What is Marketing Management? A Complete Guide for Marketing in 2022

what is marketing management

Table of Contents

Introduction

Have you asked ever the question “What is Marketing Management?” Have you wondered how companies come up with ideas to market a product? Have you wondered what it is like inside the world of Advertising?

Or how Coca Cola became one of the Biggest Brands in the world? How Maggi became a household name? How One Plus took over Indian Market?

Well, a few ‘Mad Men’ were behind it. They figured out the secrets of marketing by exploring the terms – Market Research, Marketing Strategies and Brands.

This blog will help you understand these terms and reveal the secrets of Marketing that those ‘Mad Men’ found out!

‘Mad Men’ is a reference to an award-winning show that showed the inner workings of an Advertising Agency

Key Takeaways

  • Marketing Management and Corporate Structure
  • Significant Marketing Campaigns
  • Marketing Concepts and Principles 
  • Brand Identity, Brand Positioning and Brand Value 

What is Marketing Management?

Are you imagining a bunch of people seated around a table, discussing marketing campaigns for their products and deciding which celebrity to hire as an ambassador? 

Well, you aren’t wrong… but you aren’t right either. It is, as they say, just the tip of the iceberg. 

That picture that you’ve painted is just a very small part of Marketing Management. Marketing Management is an umbrella term for the corporate structure and the decision-making processes that surround Marketing. 

It doesn’t just involve Campaigns, Sales Drives and Brand Ambassadors. 

It involves understanding how the company works as a whole and optimising all the working of the company to be customer-oriented; right from, manufacturing and designing the product/service, to advertising and selling it to the customers.

Philip Kotler - The Father of Marketing
Flickr
A good company offers excellent products and services. A great company also offers excellent products and services but also strives to make the world a better place.” – Philip Kotler, The Father of Marketing. 

Thus the company should work as a system that assists or achieves these common Customer-Oriented objectives:

  • Attracting new customers 
  • Optimising your product/service according to customer demand.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction (ensuring an enjoyable buying experience)
  • Providing after-purchase services to assist customers
  • Maintaining good profit margins
  • Ensuring a good image
  • Help the community around the company

Simply put, Marketing Management is how companies maximise profits while maintaining a good reputation. Therefore, having Market Awareness and understanding Public Perception is key in Marketing Management.

So how do companies make all their processes customer-oriented? How do companies gain Market Awareness and understand Public Perception?

Simple! They conduct Market research and make Marketing Strategies based on them.

Let us first answer ‘What is Market Research and why is it important?’

What is Market Research and Why is it important?

Market Research is the process through which companies get a better understanding of their products and services. It allows companies to do two important things –

  1. Keep an eye on their competitors
  2. Understand the demands of the customer

Analysing competitors allows companies to see the opportunities that await them and also the risks that they face. Marketers make a profile of all their close competitors to understand their competitive advantages and disadvantages compared to all of them.

SWOT analysis is the most basic thing that allows marketers to do so. It lets them understand the –

  1. Strengths of their company
  2. Weaknesses of their company
  3. Opportunities in the market 
  4. Threats that the company faces (from competitors)

By analysing these four basic things, a Marketing Manager can choose to work on those aspects where they have competitive disadvantages. 

There must be a clear reason and motive behind conducting A SWOT analysis. While conducting the analysis a Marketer cannot be like-

Another type of analysis that allows marketers to understand a market is PESTLE analysis. 

This marketing research method analyses these six spheres of a market:  Politics, Economics, Society, Technology, Law & Environment 

To find out more about this form of analysis read: What is PESTLE analysis?

If a company is looking to enter a new industry; Porter’s five-force analysis allows the company to see whether an industry is an attractive one to enter.  It also shows Marketer’s the risks of other companies entering the market. An attractive industry is one where there isn’t too much competition and sustainable profit margins can be achieved in the present and in the future.

Interesting term: Oligopoly 

Oligopoly refers to an Industry that is very hard to enter due to high capital requirements. This leads to very little competition in the industry. Example: Automobile Industry 

However, if a company only does Competitor Research then the Marketing Manager will probably scream…

Target Sector

The target sector/target audience refers to the part of the population that is most likely to buy a product/service and hence they become the “key target” for your marketing campaigns.

Specific Target sectors for your product/service can be found through various types of Market research. They can be primary research, secondary research, qualitative research or quantitative research. 

These researches are carried out to understand customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and customer segmentation. To understand these terms better check out: The 8 Types of Market Research

These researches directly affect the Marketing Strategies of a company.

What is Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is a way in which a company plans to achieve its targets and goals. 

Marketing Strategies are created for the Long Term and they encompass the mission & vision of the company as well as short term goals for the company.

Marketing strategy is based on thorough Market research revolving around the 4 Ps of marketing. They are Product, Price, Place, & Promotion. Through Market research, the target sector can be found.

A company can then assess which Ps affect their target sector the most. After this, a company will know which Ps will affect the Most important P of them all – PURCHASE.

The company can then devise a marketing strategy around the information they have and the goal they want to achieve. A good Marketing strategy thus allows companies to:

  • Select a target audience
  • Understand what the target audience needs
  • Develop a new product/service or modify existing ones to fit their needs
  • Set a price that people are willing to pay 
  • Decide marketing tactics they will use to attract their target audience
  • Implement the marketing tactics in an efficient way
  • Sell the product/service to the customers
  • Retain the customers

Also Read? How to become a Marketing analyst – A Career Guide

A Marketing Analyst analyses data and gives critical insights to an organization about which products and services to sell, to what customers, and at what price.

We have now answered the question “What is Marketing Management?” by exploring the aspects of Market Research and Marketing Strategies.

The schools of thought when it comes to the types of marketing strategies have transformed and evolved throughout the ages. Continue reading if you want to peer slightly into the History of Marketing to observe and understand the changes.

History of Marketing

Let’s step away from the technical jargon of Marketing Management and instead try to understand the essence of Marketing. 

The essence of marketing lies in the question “Why do we market?’ The answers to that question have changed over the years and with them, so have the strategies. 

Those changes were brought about by the changing landscapes of technology and innovation in business. Let us go back in time to observe one such instance in the History of marketing. 

The year we’ve selected is 1913.

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Industries, revolutionized modern industries everywhere, by taking Thomas Robbin’s invention – The Conveyor Belt – and applying it to his automobile industry.

This created the first Assembly line. He combined the use of assembly lines with higher daily wages, reduced shift durations and an extra 3rd shift of employees.

This allowed them to operate 24/7 !!! Ford industries could now produce 1000 cars per day! (Something unprecedented for the time)

Due to this, Henry Ford significantly reduced the price of the Model -T (the car model they were manufacturing) from 825$ to 260$! This decision gave birth to the first affordable mass-produced car. 

More than 15,000,000 were sold by 1927. During 1925, they were selling anywhere between 9,000 to 10,000 cars per day! If you are wondering why we went back in history? It is because this significant innovation led to the Production Concept with the Ford industry as Proof of concept. 

The earliest Marketing principles were based on the Production concept.

Production Concept is a belief that states that the customers would always acquire products that are cheaper and more readily available (or widely available.) MBASkool

This led to Mass Production in the 1950s, which required Mass Distribution networks, which required Mass Merchants which in turn required Mass Marketing. 

Mass Marketing

This was a popular strategy that marketers used for a long time. Mass Marketing did not require target segmentation.

The idea was to reach as many people as possible and notify them about the existence of your product.

This was a viable option when differentiation of products between competitors was very little i.e., different brands provided very similar products at the same price point. 

Hence the goal in such an environment becomes grabbing people’s attention and winning them over before your competitor does so.

Even if there was Targeting Segmentation, it occurred very rarely. The mediums that existed at the time (TVs, Radios, and Newspapers) were not optimal for targeting different audiences. 

This meme more or less summarises how mass marketing viewed target segmentation.

Today, Mass Marketing looks something like this…  

Billboards, TV Campaigns, Email Marketing and Whatsapp forwards all fall under Mass Marketing Strategies. However, these forms of marketing are highly inefficient for today’s world. They only apply to very few types of products.

Read: The end of Mass Marketing 

People don’t want cheap & generic products anymore. They want personalized products that meet their specific individual needs and reflect their Personality.

Hence Marketing techniques evolved from mass marketing. 

The shift in Marketing principles

Due to the rise in the competition after the industrial age and diversification of markets due to globalisation & entry of new players. Companies were forced to differentiate their products from one another.

Marketers slowly started to drift away from traditional marketing practices to more creative marketing practices. 

Marketing principles that revolved around the production concept slowly shifted to new concepts such as the ‘product concept’ & ‘selling concept’. 

The former suggested that people will automatically buy a good quality product and the latter suggested that you have to actively ‘sell’ your product for it to do well. 

However, that wasn’t enough either. In today’s age, everyone is demanding more from the companies that they buy from.

People don’t just buy products, people buy identities. They choose companies that replicate their values and align with their personalities.

Ray Ban's Never Hide Campaign during Spain's La Tomatina Festival
RayBan Never Hide Campaign
A Perfect Example of people using companies to represent themselves

It is now necessary for companies to not just stand apart from their competitors, but to also stand for something. 

“Be a cause, not just a business. Have a higher mission.”

Phillip Kotler, Father of Marketing Management.

Thus was born the Marketing Concept and the Societal Marketing concepts. These concepts signify the importance of BRANDS. Let us first see how marketers understood the importance of brands before we get into the definition of brands. 

Brands always existed, even in the age of mass marketing but they were few and far between. Companies did not understand the concept of a brand at the time. Most of them still ran Marketing Campaigns based on the products and not The Brand. 

One of The biggest brands in the world was Coca Cola. Coca Cola themselves did not understand how significant their brand identity was until they made a huge marketing mistake. Let’s take a look at it to understand the importance of Marketing Campaigns.

Learn more about the History of Marketing and the shift in Marketing Principles from Seth Godin Here:

Coca-Cola’s marketing mistake

Coke’s mistake occurred in 1985 and the mistake was spurred on due to a rise in sales of their competitor – Pepsi.  According to several taste tests, people found Pepsi to be sweeter.

In fear of losing more customers to Pepsi, coke decided to innovate their product and redesign their packaging. 

They came with a new formula and called it new coke, which was reportedly found to be sweeter and tastier than Pepsi in various tests.

So Coke rebranded their cans and launched the product hoping to win back the market share they lost to Pepsi and re-establish themselves as the best Cola Brand.

To call this decision a marketing disaster would be an understatement. It was THE marketing disaster of the 20th century.

Coke’s phone lines were flooded; they received thousands of letters; petitions were made; people even took to the streets in protests! Their outcry everywhere was the same – 

“Bring back our Coke”

People boycotted the newly rebranded coke, forcing coke to bring back the old flavour and their old product. This kind of response was unprecedented. 

Coca-Cola quickly relaunched the old flavour under the name Classic Coca-Cola and brought back the old packaging with the classic font as well. 

The disaster was however a blessing in disguise, as the relaunch of the classic coke boosted the company’s sales like never before. 

It made the front page of every newspaper and became the topic of debate on many primetime news channels. 

From this infamous incident, Coca-Cola understood that coke was more than just a product; it was an emotion. 

Everything they had done up to the point had given the company something intangible that people related to on a very human level – An Identity. 

Watch this video to better understand how people view Coke:

That’s the story of Coca Cola and how they realised they were the ‘Biggest Brand’ of the 20th Century. 

Now let’s explore the term Brand a little further. 

Understanding brands

A brand is the collective impact or lasting impression from all that is seen, heard, or experienced by customers who come into contact with a company and its products and services. Source 🛈

A Brand can become famous for its products, but a product (or line of products) alone does not become a Brand. There must be other connected services that tie the products together as part of something bigger – An Identity.

An identity does not refer to the reputation of the brand. It refers to something a little more human than that. It has to do with emotions. We have seen from the example of Coca-Cola, that a company is just a company if it cannot be differentiated from its competitors by the people. 

If you provide similar products of the same quality, then people can simply select the cheapest option. Otherwise, what real value are the people getting by choosing an expensive alternative?

This is where Branding comes into play. People must be able to tie some intangible value to a company that sets it apart. So how can a company differentiate itself from the competition? 

How can a company create an Identity?

How can a company position itself in an Industry?

How can a company become A brand?

We will answer all these questions, let’s first look at Brand Identity and Brand Positioning.

What is Brand Identity and Brand Positioning?

Brand Identity is the combination of all the brand elements and marketing that creates an overall impression of the brand in the minds of the customers. The “Identity” of a Brand is similar to the Personality of a human.

Brand Identity is often a direct result of Brand Positioning. So it’s best to explore the two topics together

Brand Positioning is how Brands establish their position in the industry. This “position” is similar to the “social statuses” that people have in their daily lives. Brand Positioning allows a brand to ensure that its marketing campaigns do not alienate its targeted customer. 

“All customers are important but some are more important than others.”

Philip Kotler, Author of Marketing Management

With positioning, a brand tries to align the Identity of the brand with that of its target segment.

Companies cannot view their customers as just buyers, but as individuals with complex emotions and experiences. Understanding the psychology of your consumer base is as important as knowing the different techniques of marketing to position a brand correctly and build an identity.

However, this is no easy task. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a brand. Creating a brand, building an identity and positioning the brand is a long process that often takes years. 

Brand Campaign Meme (Donkey from Shrek asking 'are we there yet?')

Let us compare Luxury products and Daily products, with examples to see how companies can successfully do so. (Note that Luxury and Daily products aren’t the only ways a brand can position itself. There are many other ways. These are just examples for easy comparison)

Luxury brand

If a company wants to position itself as a luxury brand. They’ll have to make sure that their products are not available to everyone. 

This can be done by 

  1. Setting a high price 
  2. Using referral programs or “Invite-only” systems
  3. Limiting the number of models manufactured

The psychology behind this is that people who look for luxury products don’t want things that everyone has and are willing to go to great lengths to ensure the same. 

Gen Z I want it now meme
MemeGenerator
Gen Z When they see “Limited Edition” on a product

Luxury Products/Services provide really good after-purchase services. The customers are equally (if not more) concerned about these services they receive from the company.

As a marketer, you’ll have to create an (artificial) demand by ensuring that the supply is never too high. (Keep in mind that simply advertising a product as a luxury product isn’t enough. It has to be of really good quality and a cut above the rest)

Let us see how One Plus successfully positioned itself as a High-End Android Smartphone.

One Plus’s Positioning strategy

 

One plus when they entered the Indian Market, they made sure that One plus phones were only made available to a few people who pre-booked the phone before the launch. 

The second wave of customers could only buy the phone if they were ‘referred’ by existing owners. This created a sense of exclusivity for the brand. 

They were providing phones which were direct competition to iPhones at the time but for a price much lesser than the Apple product. However, they were still pricier than other Android Phones.

They had better cameras, processors and User Interfaces than their android competitors at the time. They were also the first brand to bring Fast-Charging to the People. 

The phones were innovative yet easy to use. One Plus created a community of its users and gave them exclusive access to many features.

This gave them the distinction of being a luxury android brand which was missing at the time. One plus has since removed its invite-only program yet it is still considered an exclusive brand. 

To find out more about their marketing tactics read: How one plus marketed its phone with just 300$

Daily brand

A daily brand is the opposite of luxury brands. It cannot make distinctions between its customer base and has to be marketed as a brand for everyone. They need to show that their product is for many purposes or several occasions. This requires a generalised product that appeals to a large customer base.

Daily Brands have a lot of competition in the market and hence the price will have to be set at an industry standard. The profits for such brands come from making sales in large volumes. They will have to appeal to the emotions surrounding their product.

Price and Place are the most important aspects since they have to be affordable to everyone and available everywhere. 

The perfect example of this is Maggi.

Maggi’s positioning strategy

Nestle, the company that owns Maggi, realised that the product will have to FIRST appeal to the children. It had to replace the everyday snacks of school-going children. 

So, when Maggi was launched. They ran a large campaign that sent Maggi trucks to schools across India and let kids taste the product for free.

They also ran a campaign that said “2-Minutes Mein Maggi” (although they exaggerated how fast it could be made), it got the point across. 

Maggi was quick and easy to make for any parent. It did not require much knowledge of cooking or much effort.

Slowly the product started appealing to more than just school children because of its taste and it seeped into everyone’s daily life.

(Much like Coca-Cola)Maggi associated the emotions of comfort and happiness with their product through clever marketing campaigns like “2 Minute Mein KHUSHIYAN” Maggi’s marketing campaigns revolved around showing people from different walks of life enjoying Maggi. 

It was a quick fix for anyone’s hunger. It was easy to make and could be prepared in your own ways if you wished to. Maggi has since become a staple in every Indian’s cookbook. Everyone has a personal story associated with Maggi. 

Maggi used this knowledge to their advantage and made a smart campaign out of it.

It even faced a temporary ban that would have destroyed any other brand. But no, not Maggi, the loyalty the customers have for Maggi is unwavering! (Maggi is to Indians, what Coca-Cola is to Americans) 

This is how Maggi established itself as an indispensable daily brand that never changes. A constant source of comfort and joy!

Through the examples of One Plus and Maggi, we have understood Brand Positioning and Brand Identity. Now let us look at one of the most defining aspects of a brand – Its Brand Value

Brand Value

Brand value is defined as the worth of all your brand elements (name, logo, identity, etc) if the brand was getting sold. 

However, this is a literal approach to the term brand value and only applies if you are looking to sell your brand. It does not help to quantify the intangible value that people associate with your brand A better way to look at it would be this: 

The value of a brand is the price people are willing to pay above and beyond its competitor’s price, to avail of the brand’s product or services.

Seth Godin (paraphrased from an interview)

Thus the value of your brand is what monetary value people associate with the intangible elements of your brand. This is the reason people are willing to pay thousands of rupees for a Nike shoe when you can get the same quality shoes for a lesser price. This is the reason people lie outside stores days before the launch of a product just to get their hands on a merchandise

Here’s a Forbes list of the World’s most valuable Brands of 2020. Take a look at each of their branding techniques to see how these companies set themselves apart. 

Conclusion

Brands have always existed, but branding has never been more important than today. 

We have seen the journey of marketing through the ages and observed the changes.

We haven’t discussed any contemporary marketing methods as this blog was aimed at answering the question “What is Marketing Management” and not “How to Market?”

If you want answers to the question “How to market?’ and have aspirations of being a Marketing Manager, check out this Marketing Management course and maybe there’s a career in Marketing waiting for you 😉

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Marketing Books for beginners?

Marketing Management by Philip Kotler is one of the best books about Marketing for beginners. For more marketing-related books click Here: Top 10 books for Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. To read more click here: 7 Types of digital marketing

What is the average salary of a digital marketer?

The average salary for a Digital Marketing Manager is approximately Rs 8.0 Lacs in India

What is SEO and How can I learn SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is the method that Digital Marketers use to ensure that their content is found easily online. It helps them to bring users to their website without paid ads.
A comprehensive online course is the best option for learning SEO and Digital Marketing, as online courses are more flexible and stay updated on current trends. Check out this Digital Marketing – SEO course

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