Business Basics Program

Marketing Introduction

What is marketing?

Marketing - the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create changes that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

Marketing - is an approach to doing business that focuses on identifying the customers needs and preferences. Using this information, a company can shape the goods and services it provides, as well as the strategy it uses to bring these goods and services to the public, based on satisfying the customer.

Marketing is often thought of as the five Ps - product, price, packaging, promotion and positioning.  

  • Product - A good or service a company makes in quantity to sell on the open market.

  • Price - This is how much the customer has to pay,

  • Packaging - What the package the product is in looks like, the information provided and how it is presented at the place of purchase,

  • Promotion - Advertising and promotions such as contests and coupons.

  • Positioning - This can refer to where it is distributed. Example; GAP positions their product to all generations and at its own stores. It also refers to how a product is placed in a perceived way; such as a premium product.

The marketing responsibility is to work with these other areas to come up with products and make decisions that support the product in a way that gains the business of customers.  Marketers are not responsible for all aspects of the business but they should participate in the decision making that affects the products look, performance, quality, where it is sold, price, communications about the product and image.

To understand marketing you will need to understand some of the many terms that marketers use;

Customer

To succeed with the right marketing strategy you need to understand your customer. Marketing is as simple as understanding your customer , communicating effectively to your customer and ensuring that all the experiences the customer has with your company are positive.

A customer is an individual or household that purchases or acquires goods or services for personal use.  The population of all consumers is referred to as the consumer or mass market.

It is important to understand the needs of customers which are commonly discussed in five categories;

  1. Physiological needs - this refers to the needs of the human body, such as food and water,

  2. Safety needs - need to be protected from physical harm,

  3. Social needs - need of people to interact with other people and be accepted,

  4. Esteem needs - for people to feel important in others peoples lives,

  5. Self-actualization needs - for people to recognize their potential and to achieve their potential.

You as a customer have needs that you may or may not be able to group in the categories above.  If you are buying clothes you simply want to look good in them. Good to you may also mean other people think it looks good on you.

Activities;

  • List a number of needs you have in general,

  • List needs which are satisfied from specific products.

Some things to consider.

  • Often people don't have the necessary information they need to make a purchasing decision. They don't know who to trust.

  • Purchasing things should make people feel better or eliminate a stress in their lives,

  • Understand your customer better then your competition,

  • Are you doing things to create confidence with your customer,

  • As you plan your business you should consider being; noticed & remembered, understood & differentiated and trusted which helps you become preferred by customers.

Product Differentiation

This concept helps marketers to be aware of the differences between the features of a product or service and the benefits of that product or service.

People differentiate one product from another as part of the choosing process. There are many things people consider and this is what marketers need to understand. Once you know how people judge or think of your product, you can begin to use that information in a way that helps you improve and market your product or service. 

Activities;

  • Take a few similar products and list the ways that differentiate it from another product,

Product Feature

Product feature is a characteristic that the product or service may have.  This could include colours, size, weight, general appearance etc.

Activities;

  • Take a few products and list the features.

  • Take some advertisements or product information and identify features

Product Benefit s

This relates to the customers' perception of product features will benefit them.  Ease of use, weight of a laptop, size of a cell phone may be benefits to consumers.

Don't forget what you feel to be a benefit may not be a benefit to other consumers.  The key is to try and focus on the features that benefit consumers.

Some people will pay a lot for one benefit while others will not.  

Activities;

  • Explain the benefit of various products,

Pricing

A product can have great features and benefits but the price of the product can have a greater influence on how it will sell in the marketplace.

Some people will pay a higher price if they believe the product is a better quality and will perform better and last longer.

A  marketer has to determine the price the product should be sold at. There are many pricing strategies marketers can choose while keeping in mind what the cost of the product is, the costs to sell and market it and what the competition is doing.

Think of what you as a consumer do when you see two different products on a shelf that are priced differently.  Think of the thinking process that you go through.  As a marketer you want people to buy your product so you have to create the right strategy to convince the customer. Understand the thinking process consumers go through to make their purchasing decisions.

Penetrating Pricing

This pricing strategy is used when marketers are introducing a new product into a market.  The thinking here is to introduce the product at as low a price as possible to general as many sales as possible.

Once you have established customers and they like your product you can begin to increase the price.

How to use marketing in business.

Activities;

  • [Promotion Tips] as used in our [Just For Clicks Business Game] should help you apply marketing techniques.

  • [Advertising Tips] as used in our [Just For Clicks Business Game] will help you apply marketing.

  • Take each of the definitions on this page and try and list examples of things that need to be considered by marketers.

  • Pick a product that you are familiar with.  Use this page as a framework, to write important information marketers should consider. Discuss each of the headings on this page by relating them to your product.. 

  • Write a marketing plan by working  through the many things to consider.

  • Review our e-mentor profiles to help you understand careers in marketing.

The TeachingKidsBusiness.com Terminology section has many more terms to help you further understand marketing.