Marketing has taken a variety of forms as it’s developed over the years. A common and extremely incorrect view is that selling and advertising is marketing. Although these activities are part of the marketing mix and were generally perceived as the only outputs from a lot of marketing efforts that were measured, they are indeed only a fraction of this whole process.
In addition to promotional activities, or the extended marketing mix as they’re more commonly known, marketing includes a much broader strategic and tactical set of functions including; auditing & analysis, planning, product development, packaging, pricing, distribution, customer service and evaluation.
Many organisations and businesses assign responsibility for the marketing functions to a marketing manager or specific group of creative’s within the organisation. In this respect, marketing is a unique and separate entity. Those who make up the marketing department may also include brand and product managers, marketing researchers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion managers, pricing specialists, and customer service personnel.
A Marketer will typically take up the following roles, acting between the customer and the organisation; Strategic Partner, Guide, Deliverer, Communicator, Co-ordinator, Negotiator and Customer Voice.
A Marketing role will also assume the following responsibilities;
• Understanding the economic and competitive features of a sector
• Identifying target markets
• Identifying segments within a target market
• Identifying most appropriate strategies
• Commissioning, understanding and acting upon market research
• Understanding competitors and their strategies and likely responses
• Developing new products
• Auditing customers’ brand experience
• Establishing environmental scanning for opportunities and threats
• Understanding an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses
• Creating a sustainable competitive advantage
• Understanding where a brand needs to be in the future
• Creating and delivering marketing plans to get there
• Establishing management information systems to identify progress
What does marketing achieve?
As a managerial process, marketing is the way in which an organisation determines its best opportunities in the market place, given its objectives and resources. Therefore the managerial philosophy of marketing puts central emphasis on customer satisfaction as the means for gaining and keeping loyal customers. Therefore, Marketers urge their organisations to carefully and continually gauge target customers’ expectations and to consistently meet or exceed these expectations.
In order to accomplish this, everyone in all areas of the organisation must focus on understanding and serving customers; the business will find it hard to succeed if marketing occurs only in the marketing department and does not involve everyone.