Marketing is the process by which information regarding product information or business developments are communicated to potential customers. It incorporates a number of activities centered around the function of identifying potential customers, learning more about their needs or expectations of a product, and ultimately satisfying the customer and creating loyalty to the product. Additionally, there is the field of value-based marketing, by which marketing strategies are used to increase the perceived value of a product.
The “orientation” of marketing strategies has evolved steadily since the discipline began. Whilst earlier strategies, such as the production orientation, centered mostly on the process of creating a product of high value, more modern approaches to the field have involved new means of communicating product information and value to consumers. Such approaches include the fields of relationship marketing, which is focused on building relationships between producers and consumers of a particular product, and branding, which involves marketing strategies geared towards associating a company with a specific set of values and ideals.
This evolution in marketing strategies reflects a general shift of emphasis on the part of the marketing profession towards a more consumer-driven approach. Accordingly, this approach focuses entirely on the needs and desires of potential customers, with each aspect of the production and marketing processes centered on consumer drives. This has lead to an increase in marketing research, as companies try to better ascertain the wants of potential customers. However, this approach notably has many critics, with most criticism centered around the question of whether or not consumers are aware of or truthful regarding their desires. The rise of the consumer-driven approach has spawned an entire field of marketing research, where companies analyze statistical data to discover more information regarding consumer drives and potential target markets.
Accordingly, marketing research tries to determine the buying behavior of it’s customers, so that information regarding the process of how a specific product is purchased can be used to more effectively market it. As such, marketing professionals typically distinguish between different types of buying behavior based on such aspects as whether the product is sold to consumers (known as B2C) or fellow businesses (B2B).
In more recent years, the increase in various communications technologies has not only increased the range of media and means that can be effectively utilized in marketing strategies, but has also led to the decreased usage of specific marketing means (i.e. newspapers) and the creation of new marketing strategies. Such novel strategies include the field of viral marketing, by which companies use modern media outlets to increase product or brand awareness within online social networks or communities, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
by Colm Dubhrosa