'the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.'
I feel the dictionary definition is unhelpful. If you work in a marketing role like I do, it is difficult to define marketing even though you see and use it every day. Marketing overlaps heavily with advertising and sales. Marketing is present in all stages of the business, beginning to end.
It is a process to get people interested in your company's product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and understanding your ideal customer's interests. Marketing relates to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.
Types of Marketing
Marketing can roughly be split into offline and online or digital methods. Offline marketing consists of “traditional” advertising in print, radio, and television marketing, as well as attending events like tradeshows, fairs and conferences. It can also include word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are the types of marketing that are relevant today:
Social media marketing: Businesses can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar social networks to create impressions on their audience over time.
Search engine optimization: Abbreviated "SEO," this is the process of optimizing content on a website so that it appears in search engine results. It's used by marketers to attract people who perform searches that imply they're interested in learning about a particular industry.
Search engine marketing: This type of marketing is a bit different than SEO, which is described above. Businesses can pay a search engine to place links on pages of its index that get high exposure to their audience. It's a concept called "pay-per-click"
Blog marketing: Blogs are no longer exclusive to the individual writer. Brands now publish blogs to write about their industry and nurture the interest of potential customers who browse the internet for information.
Print marketing: Newspapers and magazines have a great understanding who subscribes to their print material, businesses continue to sponsor articles, photography, and similar content in the publications their customers are reading.
Video marketing: Marketers put money into creating and publishing all kinds of videos that entertain and educate their core customers.
To form an effective marketing strategy for your individual business, you must select the types of marketing that will be most effective for you, and form a plan in which they are integrated into a master strategy.
Getting it right means you’ll be able to align with your customers’ wants and needs, strengthen your brand presence, and maximize your ROI (return on investment). To do this you can use the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, promotion.
Marketing intersects with all areas of a business, so it's important you understand how to use marketing to increase your business's efficiency and success.