This article presents basic concepts and practical information on market and marketing.
This article is quite lengthy. You may want to print it for easier reading.
The points in this article:
- The marketplace in everyday life
- Classic marketing concept
- New marketing concept
- The significance of purchasing convenience
- Needs, wants, and demands
- Thriving in the changing market
- Differentiation between marketing and selling
- Value preposition and sample products
- Where the marketing knowledge applies in affiliate marketing
The marketplace in everyday life
Most of us get our stuff from a market. It is a place where people make exchange, fulfilling their needs and wants, satisfying their expectations. A market is a place where sales and purchase happen. In short, a market is a place where demand is served.
Buyers get into the market with purchasing power to buy products. And how a product is brought to the market is through marketing.
Classic concept of marketing
An older concept of marketing defines it as getting the products to compete in the customer’s mind, with marketing programs prepared to win the competition. This premise suggests that the market lies in prospective buyer’s mind, not only physically as a conventional market place. This concept still applies today.
Another older concept of marketing a product that still holds is the 4 P (products, price, place, promotion) concept. Even a right product, with a good price and promotion requires the ‘place’, which in current term, means the convenience for the consumers to get it.
New marketing concept
Another concept of marketing sees marketing as managing profitable customer relationships. For this concept, marketing serves two functions:
- Attracting new customers by promising superior value.
- Keeping and growing current customers by delivering satisfaction.
The efforts to understand the consumers
Marketing cannot just be considered only about “telling and selling”, or even worse, “telling to sell”. Marketers must understand consumer needs, develop products which match expected customer value, at the right price, and promote the products efficiently.
The significance of purchasing convenience
People are getting very busy with life and work. With the traffic and other problems, convenience feature is highly significant in today’s market. The convenience to get stuff becomes a significant feature in shopping.
It is no longer enough to only “put things to see to make sales”. Marketers must present, demonstrate, and provide some experience for the consumers, getting them involved before they have enough confidence and to make purchases. These are the days where marketing (and sales) programs and efforts require careful, meticulous, and hard work.
Needs, Wants, and Demands
Needs are the states of felt deprivation. Needs are basic necessities of humans such as food, clothing, warmth, safety. Marketers should go great lengths to learn about and understand their customer’s needs, wants, and demands. And they must do so with the right tools, knowledge (including basic data), and correct perception of the targeted market.
Wants are the form human needs take as they are shaped by culture and individual personality. While people’s needs might be the same, their wants are more individual. Two people might need shoes, but it is almost certain that they would want different shoes.
When the wants are backed up by purchasing power, they become demands. When it has come to demands, it is not long before a customer takes a step to look for purchases.
A demand of significant size will become a market. A market needs a scale big enough for it to exist. A demand which is too low (or which drops in size) will not succeed as a market.
Thriving in the changing market
Market changes. The change can occur quickly or relatively slowly. Even a big market, through time, can change and diminish. An example for this is the market for camera film, which has reduced far less. Even the market for prints from camera is no longer as glorious, because many pictures from digital cameras are no longer printed.
Thus to be successful in business, a business player needs to have knowledge on market viability. It is very risky to force a product into the market which is no longer has viable size, or worst, does not exist at all.
Market share potential may also change. As more players getting into the field, the market will get more crowded. This can result in decreasing market share. A segmentation or focus on a specific market shall be done to overcome this.
Differentiation between marketing and selling
It might be useful to make a differentiation between marketing and selling. If marketing brings and plants products into customer’s mind (and if done well, makes the customers crazy about them), selling takes over from there and turns it into sales. Thereby selling is the program and process of making sales a reality using the marketing result as its starting point. If the marketing program succeeds, sales program can run almost without a glitch. But if the marketing part is not done right, selling will have a hard time to turn the demand into purchases.
Some people mix the description of marketing and selling, while the two may also be overlapping each other. Whichever concept we use, mastering knowledge on marketing and sales are very significant for a product to succeed in the market.
Some Other Points in Marketing
A value preposition is a set of benefits or values promised to satisfy consumer’s needs. These are benefits or values customers seek for which they expect a product to meet. A marketing program must clearly define this and have the consumers acknowledged the value to let them feel if it matches their expectation.
Free product samples
Giving free samples is actually a feature of service (as a contrast to physical product) in classic differentiation between service and physical product.
Samples give the consumers experience and feel of a product or service before actually making a purchase, which can really help to confirm their buying action. Manufacturers can do this by providing low cost or free samples (usually in smaller size or limited time), which are quite common now. Limited time sample is very common for software or online service.
Where this marketing knowledge applies in affiliate marketing
Some points of marketing which are applicable for affiliate marketing are:
- Always keep in mind that it is the website enjoyment experience which is marketed to the consumers.
- The selected ‘niche’ for the website must have significant market audience. It must be focused enough, but not too narrow to lose market size. It may not be too broad either which will make it difficult to target consumers (visitors). A right focus size will make it stick on customer’s mind.
- The site content must be unique and enticing. It is expected to be beneficial, highly useful for the visitors which will turn into a need. For example, the visitors could be given free useful tips or advice if they register in a mailing list.
- Marketing programs can be made to attract or retain existing visitors. For example, the visitors could be given free useful tips or advice if they register in a mailing list.
- Market evolves, and there is competition in it for market share. Efforts must be made continuously to keep affiliate marketing sites preferred by the customers (visitors).
From this point, we’ll continue to lesson 4, affiliate marketing basics, by clicking here.