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Marketing, as a concept, is not the result of a sudden flash of inspiration. It has matured over some 50+ years and since its introduction has undergone further refinement to meet the conditions of different markets & mediums.
What is Marketing
There are many definitions of the word marketing. One of the most straightforward says that marketing is getting the right goods (or services) in the right quantity to the right place at the right time and making a profit out of the operation.
Marketing is a comprehensive function not merely a question of selling the product. Following from that definition it can be seen that the functions undertaken by the marketing process are extensive.
Among the most important functions of marketing are the assessment of the market to discover where the consumers of the product are to be found, how many there are of them, whether their number - which constitutes the market - shows a tendency to grow or to diminish.
It is also a function of marketing to probe into the attitude of potential consumers and what motivates them to purchase. What do consumers need? What is their attitude to current products and the prices they have to pay? Do they have marked preferences between one product and another and, if so, what are they? Marketing must identify potential consumers and provide essential information on the motivational factors that contribute to the consumer's decision to purchase.
Marketing is also concerned with the promotion and presentation of a product or service, both through advertising and merchandising. Do consumers respond to special offers, provision of samples, demonstrations, free trials or other forms of promotion?
Research can provide the answers that can be very important in helping the marketer place their product in the appropriate position in the consumer's perception.
Methods of market research
There are three main methods used in Consumer Research. These are:
- desk research
- field research;
- motivation research
Each method has a part to play in providing the marketer with a picture of the individual who will consume their product or use his service.
The starting point for any form of market research can be done—as the name implies—seated at one’s desk. There are masses of statistics prepared by government, trade associations and market research consultants readily available to the would-be researcher and which he can consult without stepping outside his own office.
Desk research can provide the marketer with a great deal of general information with regard to general economic trends and data regarding the intended product and its market segment but it is unlikely to provide complete guidance on the consumer’s reactions to his own specific range of products or to those of his immediate competitors.
There are many methods of collecting field data many of them, however, are difficult to undertake in an online marketing environment except perhaps the questionnaire which can be utilised to collect visitor information although it is often necessary to offer an incentive to motivate site visitors.
Motivational research covers a wide range of activities and integrates much of the data collected and compiled by other methods.
Such information, reduced to statistical form, provides the marketer with important information and likely trends and attitudes to their own product and the products of his competitors within their market segment.
In spite of this abundance of information, however, one essential question is still left in the air. This question is: why does the consumer behave in the way he does?
Methods and systems exist involving the scientific analysis of consumer behaviour which enables the marketer to identify the factors which contribute to the success or otherwise of an online advertising, marketing or sales campaign. Internet Marketing and Scientific Analysis provides the environment in which visitor response can be measured in the online sales process.
The principles of online marketing are no different from traditional 'bricks & mortar' techniques outlined above.
Yet when it comes to marketing online many of the basic marketing principles seem to get overlooked and ignored.
Every business, including those online, is selling different products to a variety of different people in different niche markets. Those different markets are not going to respond in the same way to the same marketing approach or techniques.
How do you know for a fact that your web site and what you're doing on it is what's required to make your online business a success and its most profitable?
Unless of course you scientifically test your marketing strategies and product placement and work to continually improve your visitor/response conversion ratio.
WebMedia can help ...
Using tried and tested techniques, applicable to both traditional and internet marketing, WebMedia can help identify, monitor and suggest the 'ways & means', modifications and improvements to ensure each and every offer made on your web site is optimised to achieve the outcome you desire — increased traffic, return visitors and repeat purchases!