The Definition of Marketing

Marketing is not just advertising, as many people falsely assume.

Marketing is usually integrated into almost every single aspect of a business. That’s right, this means Marketing has a lot to do with how we create the food, how we sell the food, the quality ingredients in the food, basically all of the things that make the food at Zankou Chicken a unique and highly valuable product.

My own philosophy on this is rather quite simple. Work backwards, do the homework and do it well, and spend a lot of time on one or two projects. I have been known to take a long time on the projects I take on and the menus and web sites I create. That’s right-I made our web site, and I took about 2 years to do it. Why 2 years? Because that’s how long it takes to make something of extremely high quality. In my mind and in my heart, if I don’t love it, why should the customer love it?

I can’t get offended if someone doesn’t like something I helped create when I didn’t really work hard at it. But if I helped create a web site which I pretty much imagined up myself, was motivated by dozens of books and articles I had to research on how to make the best web sites(which I did over the course of MONTHS not WEEKS), and on top of all that I was highly motivated by some very cool looking graphic novels which I will name later on another blog (stay tuned), then I SHOULD get hurt when someone hates it. I put my heart, soul, sweat and blood into that project. For me it’s not about money- it’s about art and making the most beautiful, powerful, aesthetically pleasing web site imaginable which is at the same time easy and pleasurable to use. I can day the same thing about the catering menu I helped create and dozens of other projects.

Before we go further I want to talk about what Marketing actually is.

Here are a few text-book style definitions and terms we should all know about marketing that are true wether you are in the restaurant business or any other business. Read on and I hope this sparks something in you as it does for me.

Marketing is an ongoing process of planning and executing of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) of products, services or ideas to create exchange between individuals and organizations.

Marketing tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertising, distribution and selling. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers’ future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research.
Essentially, marketing is the process of creating or directing an organization to be successful in selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are willing to buy.

Therefore good marketing must be able to create a “proposition” or set of benefits for the end customer that delivers value through products or services.
Its specialist areas include:
advertising and branding
communications
database marketing
direct marketing
event organization
global marketing
international marketing
internet marketing
industrial marketing
market research
public relations
retailing
search engine marketing
marketing strategy
marketing plan
strategic management

Introduction

A market-focused, or customer-focused, organization first determines what its potential customers desire, and then builds the product or service. Marketing theory and practice is justified in the belief that customers use a product or service because they have a need, or because it provides a perceived benefit.

Two major factors of marketing are the recruitment of new customers (acquisition) and the retention and expansion of relationships with existing customers (base management). Once a marketer has converted the prospective buyer, base management marketing takes over. The process for base management shifts the marketer to building a relationship, nurturing the links, enhancing the benefits that sold the buyer in the first place, and improving the product/service continuously to protect the business from competitive encroachments.

For a marketing plan to be successful, the mix of the four “Ps” must reflect the wants and desires of the consumers or Shoppers in the target market. Trying to convince a market segment to buy something they don’t want is extremely expensive and seldom successful. Marketers depend on insights from marketing research, both formal and informal, to determine what consumers want and what they are willing to pay for. Marketers hope that this process will give them a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing management is the practical application of this process. The offer is also an important addition to the 4P’s theory.

Within most organizations, the activities encompassed by the marketing function are led by a Vice President or Director of Marketing. A growing number of organizations, especially large US companies, have a Chief Marketing Officer position, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) states, “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”.[1]

Marketing methods are informed by many of the social sciences, particularly psychology, sociology, and economics. Anthropology is also a small, but growing influence. Market research underpins these activities. Through advertising, it is also related to many of the creative arts. Marketing is a wide and heavily interconnected subject with extensive publications. It is also an area of activity infamous for re-inventing itself and its vocabulary according to the times and the culture.

Concept of Marketing

Marketing is an instructive business domain that serves to inform and educate target markets about the value and competitive advantage of a company and its products. “Value (marketing)” is worth derived by the customer from owning and using the product. “Competitive Advantage” is a depiction that the company or its products are each doing something better than their competition in a way that could benefit the customer.
Marketing is focused on the task of conveying pertinent company and product related information to specific customers, and there are a multitude of decisions (strategies) to be made within the marketing domain regarding what information to deliver, how much information to deliver, to whom to deliver, how to deliver, when to deliver, and where to deliver. Once the decisions are made, there are numerous ways (tactics) and processes that could be employed in support of the selected strategies.

The goal of marketing is to build and maintain a preference for a company and its products within the target markets. The goal of any business is to build mutually profitable and sustainable relationships with its customers. While all business domains are responsible for accomplishing this goal, the marketing domain bears a significant share of the responsibility.

Within the larger scope of its definition, marketing is performed through the actions of three coordinated disciplines named: “Product Marketing”, “Corporate Marketing”, and “Marketing Communications”.

Two levels of marketing

Strategic marketing attempts to determine how an organization competes against its competitors in a market place. In particular, it aims at generating a competitive advantage relative to its competitors.

Operational marketing executes marketing functions to attract and keep customers and to maximize the value derived for them, as well as to satisfy the customer with prompt services and meeting the customer expectations. Operational Marketing includes the determination of the porter’s five forces model

Four Ps

Main article: Marketing mix
In the early 1960s, Professor Neil Borden at Harvard Business School identified a number of company performance actions that can influence the consumer decision to purchase goods or services. Borden suggested that all those actions of the company represented a “Marketing Mix”. Professor E. Jerome McCarthy, also at the Harvard Business School in the early 1960s, suggested that the Marketing Mix contained 4 elements: product, price, place and promotion.

In popular usage, “marketing” is the promotion of products, especially advertising and branding. However, in professional usage the term has a wider meaning which recognizes that marketing is customer-centered. Products are often developed to meet the desires of groups of customers or even, in some cases, for specific customers. E. Jerome McCarthy divided marketing into four general sets of activities. His typology has become so universally recognized that his four activity sets, the Four Ps, have passed into the language.

The four Ps are:
Product: The product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the actual goods or services, and how it relates to the end-user’s needs and wants. The scope of a product generally includes supporting elements such as warranties, guarantees, and support.

Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts. The price need not be monetary – it can simply be what is exchanged for the product or services, e.g. time, energy, psychology or attention.

Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personal selling, branding and refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, or company.

Placement (or distribution): refers to how the product gets to the customer; for example, point of sale placement or retailing. This fourth P has also sometimes been called Place, referring to the channel by which a product or services is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc.

These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix,[2] which a marketer can use to craft a marketing plan. The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low value consumer products. Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments to this model. Services marketing must account for the unique nature of services. Industrial or B2B marketing must account for the long term contractual agreements that are typical in supply chain transactions. Relationship marketing attempts to do this by looking at marketing from a long term relationship perspective rather than individual transactions.

As a counter to this, Morgan, in Riding the Waves of Change (Jossey-Bass, 1988), suggests that one of the greatest limitations of the 4 Ps approach “is that it unconsciously emphasizes the inside–out view (looking from the company outwards), whereas the essence of marketing should be the outside–in approach”. Nevertheless, the 4 Ps offer a memorable and workable guide to the major categories of marketing activity, as well as a framework within which these can be used.

Seven Ps

As well as the standard four P’s (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place), services marketing calls upon an extra three, totaling seven and known together as the extended marketing mix. These are:

People: Any person coming into contact with customers can have an impact on overall satisfaction. Whether as part of a supporting service to a product or involved in a total service, people are particularly important because, in the customer’s eyes, they are generally inseparable from the total service . As a result of this, they must be appropriately trained, well motivated and the right type of person. Fellow customers are also sometimes referred to under ‘people’, as they too can affect the customer’s service experience, (e.g., at a sporting event).

Process: This is the process(es) involved in providing a service and the behaviour of people, which can be crucial to customer satisfaction.

Physical evidence: Unlike a product, a service cannot be experienced before it is delivered, which makes it intangible. This, therefore, means that potential customers could perceive greater risk when deciding whether to use a service. To reduce the feeling of risk, thus improving the chance for success, it is often vital to offer potential customers the chance to see what a service would be like. This is done by providing physical evidence, such as case studies, testimonials or demonstrations.

Four New Ps

Personalization: It is here referred customization of products and services through the use of the Internet. Early examples include Dell on-line and Amazon.com, but this concept is further extended with emerging social media and advanced algorithms. Emerging technologies will continue to push this idea forward.

Participation: This is to allow customer to participate in what the brand should stand for; what should be the product directions and even which ads to run. This concept is laying the foundation for disruptive change through democratization of information.

Peer-to-Peer: This refers to customer networks and communities where advocacy happens. The historical problem with marketing is that it is “interruptive” in nature, trying to impose a brand on the customer. This is most apparent in TV advertising. These “passive customer bases” will ultimately be replaced by the “active customer communities”. Brand engagement happens within those conversations. P2P is now being referred as Social Computing and is likely to be the most disruptive force in the future of marketing.

Predictive modeling: This refers to algorithms that are being successfully applied in marketing problems (both a regression as well as a classification problem).

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