What Is Marketing? – Principles, Types & Scope

Contrary to what most people think, marketing isn’t just about communicating and informing about the brand and its offering, but everything that’s involved in developing the offering, promoting it, selling it, and making the customer buy it (and rebuy it).

It doesn’t revolve around the product. Marketing revolves around the customers. This process focuses on exploring, creating, and developing an offering that fulfils the needs, wants, and demands of the customers while helping the business make sustain and gain. 

But what exactly is marketing, and why is it important? 

Let’s find out.

Marketing Definition

Marketing is a process or a set of processes used to understand the target audience better, develop a valuable offering, communicate and deliver value to satisfy the needs, wants, and desires of the target audience at a profit.

In simple terms, marketing is an umbrella that includes –

  • Identifying the unfulfilled needs, wants, and desires of the target market,
  • Developing a valuable offering that satisfies the unmet needs,
  • Communicating the value to the target audience,
  • Delivering value to meet the needs, wants, and desires of the customers, and
  • Earning a profit.

simple definition of marketing would be, as Kotler puts it, “meeting the needs of your customer at a profit.” Thus, marketing involves everything that a business requires to meet the needs of its customers, and that too, at a profit.

Besides this, other institutes and renowned personalities define marketing as – 

The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

American Marketing Association (AMA)

The science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.

Dr Philip Kotler

The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. 

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

What Is The Purpose Of Marketing?

Contrary to what most people believe, the purpose of marketing isn’t limited to selling the offering. Considering there are seven functions of marketing ranging from product development to pricing to selling, marketing pertains to all aspects of the business and works on fulfilling the three core purposes of the business – 

  1. Identification of the goals and needs of the customers,
  2. Development of offerings that provide value to the customers, and
  3. Communication and sale of the product to earn profit.

What Is The Importance Of Marketing?

Marketing is essential because it helps the business consider the customer as its focal point and develop a sustainable business that provides value to society.

It is the heart of the business which collects information from the outside, filter it, and convert it into specialized strategies which help the business fulfil the customer requirements while making profits.

Marketing is important because it flows among all the departments of the business including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising, and makes the business follow a holistic approach – 

  • It enquires: It is through market research that business understands the actual needs, wants, and desires of the customers. 
  • It builds: Marketing helps the business produce what is actually needed in the market. 
  • It informs and engages: Communicating about the brand and the offering is a huge role that marketing plays.
  • It sells: Marketing is important because it helps the company to sell its offerings. It helps the company to make money by attracting customers, making them buy the offering, and reaching the set end goals.
  • It sustains: Marketing makes sure the company and its offering sustain for the long run by adapting to the changes in the business environment.
  • It builds identity: Marketing builds identity. 
  • It grows: Marketing is an essential function to ensure the smooth growth of the business. It helps the business expand its customer base, increase sales, and build a brand.

What Are The Objectives Of Marketing?

The main objective of marketing is to fulfil customers’ demands while making profits. Besides this, the other five objectives of marketing are – 

  1. Customer Satisfaction: Satisfying the needs, wants, and demands of the customers.
  2. Profitability: Earning profit for the business to support sustainable growth. 
  3. Demand Creation: Develop demand for the offerings by communicating about it to the target audience.
  4. Brand Development: Building a brand out of the company and/or the offering and differentiating it from other players in the market.
  5. Create Goodwill And Public Image: Building up a public image of the brand and increasing its equity by providing offerings with a consistent brand promise.

The Four Principles Of Marketing

Since marketing is the sum total of all the activities involved in the transfer of the goods from the seller to the buyer, it relies on four basic principles. These principles, also called the 4 Ps or the marketing mix, are – 

  • Product: It is the offering that the company sells or intends to sell.
  • Price: It is how much the company charges from the customer for the offering.
  • Place: It refers to the point of sale – the place where the offering is offered for sale.
  • Promotion: It encompasses all the marketing communication strategies to communicate and persuade the customer to buy the offering.

These four principles form the pillars marketing stands on. These principles give way to the core functions of the marketing too – 

  • Developing an offering that the market needs
  • Pricing the offering by predicting the perfect balance of product value and the customer’s paying capacity, to maximise profits.
  • Using the right distribution channels to distribute the offering
  • Communicate about the brand, brand message, offering, and offering’s USP to increase sales.

Nature Of Marketing

Marketing is considered to be holistic in nature. While there is usually a focus on a particular goal, marketing tries to make use of a 360-degree approach to fulfil the goal.

  • Managerial Function: Marketing is a process that requires officials to manage product, place, price, and promotion of the business in a holistic manner.
  • Economic Function: Earning profit and developing a sustainable business is a crucial objective of marketing.
  • Social Process: Marketing is a social process that results in the parties obtaining what they need through the creation and exchange of offerings and values.
  • Consumer-Oriented: Marketing revolves around fulfilling the needs, wants, and demands of the customers and earning profits in the process of doing so.
  • Both Art and Science: It is science as it requires the marketer to understand customer behaviour and art as it involves using this knowledge along with skills to create the demand for the offering.
  • Goal-Oriented: Marketing revolves fulfilling the goals of the business by aligning it with the customers’ goals.
  • Interactive Activity: Marketing involves the marketer to actively interact with the audience at all stages of the business.
  • Dynamic Process: It makes sure that the business keeps at pace with the changing business environment, trends, and demands of the customers.
  • Creates Utility: Marketing aims at providing utility to the customer through four different means – offering (kind of product or service), time (whenever needed), place (distribution availability), and possession (ownership).

Types Of MarketingScope Based On Entities Marketed

Most people mistake types of marketing strategies to be types of marketing.

They both differ.

Types of marketing strategies refer to the ‘how’ of marketing – how an offering is marketed. Types of marketing, however, focuses on the ‘what’ of marketing – what is marketed.

Marketing isn’t limited to just physical goods. Today, even human, places, and experiences are marketed.

  • Product Marketing: Tangible offerings manufactured in bulk and requiring proper marketing to make it available to the right customer at the right time. Example – mobile phones, televisions, etc..
  • Service Marketing: Intangible activities that can’t be separated by the provider. Example – hotels, airlines, barbers, etc. 
  • Event Marketing: Time based events like trade shows, artistic performances, etc.
  • Experience Marketing: An orchestrated mix of services and goods which leads to an experience. Example – amusement park experience, foreign trip experience, etc.
  • Person Marketing: A person known for his skills, profession, art, experience, etc. Example – Ronaldo, Michael Jackson, etc.
  • Place Marketing: Places, cities, states, and countries with an aim to attract potential investors and/or tourists. Example – Hawaii.
  • Property Marketing: Intangible rights of ownership of the real estate, stocks, securities, debentures, etc.
  • Organisation Marketing: Corporations and not for profit organisations like schools, colleges, universities, NGOs, etc.
  • Information Marketing: Information related to healthcare, technology, science, media, law, tax, market, finance, accounting, etc. offered by books, schools, universities, websites, media houses, etc. 
  • Idea Marketing: The basic ideas that result in the entity, offering, etc.

Scope Of Marketing

When compared to other functions of the business, marketing’s scope seems to be a bit more vast. It flows within almost all of the business activities and present at all stages of the customer buying cycle.

Even a separate type of marketing, known as digital marketing, has evolved to expand the scope of marketing over the internet.

  • Market Research: Researching consumer demands and consumer behaviour.
  • Product Planning and Development: Planning and developing the offering according to what’s needed in the market.
  • Product Pricing: Pricing the offering according to the product value and the buyer’s paying capacity to maximise profits.
  • Distribution: Distributing the offering, so it is available wherever and whenever the customer demands it.
  • Promotion: Communicating the right message that results in demand creation.
  • Sales: Offering incentives that increase sales.
  • After-Sales: Providing after-sales support to the customer to maintain a good brand image in the market.

Marketing Vs Sales

While sales and marketing have the same goal – generate revenue and increase the profits of the company, there’s a big difference between them.

Marketing is an umbrella that includes all the activities that result in meeting the needs, wants, or demands of the customers at a profit. 

Sales, on the other hand, is a process that results in a transaction between two or more parties in which the buyer(s) receive the offering and seller(s) get something of value in return which is usually money.

In simple terms, sales is a subset of marketing. 

Systematic planning, implementation, and control of business activities to fulfil the needs of the customer at a profit.
A transaction between two or more parties where the buyer receives the offering and the seller gets something of value in return.
Broader approach that involves identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customers’ requirements with the purpose to make profits.
Narrow approach to make the customer’s demand match what the company offers.
On fulfilling the customers’ need and making profit out of it.
Fulfil sales volume goals.
Strategy Used
Long Term
Short Term

Marketing Vs Advertising

Advertising is the subset of marketing which focuses only on the promotion aspect of the business. It is the action of calling public attention to an idea, good, or service through paid announcements by an identified sponsor.

Moreover, marketing’s promotion aspect includes activities like public relations and sales promotion, that are not limited to advertising.

Systematic planning, implementation, and control of business activities to fulfil the needs of the customer at a profit.
A paid communication message intended to inform people about something or to influence them to buy or try something.
Broader approach using more than just promotion.
Offering oriented promotion backed by a goal to increase awareness or increase sales, etc.
On developing a customer relationship.
On fulfilling offering related goals.
Holistic strategy
Promotion strategy

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