What is Marketing?

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Rebecca Melrose

Marketing Week recently released the results of a study that show only a third of businesses understand what marketing is. Considering how important it is to a brand, that number is quite concerning. So what exactly is marketing?

The Dictionary Definition

When I look at that, I can’t disagree. However it doesn’t go into any detail about the types of marketing and how they differ. For example, at Elastic we provide several different types of marketing and they’re all very different from each other: Social media marketing, display marketing, search marketing, programmatic marketing, print marketing. There are literally tonnes of ways to market. And you will rarely, if ever, come across someone who is an expert in ‘marketing’. Usually a businesses first mistake is thinking that marketing is one particular thing.

The second mistake is thinking that marketing is easy.

Why is marketing so hard?

A lot more goes into a marketing campaign than people might think. The marketing environment has changed dramatically and is evolving all the time. Navigating through all of the possibilities provide considerations such as suitability matching, timing and frequency. When it comes to digital marketing in particular, the proliferation of social media platforms and the incredible amount of traffic they receive on a daily basis can at times be overwhelming and even confusing. The online space is where many potential clients and customers hang out and the opportunities are vast. And all must be coordinated to maximise effective visibility, awareness, interactions and ultimately transactions.

Getting the message out. Find out more about our digital marketing services.

Before a campaign even starts, marketers have put in weeks of research on exactly how an audience thinks, buys and digests information. And then, we’ve got to actually get people to buy the product or service we’re selling, preferably without the customer actually realising they’re being convinced to buy it. Designers need to think out what is going to be aesthetically pleasing for different audiences. The brand messaging needs to be carefully thought out and tweaked continuously to keep an audience engaged. Marketing pulls in different creative areas to produce something much bigger than just promoting a business. It’s a constant battle to get it right and requires a huge amount of patience. But the payoff when you get it right is fantastic, not just for the client but also for the marketer.

Marketing is also mistakenly thought of as a short-term thing. Just a single 1-week campaign will bring in a years worth of revenue! If only that were true. Marketing is like a snowball rolling down a hill. It starts of small and doesn’t look like it’s getting much bigger, until all of a sudden it’s the size of a boulder and gaining more and more momentum. It’s a long-term, necessary investment – not a cost. But that message doesn’t always get across to people who aren’t marketers. You need to have the patience required to try every technique you can think of to get that ball rolling.

What to do about it?

If you have big plans for 2018 and want to develop and improve your business, an effective marketing plan could deliver the results you’re after. Marketing is an incredibly complicated thing to get right and it can have a huge effect on your brand. It’s something you need to invest in, both mentally and financially to reap the rewards. Elastic have years of experience in pulling together all our creative ideas to produce great marketing plans, so if you’re looking to expand your brand through marketing, get in touch.

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