The process of understanding people and markets in order to provide better products and services and differentiate offerings. Marketing consists of both the “inhale” (customer and market research aimed at understanding needs, desires, and cultural contexts as well as competitors), and the “exhale” (the creating of messaging to effectively communicate offerings in appropriate ways). Too often, marketers only focus on the “exhale,” concentrating on messaging, sales, advertising, PR, and promotion. This often creates ineffective communications that don’t relate to customer needs, wants, or contexts. These are also distinct activities and disciplines in their own rights.
Common marketing processes include:
- Market and Customer Research
- Environmental Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Market Segmentation
Marketing should always seek to understand what people need and value in order to inform business strategy about what should be made, not merely how it should be promoted. In this way, organizations can better satisfy true customer needs in meaningful ways. When customers are truly satisfied, they are more likely to form lasting, loyal relationships with the organizations and brands that provide these solutions. They may also, likely, be more satisfied while consuming less.