A lot goes into a marketing plan for a product or service, and there are a lot of misconceptions about what marketing really is and how it works in the professional world.
Whether it’s done in-house or through a firm, these eight terms should be known by anyone involved in the industry.
First, it’s important to know what marketing actually is. Often confused with advertising, marketing is the process through which goods and services are moved from the concept to the consumer. It combines the identification, selection, and development of a product, determination of the product’s price, selection of a distribution channel, and the development and implementation of a promotional strategy.
The combination of these factors is commonly referred to as the marketing mix. It’s is all about creating a demand for a product and fulfilling the customer’s needs and it views the entire business process as a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, and satisfy those needs.
This is a statement of how a product line plans to achieve its objectives. Like all business strategies, it involves decisions and direction regarding variables including segmentation of the market, identification of the target market, marketing mix elements, and expenditures. It’s important for a product line to have a marketing strategy so they have a specific idea of how they are going to fulfill the needs of the consumer.
A target market is a specific group of people at which a company aims its products and services. Members of a target market are usually from the same demographic, which can be determined by factors such as age, race, sex, economic status, and geographic location. A company has to be familiar with its target market in order to properly meet the demands of the consumers.
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into segments based on how the consumers behave or what needs they have. Each segment is likely to respond similarly to a given marketing strategy. Knowing how customers will respond to different aspects of a marketing strategy is crucial to the success of the product.
Inbound marketing includes marketing activities that draw consumers in, rather than marketers going out to get attention from customers. Earning the attention of buyers is crucial when dealing with inbound marketing, as well as the ease of which a consumer can access content related to the product, which should be interesting and helpful. Online presence is an integral aspect of inbound, as it increases the ease and convenience of which a buyer can learn about the company and its products and services.
Content is a piece of information related to a product or service that is intended to be processed, engaged with, and shared. Types of content can include, but aren’t limited to, blogs, videos, social media posts, photos, slideshows, or podcasts. The main purpose of content is to attract the attention of the consumer and spark their interest enough so that they are inclined to purchase the product or service.
The context of content ensures that the content itself is customized for the right audience. What is relevant and what is irrelevant will change depending on the different markets and different segments of those markets that interact with the content. Because buyers are more in control of the content that they see, it’s more important than ever to deliver content that’s contextually relevant.
Branding is the use of logos, symbols, phrases, or product design to promote awareness of goods and services. A company’s brand is who they are as a persona and can help enhance their ability to relate to consumers. Branding is an opportunity for a company to make its values clear to customers while simultaneously meeting a demand for a product or service.