You will begin to intuitively ask: Who is the consumer? What does the customer need? What does the customer want? Marketing is an understanding of how to communicate with the consumer. It is characterized by four activities:
- Creating products and services that serve consumers,
- Communicating a clear value proposition,
- Delivering products and services in a way that optimizes value, and
- Exchanging, or trading, value for those offerings.
Many people incorrectly believe that marketing and advertising are the same thing. In reality, advertising is just one of many tools used in marketing, which is the process by which firms determine which products to offer, how to price those products, and to whom they should be made available.
We will also explore various ways in which marketing departments and independent agencies answer these questions—whether through research, analysis, or even trial-and-error. Once a company identifies its customer and product, marketers must then determine the best way to capture the customer’s attention. Capturing the customer’s attention may entail undercutting competitors on price, aggressively marketing a product with promotions and advertising (as with “As Seen On TV” ads), or specifically targeting ideal customers. The strategy a marketing firm chooses for a particular product is absolutely vital to the success of the product. The idea that “great products sell themselves” is simply not true. By the end of this course, you will be familiar with the art and science of marketing a product.