What is Marketing? Definition, strategies, and history.
Marketing is the process of getting potential clients or customers interested in your products and services. The keyword in this definition is "process"; marketing involves researching, promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services.
This discipline centers on the study of market and consumer behaviors and it analyzes the commercial management of companies in order to attract, acquire and retain customers (hopefully instilling brand loyalty) by satisfying their wants and needs.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
According to E. J. McCarthy, the 4 Ps of Marketing is a simple formula for identifying and working with the essential elements of your marketing strategy.
Product. Having a product is key and is, consequently, the root of all things marketing. In this sense, a product would be anything that a company could offer consumers which might satisfy a need. The best thing to do is to decide on your product or service based both on the needs and motivations of consumers and how the product would benefit the consumer; not so much on the object’s physical characteristics or attributes.
Place. Strategic merchandising locations can be anything from an online store (ecommerce) to a channel of physical stores across multiple towns and countries. The goal of the distribution strategy is to enable potential clients to have easy access to products/services, as well as offer a good company experience throughout the purchasing process.
Price. How we price our products and services is an extremely important decision within the marketing strategy; this factor affects other factors such as:
The margin we hope to obtain.
What target market do we want to present ourselves to? What purchasing power do our consumers have? Do we want to enter into the luxury market or bet on the mass market?
A company's financial goals.
How does the competition price their products and what possible product substitutes are there?
Trends and fads.
Increased price in order to give a better perception of quality.
Promotion. This refers to all the marketing and communication actions we carry out in order to diffuse the benefits and characteristics of our product or service within the market. This is how we increase sales.
Different Marketing Strategies
Marketing is not just one single strategy, but rather a combination of many different techniques and tactics. Below we've listed some essential marketing strategies that you should know about.
Marketing Plan. Discover what a marketing plan is, why you need to design one, and the keys to creating a stong plan. Without a marketing plan, a company or brand can’t reach its goals.
Digital Marketing: digital marketing is the discipline of marketing which focuses on developing a strategy solely within the digital environment.
Direct Marketing: direct marketing is a type of campaign based on direct and two-way communication that seeks to trigger a result by a specific audience.
Email Marketing: email marketing is one of the most profitable and effective techniques in terms of return. Naturally, it consists of sending emails to your audience, therefore, make sure to also define your segments well.
Mobile Marketing: mobile marketing is a broad concept which brings together all marketing campaigns and actions focused exclusively on mobile platforms (i.e. smartphones and tablets).
Viral Marketing: Having something go viral is every company’s dream. Viral Marketing is like a virus; it wildly spreads from one person to the next and is capable of going incredibly far.
Performance Marketing: performance marketing is a methodology which applies various marketing methods and techniques which guarantees advertisers that they only have to pay for achieved results.
Inbound Marketing: This methodology focuses on creating valuable content to attract qualified traffic. In order to attract potential customers, with whom to work towards the final sale.
The History of Marketing
Do you know how marketing has evolved over time?
Not too long ago, marketing mostly consisted of outbound marketing, which consists of chasing potential customers with promotions without really knowing if that person was interested in purchasing. But, thanks to the digital transformation and the rise of new communication channels, marketing has drastically changed over the years.
To understand how marketing has changed throughout the years, let’s take a look at this timeline HubSpot has assembled showcasing the innovations of this industry.
1450-1900: Printed Advertising
1450, Gutenberg invents the printing press. The world of books and mass copies is revolutionized.
1730, the magazine emerges as a means of communication.
1741, the first American magazine is published in Philadelphia.
1839, posters become so popular that it became prohibited to put them in London properties.
1920-1949: New Media
1922, radio advertising begins.
1933, more than half of the population in the United States (55.2%) has a radio in their home.
1941, television advertising begins. The first advertisement was for Bulova watches and reached 4,000 homes that had television.
1946, more than 50% of the homes in the United States already had a telephone.
1950-1972: Marketing is Born and Grows
1954, for the first time revenue from television advertising surpasses revenue from radio and magazine ads.
Telemarketing grows as a means of contacting buyers directly.
1972, print media suffers an exhaustion of the outbound marketing formula.
1973-1994: The Digital Era Flourishes
1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher, makes the first call through a cell phone.
1981, IBM launches its first personal computer.
1984, Apple introduces the new Macintosh.
1990-1994, major advances in 2G technology, which would lay the foundation for the future explosion of mobile TV.
1994, the first case of commercial spam through e-commerce is produced.
1995-2020: The Era of Search Engines and Social Media
1995, the Yahoo! and Altavista search engines are born.
1995-1997, the concept of SEO is born.
1998, Google and MSN launch new search engines.
1998, the concept of blogging arises. By mid-2006, there are already 50 million blogs worldwide.
2003-2012, the era of inbound marketing begins.
2003-2004, three social networks are launched: LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook.
2005, the first video is posted on YouTube
2006, Twitter is born.
2009, Google launches real time searches.
2010, 90% of all American households have a cell phone. Instagram is created in October 10.
Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 spend 13.7 hours on the Internet, compared to 13.6 hours watching television.
2011, Snapchat was created, driving even more young users to their phones and fueling the social media app craze.
2012, there are already 54.8 million tablet users.
2014, the rise of Influencer marketing begins. Users and brands alike begin to realize the power of social media users with large followings
2014, for the first time ever mobile usage outweighs desktop usage. More users are checking social media, reading emails, and making purchases on their phones.
2015-2016, Big data and marketing automation are explored and used more robustly to advertise to users.
2018, video marketing continues to grow, especially with Instagram’s launch of IGTV. Video content is no longer just limited to YouTube and Facebook.
2019-2020, Move over millennials! Gen Z is the new focus and they have a hot new app: TikTok.
It will be interesting to see where marketing continues to grow. With new world events, like the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 causing millions of people to stay in doors, social media and marketing trends are sure to change, and we’ll be right here to track them.