What is marketing?
Marketing is what gets you noticed.
Marketing is a process that considers and manages how organisations create customer value: how they identify, anticipate and satisfy customer wants and needs profitably through desirable propositions for goods, services and experiences.
The common impression is that marketing is simply advertising. However, marketing encompasses everything that touches a customer. Some of these points generate revenue but most of them build attitudes and perceptions that form opinions that have lasting impact. The relationship between a company and its target audience is far more complex than one may think. One of the key components for strong sustainable branding is identifying and emphasizing the "marketing touch points" that impact overall marketing efforts and operations.
Well-planned touch point strategies (TPS) must be in complete alignment with the overall core business strategy. TPS can help define a company's values and culture, but it can also force perspective on every aspect of the marketing communication program; including public relations, advertising, promotions, and sales.
The role of the marketing function in a large organisation is to understand what consumers want or needs – a solution to a problem or a response to a market opportunity. The idea is to create value propositions that are aligned with the organisation’s corporate and business strategies, its desired consumer target market, the environmental conditions and it’s positioning in relation to competing offers.
Marketing experts engage with consumers in many ways in order to develop a business strategy and business plan for how the marketing strategy and marketing plan will help support overall organisational goals and individual business unit objectives.
It is important to set up a comprehensive marketing strategy that is carefully designed to attract attention in the marketplace, and achieve marketing objectives.
According to Silbiger (1999) the process of developing marketing strategy falls into seven stages:
Consumer analysis: Segmenting target markets and consumers depending on their needs, desires and behaviours.
Market analysis: review of the market size, market trends and the competitive environment Competitive analysis: review of the competition, point of differentiation, core competencies and SWOT.
Distribution: review of the channels and networks through which to access target markets.
Development of a marketing mix: an action plan based on the 4P’s.
1. Product (how is my product/service similar or different to the competition?).
2. Place (where will it be sold? how will it be distributed?).
3. Promotion (how will it be promoted? how will it raise awareness, remind and target customers of the product?).
4. Price (what should it cost? this is influences by profit margins, demand, competition).
Economics: pricing, costing, breakeven and profits generated
The idea of Content Marketing is not new. Creating and sharing relevant information to engage customers have been going on for a long time. Content Marketing products frequently take the form of custom magazines, newsletters, digital content, websites or micro-sites, white papers, and much more. The purpose is to inform the target audience and prospects about key industry issues, sometimes involving your products. The motivation behind Content Marketing is the belief that educating the customer results in the brand's recognition as an authority and industry expert.
What is branding?
Brand is a powerful corporate tool. It provides both clarity and vision and the brand identifier is a symbol of this clarity and vision. However, the meaning of a brand is not contained in an organisation’s logo or even its products or services, but in the power of the brand image formed in the mind of the consumers. Consumers buy into the brands and brand values/beliefs that are most in tune with how they see their own self image and that the lifestyle and peer group with whom they are affiliated, how ethical they find the brand towards the environment and social causes with the go green tends and well as emotional attachments.
Brands represent not only the identity of the organisation but also that of its customers and the language of design can bring this identity to life. Brands manifest themselves in the products, services, sites and experiences of an organisation. In brand-led organisation design can add value from top down through brand communication, identity management and making the brand both visible and tangible. eg of brand-led organisations are Coco cola, Virgin and Easyjet. Design can help build the reputation of a brand through customer touch points like product design, retail ships, offices, websites etc.
Professionally crafted branding and design can create a powerful edge over your competitors when exporting. It may take time, research and money to get your brand right, but it's a crucial investment.
• Choosing the best brand strategy can be complicated. Market research can help you determine the most appropriate branding approach. Be aware that managing different brands can be expensive.
• When defining brand values, think about your overseas customers – what do they want? Match your brand values to customer requirements, aspirations and values.
• Make sure you are able to deliver what your brand promises.
Source: As mentioned in the image.
Brand Audits :
Brand audit is vital to establish a company’s brand performance by assessing market dynamics and perception that reveals preset attitudes and opinions held by your target audience. It also informs where the target market is trending in terms of interests and their purchases. It also helps to understand customer attitudes toward the brand, how they describe the brand to others, what they think about the company’s service/product, and their sense of loyalty to the brand.
Brand Strategy :
Brand strategy is a plan that builds on a vision of a company. A brand strategy emerges from a company's values and culture, and reflects an in-depth understanding of the customer's needs and perception. A brand strategy guides marketing, provides clarity, context and inspiration. Brand strategy defines positioning, differentiation, the competitive advantage and a unique value proposition.
Brand Positioning :
This is one of the oldest concepts in marketing. It positions a brand in a distinctive place in the minds of its target audience, and guides its marketing strategy and decisions accordingly.
Brand Promise :
It's important to invest in defining, and building a company’s brand. It's a foundational piece in a company’s marketing communication. A brand promise is the statement that a company makes to its customer. It is often associated with the company name and/or logo. Sometimes also called a "tag line."
Every brand makes a promise. But in today's marketplace, it's not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose. The importance of building a brand on a purpose isn't just to help consumers understand what the brand stands for, but also to help employees understand why "we are here."
Visual Identity :
Visual identity is the overall impression of an organization, which is projected internally and externally through fonts, colours, letterhead, brochures, business cards, newsletters, advertising, sign, vehicle wraps, buildings, reception areas etc. A logotype often forms an important part of a visual identity, but it is only a part.
The appearance and exposure of the corporate brand must be constant. In even the most entrepreneurial corporate culture where "all permissions are granted unless expressly denied," identity must be the great exception, in which all permissions are denied unless expressly granted. Otherwise, chaos will rule.
Brand messaging :
Branding is more than just a logo or trademark. It represents the core values of your business, your reputation and how customers perceive and respond to your business.
Identify what you are good at and ensure this is reflected in your branding. What are your ‘brand values’? Is your marketing aligned with these values?
Brand values might be:
• High quality
• Cutting edge technology
• Value for money
Make sure your values are reflected in your branding. Communicate the brand values to your employees through direct means and by the way you run your business. This way they will understand and 'feel' your branding strategy. This is particularly important for customer facing employees who will need to ensure that they ‘live’ your brand values.
Brand messages need to be consistent across all mediums, this includes:
• Employee selection and retention
• Service style
• Marketing strategies
• The style of messages on your telephone system
• Online presence
Take the time to get it right and stand out from the crowd.
International considerations for branding: Language and culture represent unique challenges for the creation and marketing of brands. Carefully research a brand name before launching it into the market. Check that the colours and imagery you use don’t have any significance in the local culture. There has been more than one instance where a brand name has an unintended meaning in a foreign country – much to the embarrassment of the owners of the brand.
Source: As mentioned on the image.
The text on Marketing contains extracts from:
Best, K. (2010). The Fundamentals of Design Management, AVA Publishing, SA.
 Best, K. (2010). The Fundamentals of Design Management, AVA Publishing, SA. pp150-155
 © Copyright 1997 - 2012 WollnerStudios, Inc. Office: 1 (866) 546-0695