What is marketing in a business?

What is marketing in business?

"This article explains What is marketing in a business? It also talks about the fundamental concepts of marketing and how they shape and facilitate business growth."


What is marketing in a business? – Premise!

The question “what is marketing in a business” might sound like one with an obvious answer. Still, many business owners or marketing executives would find it difficult to pin a satisfactory answer to it. If you can relate to this assertion, this article will help you discover the purpose of marketing and six critical marketing concepts applicable to all business setups.

What is the best definition of marketing?

Marketing in a business is defined as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, or services to create exchanges between businesses and customers. Marketing is also defined as “the process of communication and exchange between organizations and their customers.”

Marketing is a specific and specialized function that separates a business entity from other kinds of organizations. It can also be defined as a set of dynamic activities that help businesses survive and thrive. To draw a practical analogy,  marketing is a kind of springboard supporting all business operations at multiple levels.

To infer from the quotes of Peter Druker, Marketing is so essential, intrinsic, and stamped all over a business that it becomes the whole business when seen from the perspective of customers. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that marketing is the jugular vein of any business, essential for its existence.

Differentiate concepts of marketing from the marketing orientations

Before I sketch essential concepts in marketing, it is critical to pinpoint that many commonly misquote marketing orientations as market concepts. So I found it vital to highlight this to my readers to avoid getting confused. Let me quickly list five marketing orientations that a business can have depending on its goals and management.

Production orientation:

It was prevalent in the early industrialization around 1900 AD, where the core objective was to streamline the production line and make it efficient.

Product orientation:

It’s an approach where organizations shape their product to the best of their ability and then hope it will sell on the strength of its quality.

Sales orientation:

The whole focus is streamlining and maximizing sales without much concern for product quality or customer desires

Societal orientation

In this orientation, businesses act socially and environmentally responsible, even if it compromises their profit margin. It’s a very noble approach but understandably and sadly not very popular in today’s materialistic world.

Market orientation

It’s the most contemporary and perhaps the most practical approach to marketing for any business. It is customer-centric and stresses designing the whole company and marketing strategy according to what the consumer expects from a business. It is also the most likely orientation for any business that intends to last long in the market.

Does a business need marketing?

Most definitely yes, Marketing is a fulcrum on which every business function hinges. Contrary to popular perception, marketing is not limited to sales, promotion, or advertising. It includes everything from customer segmentation to product development and much more in between.

What will happen to a business without any marketing strategy?

Businesses and marketing are so interwoven that it is difficult to segregate and think of them in isolation. Marketing strategy comes into play from the ideation stage of the business itself. Therefore a business is inconceivable without a well-thought-out marketing strategy.

Can sales succeed without marketing?

First, it is essential to understand that sales are one of the crucial outcomes of marketing. Therefore, if a business only focuses on sales, it lacks a comprehensive and cohesive marketing strategy. In this scenario, chances of sustained sales are also limited.

Why do customers matter in marketing?

Modern marketing is customer-centric. No business or marketing strategy can last a distance if it does not sync with its customers’ wants. And customers are both internal (suppliers, distributors, retailers, etc.) and external (end consumers).

6 Critical concepts of marketing are explained:

With this introduction in mind, let us go through the fundamental marketing concepts in a structured manner.

1) What is Marketing Mix?

what is marketing in a business


Marketing is a broad term, which means different things to different people.

In practice, it is the art of identifying, fulfilling, or even creating demand for a product or service amongst a specific segment or multiple population segments. Most generally speaking, marketing in a business involves the inter-woven web of the 4 P’s: product, price, place, and promotion.  This matrix of 4p’s is known as marketing mix in business jargon. Let’s quickly define 4p’s:


  It is a tangible physical product or intangible service fulfilling a specific demand by the consumers.


It involves pricing strategy and policies based on various factors, including the cost of production, distribution, promotional expenditures, competitors, and other macro and micro business environment factors.


It refers to specific and targeted market segments and chosen channels and medium of distribution of a product or a service. For example, Linkedin is likely to be a better platform than Facebook for business-to-business companies.


It refers to pitching strategy and promotional mix consisting of advertising, personal selling, etc., depending on the nature of targeted marketing segments.

The marketing mix helps organizations navigate business challenges and gainfully exploit opportunities posed by the socio-economic environment. Often a detailed SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis helps businesses make an appropriate marketing mix for a product in a market.

While performing a SWOT analysis, businesses must remember that strengths and weaknesses are internal factors affecting a business, whereas opportunities in the market and potential threats are external factors. Threats can be in the form of cut-throat competition in a market or significant socio-political and economic risks present in the business environment.

2) Business Goals and Objectives and their correlation with marketing:

It is a must for any business to identify its goals and objectives. The goals of a company are essentially its purpose of existence. They are often enshrined in the mission statement of a business organization, whereas objectives are smaller targets that drive an organization towards its business goals. Marketing serves as the means to fulfill business goals and objectives.

The primary purpose of marketing in a business is to attain its business goals. It is often but not always limited to profitably selling products or services. At times creating a brand identity or product, awareness becomes the primary goal of a business. Whatever the purpose, marketing is the tool to create, communicate, deliver, and exchange offerings that customers value.

The marketing flows from business goals to business objectives in a synchronized manner and is called as marketing map of a business. A business’s marketing goals and objectives are what it wants to achieve with its marketing plan. For this to happen, it’s essential to consider the objectives of potential consumers of a product in question.

3) What is Market Segmentation?

A marketing strategy hinges on targeting the right market segments of customers from a more extensive population base. Irrespective of business niche, size, and scale, most companies have limited resources, and it is imperative to utilize every dollar for maximum return on investment optimally.

Therefore marketing often begins with identifying the right set of customers, and the process of doing so is known as market segmentation or customer segmentation. Segmentation is a prerequisite of figuring the marketing mix for a product or service on offer. Targeting a wrong, vaguely defined, or undefined audience can drastically enhance the cost of marketing and reduce profits hence making business untenable.

There are five criteria for segmenting the market as explained below:

Demographic Segmentation:

It filters like age group, income, and social class of people who are likely to be prospective customers. For example, a company selling high-end hearing aid would like to target senior citizens in upper-income groups.

Product-based Segmentation:

It keeps in mind the specific needs of customers that a specialized product can satisfy. For example, baseball bat makers need to segment people from the more extensive set of people playing baseball at some level.

Geographic Segmentation:

It is the art of segregating people based on their physical or geographic location. For example, People living in coastal areas may constitute a more suitable segment for a product like sunscreens than others.

Psychographic Segmentation:

This segmentation method segregates people based on their lifestyle and personality traits. For example, a travel insurance company may be interested in targeting independent, outgoing frequent travelers as their potential customers.

Behavioral Segmentation:

 It is the art of segmenting customers based on their attitude, interest, loyalty, etc. while dealing with a brand or its products. Data analytics play an essential role in this Segmentation style as past behavior data is often analyzed to predict future actions of customers. For example,  people who repeat purchases from a brand’s website are usually segmented as loyal customers.

4) Understanding Consumer Behavior in Marketing: Know your customers

Consumers are at the core around which all businesses thrive. After all, they are the ones being served by the companies. Thus closely observing consumer behavior assumes significance automatically for any business.

It is important to understand the study of consumer behavior is not limited to behavioral Segmentation. Instead, it’s a much larger and complex concept that encapsulates the details of consumer interactions with the product or a company and the broader environment and the subsequent actions taken by them at different stages of the buying cycle.

Before considering what consumers want from a business, businesses must understand that consumers are not limited to end-users. The suppliers, the distributors, the wholesalers, the retailers, etc. are all internal consumers of a business.

The marketing strategy for a company must consider the objectives and goals of both internal and external stakeholders. This strategy will help business organizations decide how much emphasis they want to place on specific aspects of a marketing campaign, how much information they need to provide, and what types of promotions are most likely to attract customers.

5) Concept of Unique Value proposition in business marketing:

Businesses have multiple unique selling points or advantage areas that combine to form the Unique value proposition.  The sum-total of Unique selling points (USP) that a brand offers is perceived as the unique proposition value by the potential customers.

UPV is the total of qualitative and quantitative elements that a product offers compared to what the competition offers at a specific price point. Marketing plays a significant role in creating and, more importantly, conveying the targeted segments this unique proposition value a business offers.

Let me give an example of Unique Proposition Value to illustrate the point. Let’s assume. For the sake of understanding, a brand “x” makes military knives with three unique selling points. Let’s take the lowest price, patented alloy to make the blades, and hand-assembled knives are three unique selling points of the product. Any inspiring competition can target and beat any of the three Unique selling points of this brand. Still, it will be tough to beat its Unique Proposition value, which is a product of all unique selling points of brand “X” in the eyes of consumers.

Customers subconsciously evaluate the value at a given cost and the satisfaction a product provides by fulfilling their associated needs. Business marketing strategy can not remain oblivious to Unique Proposition Value that others in the fray are offering, and it needs to up its game to give more value to consumers for a given cost to ensure success in the market

Now let us assume, A competitor somehow manages to beat the defender in all three unique selling points by offering better and more unique proposition value. Brands must convey that message to the prospects in the market.  Without an effective marketing strategy, the message would get lost, and the impact would remain muted in sales numbers. Thus, in today’s competitive market, the degree of success depends on providing value and effectively conveying the value to consumers.

6) Concept of a marketing audit:

Marketing affects and plays a role in every stage of a business. Whether it is a startup or an established enterprise, entrepreneurs can not ignore marketing. A simple marketing audit can tell and guide a company whether it is in line with achieving its business goals. It can help figure out where a company is at present and how well it is doing in comparison to the competition. And if and where it is drifting from the set trajectory. It can help a business figure out whether reassessing and resetting business goals is warranted or not.

Marketing is especially critical for a Startup as it helps to validate its business idea, whether it is worth investing effort and resources in scaling it to a full-fledged business. Once a Startup company decides to take the full plunge, the first goal is always to announce its arrival. Again it’s the game of marketing that comes to the foray. Since a new company is just starting, its potential customers don’t know it exists as yet, and companies need to tell loud and clear what this new kid on the block brings to the table to warrant its customers’ attention and, ultimately, money.

Some key questions that businesses should answer themselves:

A company must employ critical marketing concepts while devising its marketing strategy. Based on collected data points, below are a few specific questions that every business needs to answer before betting their bets on a product or investing dollars and other resources in a market.

  1. Whether a market has a demand-supply gap or is it oversaturated?
  2. Who is our target audience?
  3. How best should we segment our target audience?
  4. Do we need to target a single large segment or multiple smaller segments?
  5. What competition is offering and at what price point to our target segments?
  6. What promotional strategies the top competitors are employing.
  7. What qualities are expected by our target segments in our product?
  8. Do we need product improvement before the promotional campaign?
  9. What are the budgetary resources and constraints for marketing our product?
  10. What do we want to achieve from our marketing campaign?
  11. What kind of marketing mix is likely to be most effective for our business goals?
  12. How will we measure our campaign’s effectiveness

What is marketing in a business? – Conclusion!

Coming to the original broader question, what is marketing in a business? We can safely conclude that marketing is interwoven into the fabric of business, and it is essentially a process of segregating people into appropriate groups, creating and conveying a unique value proposition in the form of a product or service to the targeted customers. It is achieved by judicially implementing 4P’s of the marketing mix, in sync with the business goals and consumer behavior data points.

Furthermore, marketing can also help a business track its progress by employing marketing audit exercise to monitor the progress of a business and whether it is in optimum condition or require revamping in certain areas or rebooting the entire marketing strategy from scratch. In a nutshell, there is no business without marketing, and it is impossible to segregate them from each other.

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