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WHAT IS MARKETING?

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Is it Sales? Advertising? P.R.?
Branding? - Yes!

Having taught Marketing to working adult students since 1997, Professor Gosselin has determined that there is still very little understanding as to what, exactly, Marketing is. There are many definitions, but Keith likes to use the following:

Marketing is a dialogue between the organization and the target market with the objective of continuously matching product features, benefits, price, and availability with the needs of the marketplace.

The term “dialogue” is used to emphasize that Marketing is a two-way interaction/communication. It not only consists of attempting to influence the target market, but also establishing feedback channels to monitor its response.

Marketing efforts should be directed towards a “target market”, or defined segment of the overall marketplace. By focusing their efforts, Marketers are better able to meet/exceed the needs of that segment. Recently, through the use of database technology and customer relationship management processes, Marketing has begun to move in the direction of one-to-one marketing, in which efforts are directed to individual customers instead of segments.

A product’s features are its functional aspects. The “benefits” of a product refer to the emotional connection customers feel towards a product. Effective Marketing clearly differentiates between the two when communicating with the target market. For instance, an automobile might provide a certain amount of mileage, leg room & engine torque, but it is the lifestyle image the car represents that will heavily influence a prospective customer towards its purchase.

Finally, price and availability are included in the description to emphasize that simply building a better mouse trap is not always enough. A product or service must be sold at a price that reflects the perceived value of the product by the target market and must be distributed in a way that puts it in the right place at the right time.

Although Marketing can provide short-term results, it requires a long-term commitment by management. Effective Marketing can strengthen customer brand loyalty, garner premium product pricing, and/or increase the odds for successful new product introductions.