined above. It’s not the only way marketers use to sell products.

A good example of advertising would be an advertisement on television, radio, billboards, newspapers, magazines, etc. The purpose of advertising is to get consumers to notice your product or service. Once they do, they’re likely to make a decision about purchasing it.

The following sections explain some of the different types of advertising.

Traditional Advertising

This type of advertising uses print media (such as newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, etc.) and broadcast media (like TV, radio, etc.). Traditional advertising has been used for decades and is still very effective today.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising uses websites and mobile apps to reach audiences across all devices. Digital ads include banner ads, pop-up ads, email campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO) and text message marketing (or SMS).

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is another form of digital advertising. It includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, etc.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising refers to advertising delivered via smartphones and tablets. This type of advertising is growing rapidly because most people are now connected to the internet from their phones.

Product Placement

Product placement is when a specific product appears in a movie or video game. Product placement can increase the popularity of a film or video game by helping the viewer/player identify with the characters.

Sponsored Posting

Sponsored posting is when a website posts content written by someone else but pays the writer to post it. Sponsored posts are often used to boost traffic to a site.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is when a blogger writes a blog post on behalf of another person or entity. Like sponsored posting, guest blogging helps drive traffic to a site. However, unlike sponsored posts, these posts tend to be more personal.

Video Ads

Video ads are short videos that appear on websites and social networks like Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo. They’re similar to traditional ads except they don’t require users to click through to any other page. Instead, they play automatically.

The 4 Ps of Marketing

Marketing is made up of four main parts: Product, price, place and promotion. These are known as the “4 Ps” of marketing.


Your product is what you want to offer to customers. For example, if you run a dog food business, you might have a variety of dog foods available. You’ll also have a few specialty items such as bones, treats, collars, leashes, bowls, toys, etc. These are your products.


Your prices will depend on many factors including your costs, competition, customer preferences, etc. For example, if your competitors charge $10 for a bag of dog food, you may decide to lower yours to $8. If your customers prefer $5 bags over $7 bags, then you may need to raise your prices to stay competitive.


Where you sell your products depends on where your target market lives. If you sell dog food, you probably won’t go door-to-door selling it. Instead, you’ll use the mail, phone calls, and online sales channels.


How do you get your products into the hands of potential customers? How do you make sure your customers know about them? The answer to both questions is marketing.

You should always remember that marketing is an ongoing process. Your goal is to continually improve your marketing efforts so that they produce better results.

Final Thoughts

I think there’s a lot of confusion around what marketing actually is.

In my opinion, marketing is not just the creation of products (or services) and distribution of those products (or services). It’s also the communication of information between businesses and consumers.

In addition, marketing should be able to create awareness of a brand or company among its audience. This means that marketing techniques must be able to communicate ideas about a brand or company to people who haven’t heard of it before.


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