Today’s Definition of Marketing. Has it Changed?
With the continued proliferation of the Internet, the meaning of the word “marketing” also proliferates. There seem to be as many definitions of marketing as there are marketers.
Many see marketing as a series of tactics or gimmicks. Some push pyramid programs [multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing] as the way to successful marketing.
Others may say the Web has made traditional marketing obsolete. I say the Internet has expanded our capabilities, created new ways of doing business, and radically changed business dynamics. It has not, however, changed the foundation of marketing.
Basic, traditional marketing is as relevant as ever. The Four P’s – product, price, place (distribution), and promotion – whether you tack on added P’s and C’s or not, are still very much alive. Strategic thinking, segmenting, and targeting can still earn you a competitive advantage.
Marketing still means determining what our customers need and want, planning how we are going to meet those needs and wants, and then implementing our plan.
We still have products, services, and ideas to sell at some price. We still deliver to our customers via some means of distribution. We still promote and we still advertise. Those are the basics. Those basics still exist and always will.
What *has* changed is the business environment. Companies compete with more efficient technologies. Customers have better access to their cost options and they communicate to each other in a not even conceivable in the pre-Internet age.
In some industries, the Internet has lowered the cost of entry so that entrepreneurs – many times from a home office – have entered the competition. The changes in competitive environment are numerous. What have also changed are marketing strategies and the marketing programs we have available to implement those strategies.
These have changed, but basic marketing has not. Superior marketing is and always has been analysis, then action. It is strategy development, then logical and thought-out tactical implementation. It is the way to customer satisfaction and increasing profit. It is the process of:
1) Analyzing your customers and the business environment in order to
2) identify key opportunities to better and more profitably meet customer needs,
3) figuring out how to act on those opportunities, and then
4) implementing your plan.
The process doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Five-year plans and novel-length documents are not required. The logic of the action is what’s important.
By applying the basic marketing process both online and offline, your chances of success skyrocket.