Introduction to Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy provides an overview of the many marketing elements that must come together to make a successful business. It determines how to go about selecting products, customers, competitors, appropriate distribution channels, pricing, and promotion plans.

What Is Marketing?

What is marketing? Initially, people think marketing is advertising or selling. Yes, advertising and selling are part of marketing, but marketing includes much more. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as the “activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Important Components of Marketing

The AMA definition suggests two important components of marketing:

  1. Marketing is the exchange that takes place between sellers and buyers.

  2. Marketing creates, communicates, and delivers value to facilitate exchanges.

We add a third component to the definition, often referred to as the marketing concept:

  1. By delivering value, marketing satisfies customer needs and wants at a profit.

What Is a Market?

For economists, markets are structures that allow buyers and sellers to engage in exchange. Generally, sellers offer goods and services to buyers in exchange for money. Marketers focus on the people of the exchange—the buyers and sellers—rather than the structure. So, for marketers, markets represent the aggregate of individuals and organizations that have (1) needs and wants and (2) the ability, willingness, and authority to purchase products and services that satisfy their needs and wants. All markets, ultimately, are people. The two general classifications of markets are business and consumer.

The business market includes individuals within organizations and companies purchasing products and services for use or consumption within the organization or for resale. For example, BMW purchased tires from Michelin. The tires are used in the assembly of the BMW 3 Series automobiles. This market is also called the business-to-business market, or B2B market.

The consumer market includes individuals engaging in exchanges of products and services for personal consumption or use. When someone purchases a candy bar from the local convenience store for personal consumption, they are engaging in the business-to-consumer market, also known as the B2C market.