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What is Marketing?

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Marketing is the process of developing, delivering, communicating and selling value. The following are common elements of marketing.

Market Research

The work of understanding customers, markets, competition and industry trends.


Developing an identity for products and services that customers recognize and associate with a positive image and reputation.

Product Development

Developing and improving products and services.


Product development that seeks leaps forward as opposed to gradual improvement.


Setting prices can be a surprisingly complex process. Pricing strategy may require extensive market research to keep an eye on your competition and the price sensitivities of your customers. It is common to use price discrimination strategies to try to charge customers according to their willingness to pay.


Communicating your brand and offers to customers. This includes the entire advertising industry and other types of promotion such as direct marketing and content marketing.


The process of selling to the customer. Some organizations do little branding and promotion but rely on skilled sales people to sell their products and services.


Sales and operations planning is the process of aligning sales forecasts and production. For example, if you're going to spend money to generate demand for a shampoo product you want to make sure your factories are going to be able to meet that demand.


The process of reaching the customer to sell to them and to deliver your products and services. For example, a retailer with shops or an ecommerce company with a website.

Customer Relationships

Managing relationships with customers to continue to sell to them. Managing customer relationships is also a key element of building a brand and product reputation.

Public Relations

The process of managing your public image and reputation with all stakeholders including customers, employees, governments, communities and investors.

Marketing Management

Directing, controlling, measuring and improving the marketing process. This can be broken into a large number of roles such as sales management, brand management and product management.

Customer Experience

Marketing is often extended to include every interaction with the customer. For example, customer service and design are commonly considered marketing.

Approaches to Marketing

Organizations and individuals take a variety of approaches to marketing including:

Production Orientation
Developing quality products and services and letting them "sell themselves" or relying on partners to do the selling.

Selling Orientation
A focus on personal selling. For example, a telecom company with a team of sales people who are good at closing deals may do little promotion or product development.

Relationship Orientation
Satisfying your existing customers to generate repeat business and word of mouth.

Marketing Orientation
Organizations that focus on every process above including product development, promotion, pricing, distribution, sales and customer experience.
Overview: Marketing Definition
The process of developing, delivering, communication and selling value.
Related Concepts
Next: Examples of Marketing


This is the complete list of articles we have written about marketing.
Above The Line
Absolute Advantage
Active Customers
Active Users
Added Value
Adoption Lifecycle
Advertising Strategy
Algorithmic Pricing
Alliance Marketing
Attribution Marketing
Augmented Reality
Backward Invention
Barriers To Entry
Below The Line
Bliss Point
Brand Awareness
Brand Engagement
Brand Identity
Brand Loyalty
Brand Recall
Bricks And Clicks
Business Operations
Business Principles
Business Strategy
Buyer Persona
Call To Action
Channel Conflict
Channel Management
Channel Strategy
Channel Structure
Churn Rate
Competitive Threat
Complex Sales
Conversion Rate
Corporate Governance
Cost Leadership
Cost Per Lead
Customer Advocacy
Customer Analysis
Customer Dissatisfaction
Customer Experience
Customer Interactions
Customer Issues
Customer Journey
Customer Loyalty
Customer Marketing
Customer Motivation
Customer Relationships
Customer Service
Customer Value
Demand Generation
Digital Channels
Digital Marketing
Direct Marketing
Drip Marketing
Figure Of Merit
Flat Pricing
Gross Margin
In-Store Marketing
Lifestyle Brand
Market Analysis
Market Environment
Market Intelligence
Market Power
Market Price
Market Research
Market Research Analysis
Marketing Automation
Marketing Benchmarks
Marketing Campaign
Marketing Channel
Marketing Communications
Marketing Costs
Marketing Economics
Marketing Experimentation
Marketing Metrics
Marketing Mix
Marketing Plan
Marketing Principles
Marketing Strategy
Marketing Strategy
Marketing Technology
Marketing Theory
Media Planning
Penetration Pricing
Personal Selling
Premium Pricing
Price Discrimination
Price Economics
Price Leadership
Price Points
Price Sensitivity
Price Skimming
Price War
Pricing Objectives
Pricing Power
Product Development
Product Differentiation
Product Identity
Product Launch
Product Management
Product Quality
Promotion Strategy
Public Relations
Pull Strategy
Relationship Marketing
Sales Development
Sales Strategy
Scarcity Marketing
Soft Selling
Switching Barriers
Target Market
Test Marketing
Through The Line
Time To Market
Traditional Marketing
Variable Pricing
Visual Merchandising
Wallet Share
Word Of Mouth
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A list of key marketing strategies.

Target Audience vs Target Market

The difference between a target audience and target market.

Public Relations

A definition of public relations with examples.

Marketing Communications

A definition of marketing communications with examples.

Value Proposition

The common types of customer value proposition.

Marketing Myopia

A definition of marketing myopia with examples.

Customer Focus

A definition of customer focus with examples.

Brand Marketing

A complete overview of brand marketing.

Marketing Examples

Common examples of marketing.

Promotion Strategy

A list of promotion techniques.

Product Diffusion

A definition of product diffusion with examples.


A list of marketing promotion terms.

Mere Exposure Effect

An overview of the mere exposure effect.

Six Degrees Of Separation

An overview of six degrees of separation.

Attention Economics

The study of human attention as a scarce resource.


An overview of product showrooms as a marketing strategy.

Demand Generation

A definition of demand generation with examples.

Target Audience

Common types of target audience.

Communication Channels

A definition of communication channel with examples.
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