When sales go stagnant, marketing is often the first department to take a cut. Not only is this a big mistake, but it may also represent a misunderstanding of some of the functions of marketing.
Marketing is a complex field of study. But it’s vital that business owners understand what happens behind the scenes. So here are the seven functions of a marketing mix.
Promotion is perhaps the best-understood aspect of marketing. It introduces the target audience to a product or service. It also helps generate buzz about a brand’s goods or services. Sales leads often come from promotional efforts, which include:
- Email marketing
- Social media ads
- Digital or print ads
- Content marketing
- Public relations
- Brand partnerships
- Event marketing
- Social media Influencer marketing
Marketing people are not salespeople, and vice versa, but they are connected. While a sales department’s goal is selling a product, a marketing department’s goal is to deliver leads to the sales department. But that’s not all.
A marketing campaign should always have one goal: to help make sales. In an ideal world, a customer will be pre-sold by the time they speak to a salesperson. They should know what the brand has to offer and how it stacks up against competitors.
Once a marketing campaign grabs a customer’s attention, it’s up to marketing to keep the customer’s interest and gently guide them through the sales funnel until they’re ready to speak to a salesperson.
When there’s an idea for a product, product management teams work with engineers, designers, and other product development professionals to ensure that a product or service appeals to customers. Product management includes:
- Competitive analysis – Does the competition have a similar product? If so, whose product is better, and how are they marketing it?
- Market research – Find and research similar products or services. How are they being received in the market?
- Speak with potential customers – Reach out to current and potential customers to gauge interest
- Get feedback – Feedback should come from inside and outside an organization
- Collaborate with other teams – Make sure that the entire organization is on the same page
It’s also critical that marketing departments continue product management through service management after the product reaches the market.
Setting a product’s price is more complicated than one might think. Before the product hits the market, the marketing team should weigh the product’s perceived value against the cost of production before they set the price.
They should also ensure that the marketing matches the price point. For example, a $500 pair of shoes will be marketed to a different target customer from a $100 pair.
Marketing data and information management
Marketing information management is about gauging the success of marketing campaigns and learning more about their target market. This includes keeping up on existing market research. For example, marketers might work with the company’s data scientists to learn about customer behavior. They will also use social media and advertising analytics to measure the success of campaigns.
One of the reasons marketing departments are the first to be cut is they often have a hard time justifying their worth. Financing might seem like it’s a step or two away from marketing’s primary goal, which is to help increase revenue, but it’s not that simple.
Without securing internal or external funding, a marketing department can’t do its primary job. For example, they can’t create campaigns or keep up with industry trends. In addition, successful marketing strategies can help them secure funding.
Distribution sounds like a logistics problem, but that’s only partly true. Once a product is ready for market, it’s up to marketing teams to determine where to distribute products. Today, that generally includes a variety of distribution channels, both digital and physical. Those include:
- Websites and other online stores
- Magazines or catalogs
- In-person sales calls
Once the distribution channels are chosen, it’s up to logistics to ensure that shelves are stocked, and orders are fulfilled. It’s also imperative that the marketing department continues to monitor sales through each channel and adjust tactics as they see fit.
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