Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why is marketing important?

“Isn’t marketing basically selling stuff?”
“Marketing is easy, it’s all about persuading.”
“Why would you bother studying marketing? It’s common sense.”

Have you ever heard these questions and statements thrown around? These are common misconceptions among those who do not understand what goes into marketing and the underlying factors that impact the process. Marketing is essential to any business. It is therefore a competency that everyone in any industry needs. Here are just some of the reasons you can’t take marketing for granted:

Understanding the Target Audience
It’s like taking candy from a baby! This phrase suggests that all babies have candies on them because they absolutely love candies. This is simply misleading as not all babies like candy and not all candies are appropriate for babies! What we’re trying to get at here is you have to understand your target audience and offer them the right product at the right time. Arguably the most important step in marketing is research. So let’s use the candy for the remainder of this post as the product we’re trying to sell—liquor chocolate candy bar. This target market is for a very specific target audience where they have to (1) like chocolate candy bars, (2) like liquor and (3) like liquor in a chocolate candy bar.

Increases Brand Awareness
So your choices for a little treat of chocolate candy bar comes down to two options: A box of a random branded Irish Cream chocolate candy bar or a box of Baileys Irish Cream Truffles. We’re guessing nine times out of ten that you would opt for the latter simply because of your recognition and awareness of the brand. That’s where marketing comes in: Before and during the launch, promotion and advertising is needed to spread the word about the otherwise unheard-of brand of liquor chocolate candy bar. The brand needs hype and heat to gain any traction in the market.

Identifying the Marketplace
So you think you have such a unique product that will make you look so badass in your company and the particular candy bar is one week away from a nationwide launch. Your mum suddenly sends you a message with a snapshot of the exact same product that you were about to unveil in a local deli. You launch the product anyway; it’s a major disaster and you were made redundant. You could minimise this risk by conducting market research. Market research give you an idea of what product you ought to bring into the market. With market research, determining the gap in the market is easy. It will then be up to you to fill that gap.

Boosts Sales
At the end of the day, sales is an important metric of whether or not the product launch was successful. Conducting the right research, determining the target audience and advertising on relevant marketing channels usually results in increased sales.

The person that said that marketing is basically selling stuff has a point but there is so much more that goes into selling products or services. The instances mentioned above barely scratch the surface of what marketing truly is. But hopefully, they give a glimpse into why marketing is a skill all professionals across all industries should have.

Stanley Ritz Kurniawan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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