Marketing is one of the essential elements that form the foundation of any business. Market research shows that advertising has been found to be the single most important factor that drives sales. Marketing refers to the method that an organization undertakes to identify its target market, develop meaningful relationships with them, create value in return for future sales, and then capture that value by delivering services or products to them at a minimal cost. Marketing also involves the use of the media – mass communication networks such as radio, television and print – to communicate with customers, and establish a firm relationship with them.
Marketing therefore encompasses a range of activities that help to make goods and services obtainable to buyers at prices that are favourable to sellers and that help to maintain their patronage. In simple terms marketing is a concept that focuses on the processes and the objectives that go into bringing about the successful marketing of a product to the market. This includes the identification of a target group, the creation of a product or service, the marketing of that product or service, the marketing strategies used to promote it, and the delivery of those marketing strategies to potential customers. It also includes the measurement of the results of these strategies, and the evaluation of those results to determine whether or not marketing strategies are having an effect on the success or failure of a specific marketing program.
Marketing also involves various other activities such as customer satisfaction research, which seeks to understand and identify the needs of customers and determine ways in which products can meet those needs and thereby increase customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction research can be used to identify problems in the marketing programs of a company and design improved programs to overcome those problems. Another important aspect of marketing is brand building, which involves developing a consistent and identifiable image for a company. It is through this consistent image that customers are drawn to a product and this image must be communicated in a manner that is both compelling and acceptable to most customers. Finally, there is product positioning, which is a more abstract concept, but which is intimately connected with the above-discussed concepts, and which considers the effect that marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts will have on the success of a product or service.