It is natural that people in different situations define marketing differently. However, we will approach the definition of marketing by first learning about the seven steps in the process of marketing. While this process is not always followed, it is important that any student of marketing understand what steps must be taken to be successful in a marketing effort. The marketing process can be described in the following seven steps:
A. Understand the market wants/needs of interest
B. Based on relative size and needs of the market, select certain segments of the market that are of the most interest to you and your organization
C. Thoroughly describe these segments based on their individual needs
D. Create a product or service that will meet the specific needs identified
E. Communicate the concept of the product or service to the targeted customer in a way that makes sense to the customer
F. Deliver the product or service to the targeted customer in a way that will be convenient to the customer
G. Solicit feedback from the customer about how your product or service could be improved to meet the customers’ needs even better
This process is applicable to most situations encountered by those wanting to market a product or service. The process of marketing can be divided into ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ activities. That is, steps A through D are all ‘upstream’ activities that should be performed before a product actually exists. Surely, there are many readers who will say, “Wait, this won’t work for me, I am like those people who you described at first, I already HAVE a product to sell, I just need to find somebody to BUY IT!” As marketers, we understand that many sellers don’t have the option or input to create a new product or service. However, this e-book is designed for people who want to do marketing the right way. If you must pick up the process after steps A, B, and C have already been performed, realize that some steps have already been done, and you should check to see if they have been done correctly.
Also note that marketing research plays an integral role in each of these stages. That is, the organization that is truly focused on customer needs must be driven by an active research effort.