Marketing is by far and large the single most important function of any organization. In fact, as of today, marketing is taken as the main function of an organization, while the other departments and other divisions such as HR, finance, compliance and internal auditing (in case of financial institutions).
Without a fully functional marketing and sales department, the products and/or services that the organization deals in, would not be able to end up where they belong, i.e. in the hands of the end consumers and if that does not happen then the organization wold not be able to generate the revenues required for survival in an increasingly competitive world.
Marketing: A historical perspective
It was early on, in the last century that the concept of marketing actually took off and business leaders started taking it seriously. The concept evolved though a series of different models:
This was the earliest stage of marketing’s development as a specific field in its own right. The proponents of this concept (back in the teens of the last century) believed that if sufficient quantities of a product are produced and mass marketed they will sell due to the sheerweight of numbers alone.
The biggest example of this concept is the iconic Ford Model T. This otherwise excellent vehicle of the early 20s was sold in huge numbers because Henry Ford firmly believed that if the product is good enough, it will market itself. However, consumer considerations were not given much thought and Mr. Ford is reputed to have said “the customers can have any colour model T as long as it is black”.
Consumer oriented marketing
This is where marketing as a function truly came into its own. Marketers listened to their end consumer base and designed products as per the demands of the target market. As a direct result of such campaigns, Ford’s competitors were able to muscle their way into the market by offering customers different bright coloured models with value added features that the model T lacked.
They used the increasing power of the mass media to get their message across, initially through print adverts and later through radio and TV advertisements. The proponents of consumer oriented marketing conducted both qualitative and quantitative research surveys in a bid to understand the psyche of the consumer mind, by practically inventing the field of ‘psychographics’ that deals with the understanding of consumer behavior.
Social media marketing
This is by far and large, the latest generation of marketing efforts. Social media can effectively make or break a company’s revenue generating abilities. This is because it effectively consists of peer interactions with friends and family as well as impartial individuals. They are the main guides of a person’s purchase decision regarding any big or small purchases. Since the peer reviews are considered completely impartial, they are generally believed a whole lot better than the expensive multimedia marketing and advertising campaigns being run by the company interested in selling its goods and services.
Whichever way we look, marketing has taken the center stage in all forms of business and product promotion activities, and its reach is only going to increase in the coming decades.
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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