What is marketing?

People ask all the time - what is marketing and what is the difference between marketing and advertising? Marketing is the strategic foundation created to figure out what services or products customers would buy or use, what price to charge and how to go about selling them. During a rigorous marketing process, it is important to determine customer requirements, product specifications, pricing, positioning, opportunities, threats, communication strategies, sales strategies, and other key information.  Marketing is the sum of all efforts to make money from company activities, and is therefore closely connected to sales and other operations. It drives all the actions behind the success or failure of product sales.

To highlight the difference between marketing and advertising, when a marketing plan is developed to sell a product or service, advertising may or may not be one of the components of the plan. When advertising is one of your marketing programs, many strategic marketing elements feed into its implementation.  In order to develop a successful advertising campaign, an agency should know marketing information about the customer to understand where to place the advertising, what to communicate and how to position against competitors. An agency needs to know the key features, advantages or benefits of the product to create the most compelling ad, the greatest impact, and the highest sales.

Whether you have a formal marketing program feeding into advertising efforts or are relying on informal experience and intuition, you are still using marketing as the foundation of any advertising campaign. While marketing may be unknowingly embedded into your advertising, it is a separate effort that supports many different aspects of your companys business and sales activities.

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