An Introduction to the Principles of Marketing
Marketing is the process by which producers of goods and services aim to find out where a demand exists for certain services and products and then find solutions to those needs as well as the way to make consumers aware of the solutions. Marketing is the aspect of business which is most consumer focused as all of the principles of marketing relate directly to the consumer.
The principles of marketing follow a logical sequence. First, a target consumer of a particular product or service must be identified. Knowing who uses a given product or service is essential to determining what that consumer wants and how to get it to them. This is essential for companies operating in the free market as success depends upon identifying and retaining customers in order to remain profitable and ensure business growth.
Principles of Marketing – The Marketing Mix
One of the fundamental principles of marketing is the marketing mix. The marketing mix consists of four different factors which businesses need to get right in order to successfully sell their goods and services. The marketing mix is also known as the four p’s, and is as follows.
- Product – This is the first step of the marketing mix. Without a product, there is nothing to market! The product should aim to fill a gap in the market in some way or fulfill some type of consumer need. The product should be designed according to consumer need and desire.
- Price – The price of a product should be one which consumers are prepared to pay while simultaneously allowing the manufacturers to generate profit. Price is dependent upon the cost of product production, the desired level of profit, and also the price of competing products.
- Promotion – This refers to the methods a company uses to make consumers aware of and attracted to a particular product or service. The promotion should be one which shows the product in its best light and also reaches the consumer. Different target markets are likely to respond to different types of promotion and this should be kept in mind when designing a promotional campaign. Examples of promotional methods include television commercials, radio commercials, internet advertising, introductory prices, PR events and so forth.
- Place – This refers to the method of distribution for a product, or the place where consumers will be able to purchase it. Considerations relating to place include whether a particular product should be sold in all markets or is more suitable for a particular region or nation, the choice of retailers for a certain product, and so on. For example, if the product is a toy, it should be available to consumers in toy stores, as this is where people expect to find toys.
Principles of Marketing – Targeting Particular Consumers
It is essential that a company bringing a product or service to market is aware of who they believe the target market to be. Without a clear target consumer in mind it will be difficult to decide upon the correct marketing strategy to implement. Some products target a specific, or niche market, while others may target multiple markets.
Principles of Marketing – Branding
Branding a product in a certain way is essential for its success. Consumers tend to identify with products based on their branding and many consumers stay loyal to their favored brand. These factors make branding an essential part of the principles of marketing. It is important that a particular product has a coherent brand identity. This should be reflected through its logos, descriptions, advertising and so on. The brand should convey the identity of the product and should be something that consumers can relate to. For example, a luxury, high-end product should have branding which gives a luxury, high-end impression. Incorrect branding is a key reason why products fail to win over consumers.