What Place Does Marketing Hold In The Strategic Plan Of An Organization?
Ask many people what they think marketing is and they will group it in the same category of sales. When applying for a job, many times one will see the category of “marketing/sales” only to find out that the job is purely sales or a graphic designer position. The truth is that marketing is the collective process of things like sales, public relations, conversion analysis, traffic, advertising, community involvement, pricing, media planning, marketing research, distribution and so on. Marketing is the overall process of the inception of an idea all the way to putting the product in the hands of the consumer or business.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration:
“Marketing is your most important organizing tool. There are four basic aspects of marketing, often called the four Ps:
Product: The item or service you sell.
Price: The amount you charge for your product or service.
Promote: The ways you inform your market as to who, what, and where you are.
Provide: The channels you use to take the product to the customer.
As you can see, marketing encompasses much more than just advertising or selling. For example, a major part of marketing involves researching your customers: What do they want? What can they afford? What do they think? Your understanding and application of the answers to such questions play a major role in the success or failure of your business.” - SBA, 2014
So, what role does marketing hold in the strategic plan of an organization? Answer: AN ESSENTIAL ONE. When, for example, a candle shop opens and wants to sell candles to consumers, where do they start? First you need to find a location that will be convenient for potential customers to find you without going way out of their way; after all, they could just go to Wal-Mart, so why go to your candle store or order from your website? Next, what advantages does your store or website have that will make people choose you over competitors? Maybe a knowledgeable staff on the products, special items that are not easily available at other places, cheaper prices, and so on. There also has to be a way to get the word out, otherwise no one will know about your store, that’s where advertising gets into the mix. Although, if you spend $100 on advertising but only sell $60 worth of products then was it worth it? That’s where media planning, pricing, and distribution/logistics come into play. The customer comes into the store, buys a product, then what? Did the customer have a unique experience? Will he or she come back? That’s where community involvement and public relations come into play.
To be successful, there has to be a way to let the customers know about you, sell the products, fix problems and still be profitable. This process is marketing and it is crucial to any organization.
U.S. Small Business Administration. (Retrieved 2014). What does marketing involve? U.S. Small Business Administration. Retrieved from http://www.sba.gov/content/what-does-marketing-involve