Marketing Overview

Marketing Overview

Every product you buy, every service you use, and every non-profit organization you donate to have one thing in common: marketing. Every company, large or small, uses marketing to sell its products or services. You probably think marketing is mainly the flashy ad campaigns you see on television and in magazines. But that is only one facet of it. Marketing is actually involved in researching, designing, distributing, pricing, and promoting products and services.

Earning an education in marketing can open many doors. The American Marketing Association 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." Simply put, marketing is involved in nearly all aspects of business.

Many believe that marketing jobs are primarily sales jobs or ad agency jobs. But that is just a myth. Marketing jobs can be found in many key company departments. This is why many students choose to pursue a degree in marketing.

Before a new product comes on the market, a company needs to understand its target customer. One of the most fascinating aspects of marketing is understanding consumer behavior. Understanding what motivates a customer to buy means understanding what kinds of needs drive their behavior, are whether social influences or cultural influences impacting affect their buying decisions, are whether they are influenced by opinion leaders or family members, who makes purchasing decisions in a household. Proper research helps determine potential customers' buying behavior, which can lead to huge product successes. Marketing research is a popular and satisfying career a marketing graduate can pursue.

Product strategy is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Through market research, a company should now understand what their target consumer is looking for. The next question is how to design a product that meets their needs. Should it be a new product line or part of an existing product line? Will older products need to be phased out? What kind of packaging is needed? A person with a degree in marketing can land a job as a marketing analyst, analyzing data and making suggestions.

Pricing strategies can make or break a product. If the product is priced too high, the target market may not be able to afford it. If the product is priced too low, the product's value may be poorly perceived. What type of pricing strategy will be used? Psychological pricing, promotional pricing, and product line pricing all need to be determined. A marketing major can lead to a lucrative career as a brand manager. Brand managers are found in many companies like Kraft Foods, General Mills, and Nestle which have brand managers for their top divisions. They may be responsible for pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies.

Promotional campaigns will need to be launched to promote the product. When people think of marketing, this is usually what comes to mind as popular promotion methods:

- Print and Television ads
- Samples
- Premiums
- Contests
- Sponsorships

Decide on an advertising plan and continuously evaluate the results. To land a coveted ad agency position, you will need to pursue a degree in marketing.

Sales representatives are the epitome of marketing. To customers, they are the face of a company. To companies, they are essential in spreading promotional sales messages, ensuring products are merchandised properly, and keeping an eye on the competition.

An online marketing degree is one of the most versatile college degrees to earn. Job opportunities are plentiful, with great opportunities for income growth. You can choose to work in research, new product development, analytics, communications, sales, or management.