• Kristina Ibragimova

What Is Marketing?

Google ‘marketing’ and you will find more than 100 definitions. People call it an action, a message, a cause, a strategy and the like. In the last decade, marketing has become more than just an action or a strategy—it is a whole new world. If you understand how marketing works or if you are collaborating with someone who does, your business will sell things. As Peter Drucker observed, the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him/her and sells itself. So far, no one has explained the core of marketing better.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him/her and sells itself

You should understand that marketing is not an advertising. We are here not to explain theories like the 7Ps of marketing. Basics are important, but for now, it is better to understand what are we talking about and then learn the details. Marketing is a galaxy with more than 159 planets, and today we will discuss the most effective among them: direct marketing, social media marketing (SMM), affiliate marketing, guerrilla marketing, referral marketing, and experiential marketing.

Direct marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing. It is when your customer receives a product proposal directly from you. This could take the form of a personal connection, an email with a discount proposal, a call, etc. The benefits of direct marketing are about clear statistics: you can see whether your proposed product is relevant by checking conversions. Using statistics, you can optimize your brand, proposal, buyer persona, etc. It is more cost effective to market to buyers who have been identified as likely to buy.

A good example of direct marketing is Skoda direct mail campaign. You can have a look here:

SMM is essential because good companies need publicity nowadays. This is a form of marketing you see 100 times per day. Managing social media, writing posts and keeping your business page active is all about SMM. So how does it affect sales? By increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty, building brand equity and humanizing your brand. If you are new to the market, even if you have a great quality service or product without conversation with your clientele you will spend much more effort to become important at the market.

It is not really possible to find a particular example of SMM, but it can be explained by this picture. Or you can have a look at the Ibiza Essentials profiles on Facebook or in LinkedIn to have an understanding of what SMM looks like.

Affiliate marketing is all about partnership. There are four main elements/participants: a merchant (product offer), an affiliate (publisher), a traffic source and a client. Simply put, in this type of marketing, an advertiser picks your product (usually there are many who will do it) and then does everything it considers to be appropriate to sell your product. When the advertiser’s work is done, it receives a commission from sales. The benefit here is that the volume of traffic is quite large, which helps your company reach new customer bases in different countries and builds relationships with efficient affiliates.Affiliate marketing has a number of areas to work with but as examples, we will show you Pop up and Facebook campaigns.

Next is Guerrilla marketing, which is based on shock value: shock your audience, and you will stay in their memory. It must be something loud and engaging. Something that creates a lot of buzz ! This type of marketing is great for low budgets, as it goes viral, builds partnerships and is memorable.

One of the loudest Guerrilla campaigns by Richard Branson dressed up to promote Virgin airlines.

Referral marketing is a way to promote your product through your client. This is pure word-of-mouth, which can range from a person who shares an experience with another to a person who has some benefits through sharing a specific link. This means of gaining publicity is low in budget, based on trust between a non-client and a current client, an easier means for gaining and retaining customers, and high in engagement. Uber may be an example of how to use referral marketing.

Last, there is experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, which is based on experience. Through experiential marketing campaigns, users or potential users interact with a product in a real-world situation. This is an event-centric industry, but these events are unique for each brand and each product. The aim of these events is to make an offline interaction between brand and consumer. There are a number of benefits to using experiential marketing: it creates a specific connection between a customer and a brand; it is memorable; before, during and after a campaign there is increased publicity through online and offline buzz, such as photos, videos, discussions, hashtags and talks about the upcoming/passed event; and 65% of brands that use experiential marketing say that it positively correlates with sales.

Here is a campaign from Coca Cola company which may be considered the best in their marketing strategy.

Marketing today is so big there are more than 100 definitions floating around. All of them have the same aim, and it is greater when you incorporate all types of marketing into your strategy. If you know how to use marketing efficiently, then you will not lose money. Whether you self-learn marketing or use professionals is your choice, but as to the question of whether you should use marketing—if you want your product to be profitable, then you know the answer.

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