In past ample of definition of ‘Marketing’ has been highlighted, few of them are as below:

“The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating,delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.- American Marketing Association

“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.- Chartered Institute of Marketing

However, Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.  Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.

Marketing is often performed by a department within the organization. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it unites a group of trained people who focus on the marketing task. It’s bad because marketing activities should not be carried out in a single department but they should be manifest in all the activities of the organization.

Marketing is everything a company does to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them. Even the small tasks like writing thank-you letters, playing golf with a prospective client, returning calls promptly and meeting with a past client for coffee can be thought of as marketing. The ultimate goal of marketing is to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them, thereby ensuring profitability.

The four P’s of marketing are product, place, price and promotion.

Product refers to an item or items a business intends to sell. When examining a product, questions should be asked such as, what product is being sold? What differentiates the product from its competitors? Can the product be marketed with a secondary product? And are there substitute products in the market?

Price refers to how much the product is likely to cost. When establishing price, considerations needs to be given to cost the unit cost price, marketing costs and distribution expenses.

Place refers to distribution of the product. Key considerations include whether the product is going to be sold through a physical store front, online or made available through both distribution channels?

Finally, promotion refers to the integrated marketing communications campaign. Promotional activities may include advertising, personal selling, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, sponsorship and guerrilla marketing. Promotions are likely to vary being dependent on what stage of product life cycle the product is currently in. Marketers must be aware that consumers associate a product’s price and distribution with its quality, and would be prudent to take this into account when devising the overall marketing strategy.

These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix,which a marketer can use to craft a marketing plan.

The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low value consumer products. Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments to this model. Services marketing must account for the unique nature of services.

Industrial or B2B marketing must account for the long term contractual agreements that are typical in supply chain transactions. Relationship marketing attempts to do this by looking at marketing from a long term relationship perspective rather than individual transactions.

As a counter to this, Morgan, in Riding the Waves of Change (Jossey-Bass, 1988), suggests that one of the greatest limitations of the 4 Ps approach “is that it unconsciously emphasizes the inside–out view (looking from the company outwards), whereas the essence of marketing should be the outside–in approach”.

In order to recognize the different aspects of selling services, as opposed to Products, a further three Ps were added to make a range of Seven Ps[10] for service industries:
Process – the way in which orders are handled, customers are satisfied and the service is delivered.
Physical Evidence – is tangible evidence of the service customers will receive (for example a holiday brochure).
People – the people meeting and dealing with the customers.

As markets have become more satisfied, the 7 Ps have become relevant to those companies selling products, as well as those solely involved with services: customers now differentiate between sellers of goods by the service they receive in the process from the people involved.

Some authors cite a further P – Packaging – this is thought by many to be part of Product, but in certain markets (Japan, China for example) and with certain products (perfume, cosmetics) the packaging of a product has a greater importance – maybe even than the product itself.

Marketing is not Sales

Marketing is a terribly misunderstood subject in business circles and in the public’s mind. Companies think that marketing exists to support manufacturing, to get rid of the company’s products. The truth is the reverse, that manufacturing exists to support marketing.  The company can always outsource its manufacturing. What makes a company is its marketing offerings and ideas.  Manufacturing, purchasing, R&D, finance and the other company functions exist to support the company’s work in the customer marketplace.

Marketing is too often confused with selling. Selling is only the tip of the marketing iceberg.  What is unseen is the extensive market investigation, the research and development of appropriate products, the challenge of pricing them right, of opening up distribution, and of letting the market know about the product.  Thus, Marketing is a far more comprehensive process than selling.

Marketing and selling are almost opposites. Hard sell marketing is a contradiction. Long ago I said: “Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make.  Marketing is the art of creating genuine customer value.  It is the art of helping your customers become better off.  The marketer’s watchwords are quality, service, and value.”

Selling starts only when you have a product.  Marketing starts before there is a product.  Marketing is the homework the company does to figure out what people need and what the company should make.  Marketing determines how to launch, price, distribute and promote the product/service offering in the marketplace. Marketing then monitors the results and improves the offering over time. Marketing also decides when to end the offering.

All said, marketing is not a short-term selling effort but a long-term investment effort.  When marketing is done well, it occurs before the company makes any product or enters any market; and it continues long after the sale.

Modern Concept of Marketing

The modern concept of marketing considers the consumers’ wants and needs as the guiding spirit and focuses on the delivery of such goods and services that can satisfy those needs most effectively. Thus, marketing starts with identifying consumer needs, then plan the production of goods and services accordingly to provide him the maximum satisfaction. In other words, the products and services are planned according to the needs of the customers rather than according to the availability of materials and machinery. Not only that, all activities (manufacturing, research and development, quality control, distribution, selling etc.) are directed to satisfy the consumers. Thus, the main implications of the modern concepts are:

(a) The focus of this concept is on customer orientation. The marketing activity starts with an assessment of the customers needs and plan the production of items that satisfy these needs most effectively. This also applies to all other marketing activities like pricing, packaging, distribution and sales promotion.

(b) All marketing activities like product planning, pricing, packaging, distribution and sales promotion are combined into one as coordinated marketing efforts. This is called integrating marketing. It implies:

(i) developing a product that can satisfy the needs of the consumers;

(ii) taking promotional measures so that consumers come to know about the products, its features, quality, availability etc.;

(iii) pricing the product keeping in mind the target consumers’ purchasing power and willingness to pay;

(iv) packaging and grading the product to make it more attractive and undertaking sales promotion measures to motivate consumers to buy the product; and

(v) taking various other measures (e.g., after sales service) to satisfy the consumers’ needs.

(c) The main aim of all effort is to earn profit through maximization of customer satisfaction. This implies that, if the customers are satisfied, they will continue to buy, and many new customers will be added. This will lead to increased sales and so also the profits. Modern Concept of Marketing

Focus on –> Customers’ need.

Means –> Coordinated marketing efforts

Ends –> Profits through customers’ satisfaction

It may be noted that with growing awareness of the social relevance of business, marketing has to take into account the social needs and ensure that while enhancing consumer satisfaction, it also aims at society’s long-term interest.

Importance of Marketing

Marketing is important to the business, consumer as well as the society. This is evident from the following points.

(a) Marketing helps business to keep pace with the changing tastes, fashions, preferences of the customers. It works out primarily because ascertaining consumer needs and wants is a regular phenomenon and improvement in existing products and introduction of new product keeps on taking place. Marketing thus, contributes to providing better products and services to the consumers and improve their standard of living.

(b) Marketing helps in making products available at all places and throughout the year. We are able to get Kashmir shawls and Assam Tea all over India and get seasonal fruits like apple and oranges round the year due to proper warehousing or proper packaging. Thus, marketing creates time and place utilities.

(c) Marketing plays an important role in the development of the economy. Various functions and sub-functions of marketing like advertising, personal selling, packaging, transportation, etc. generate employment for a large number of people, and accelerate growth of business.

(d) Marketing helps the business in increasing its sales volume, generating revenue and ensuring its success in the long run.

(e) Marketing also helps the business in meeting competition most effectively

Objective of Marketing

After knowing the points of importance of marketing let us discuss on the basic objectives of marketing.

(a) Provide satisfaction to customers: All marketing activities are directed towards customer satisfaction. Marketing starts with ascertaining consumer needs and produce goods that satisfy those needs most effectively. Not only that the pricing and distribution functions of marketing are also planned accordingly.

(b) Increase in demand: Through advertising and other sales promotional efforts, marketing aims at creating additional demand for their products. Satisfied customers also help in creating new customers. For example, if you buy a ‘gel pen’ and feel satisfied, next time also you will buy the same pen and obviously when you tell others about it they will also feel like giving it a try.

(c) Provide better quality product to the customers: This is a basic objective of marketing. The business houses try to update and upgrade their knowledge and technology to continuously provide better products. If they do not do so, they will be phased out through competition.

(d) Create goodwill for the organisation: Another objective of marketing is to build a good public image and create goodwill for the organisation. This helps in maintaining loyalty to the product and accepting new products of the same company.

(e) Generate profitable sales volume: The ultimate objective of all marketing efforts is to generate profitable sales volumes for the business. Taking care of customer needs and wants by providing the required goods and services at prices they can afford, and at places and timing that are convenient to them ultimately lead to increased sales and profits.

Evolution of Marketing Concepts

Here is a brief overview of the evolution of marketing concepts.

Production concept – an operations-based concept where the consumer expects products that are easily available and affordable.Here the business focuses on production efficiency, lowering costs and mass distribution. This concept works in developing economies where the need is more for the product than the features it offers.

Product concept – a consumer oriented concept where consumers expect products that are superior, high-performance and with unique features. This concept assumes that customers are likelier to be loyal when the product meets all their expectations and so, the business strives to offer innovative products consistently.

Selling concept– where the business believes that its products will sell only through active promotion and selling and the customer will not respond until pushed.In short, it is a matter of the business trying to sell what it makes rather than make products to meet the market’s needs.

Marketing concept – This concept is radical, compared to the above and focuses on the target market, its needs and wants and a desire to be better than the competition while delivering value to its market. Unlike the earlier concepts that rely on push marketing, it believes in pull marketing by creating brand loyalty.

While the sales concept is seller-oriented, the marketing concept is buyer-oriented.

A fifth concept has evolved today, the societal marketing concept – is the ideal situation where, along with the focus on the target market’s wants and needs and delivering better value than its competition, the business also strives to preserve the well-being of its target market and the society as a whole.This takes into consideration environmental and natural resource preservation and minimizing the carbon footprint.

Important Functions of Marketing

Marketing is related to the exchange of goods and services. Through its medium the goods and services are brought to the place of consumption. This satisfies the needs of the customers. The following activities are undertaken in respect of the exchange of goods and services:

1. Gathering and Analysing Market Information: Gathering and analyzing market information is an important function of marketing. Under it, an effort is made to understand the consumer thoroughly in the following ways:

(a) What do the consumers want?

(b) In what quantity?

(c) At what price?

(d) When do they want (it)?

(e) What kind of advertisement do they like?

(f) Where do they want (it)?

What kind of distribution system do they like? All the relevant information about the consumer is collected and analysed. On the basis of this analysis an effort is made to find out as to which product has the best opportunities in the market.

2. Marketing Planning: In order to achieve the objectives of an organisation with regard to its marketing, the marketeer chalks out his marketing plan. For example, a company has a 25% market share of a particular product.The company wants to raise it to 40%. In order to achieve this objective the marketer has to prepare a plan in respect of the level of production and promotion efforts. It will also be decided as to who will do what, when and how. To do this is known as marketing planning.

3. Product Designing and Development: Product designing plays an important role in product selling. The company whose product is better and attractively designed sells more than the product of a company whose design happens to be weak and unattractive. In this way, it can be said that the possession of a special design affords a company to a competitive advantage. It is important to remember that it is not sufficient to prepare a design in respect of a product, but it is more important to develop it continuously.

4. Standardization and Grading: Standardization refers to determining of standard regarding size, quality, design, weight, colour, raw material to be used, etc., in respect of a particular product. By doing so, it is ascertained that the given product will have some peculiarities.This way, sale is made possible on the basis of samples. Mostly, it is the practice that the traders look at the samples and place purchase order for a large quantity of the product concerned. The basis of it is that goods supplied conform to the same standard as shown in the sample.

Products having the same characteristics (or standard) are placed in a given category or grade. This placing is called grading. For example, a company produces commodity – X, having three grades, namely A’. ‘B’ and ‘C’, representing three levels of quality; best, medium and ordinary respectively.Customers who want best quality will be shown ‘A’ grade product. This way, the customer will have no doubt in his mind that a low grade product has been palmed off to him. Grading, therefore, makes sale-purchase easy. Grading process is mostly used in case of agricultural products like food grains, cotton, tobacco, apples, mangoes, etc.

5. Packaging and Labelling: Packaging aims at avoiding breakage, damage, destruction, etc., of the goods during transit and storage. Packaging facilitates handling, lifting, conveying of the goods. Many a time, customers demand goods in different quantities. It necessitates special packaging. Packing material includes bottles, canister, plastic bags, tin or wooden boxes, jute bags etc.

Label is a slip which is found on the product itself or on the package providing all the information regarding the product and its producer. This can either be in the form of a cover or a seal. For example, the name of the medicine on its bottle along with the manufacturer’s name, the formula used for making the medicine, date of manufacturing, expiry date, batch no., price etc., are printed on the slip thereby giving all the information regarding the medicine to the consumer. The slip carrying all these is details called Label and the process of preparing it as Labelling.

6. Branding: Every producer/seller wants that his product should have special identity in the market. In order to realise his wish he has to give a name to his product which has to be distinct from other competitors.Giving of distinct name to one’s product is called branding. Thus, the objective of branding is to show that the products of a given company are different from that of the competitors, so that it has its own identity.

For instance, if a company wants to popularise its commodity – X under the name of “777” (triple seven) then its brand will be called “777”. It is possible that another company is selling a similar commodity under AAA (Triple ‘A’) brand name.Under these circumstances, both the companies will succeed in establishing a distinct identity of their products in the market. When a brand is not registered under the trade Mark Act, 1999, it becomes a Trade Mark.

7. Customer Support Service: Customer is the king of market. Therefore, it is one of the chief functions of marketer to offer every possible help to the customers. A marketer offers primarily the following services to the customers:

(i) After-sales-services

(ii) Handling customers’ complaints

(iii) Technical services

(iv) Credit facilities

(v) Maintenance services

Helping the customer in this way offers him satisfaction and in today’s competitive age customer’s satisfaction happens to be the top-most priority. This encourages a customer’s attachment to a particular product and he starts buying that product time and again.

8. Pricing of Products: It is the most important function of a marketing manager to fix price of a product. The price of a product is affected by its cost, rate of profit, price of competing product, policy of the government, etc. The price of a product should be fixed in a manner that it should not appear to be too high and at the same time it should earn enough profit for the organisation.

9. Promotion: Promotion means informing the consumers about the products of the company and encouraging them to buy these products. There are four methods of promotion: (i) Advertising, (ii) Personal selling, (iii) Sales promotion and (iv) Publicity. Every decision taken by the marketer in this respect affects the sales. These decisions are taken keeping in view the budget of the company.

10. Physical Distribution: Under this function of marketing the decision about carrying things from the place of production to the place of consumption is taken into account. To accomplish this task, decision about four factors are taken. They are: (i) Transportation, (ii) Inventory, (iii) Warehousing and (iv) Order Processing. Physical distribution, by taking things, at the right place and at the right time creates time and place utility.

11. Transportation: Production, sale and consumption-all the three activities need not be at one place. Had it been so, transportation of goods for physical distribution would have become irrelevant. But generally it is not possible. Production is carried out at one place, sale at another place and consumption at yet another place.

Transport facility is needed for the produced goods to reach the hands of consumers. So the enterprise must have an easy access to means of transportation.Mostly we see on the road side’s private vehicles belonging to Pepsi, Coca Cola, LML, Britannia, etc. These private carriers are the living examples of transportation function of marketing. Place utility is thus created by transportation activity.

12. Storage or Warehousing: There is a time-lag between the purchase or production of goods and their sale. It is very essential to store the goods at a safe place during this time-interval. Godowns are used for this purpose. Keeping of goods in godowns till the same are sold is called storage.For the marketing manager storage is an important function. Any negligence on his part may damage the entire stock. Time utility is thus created by storage activity.



“Marketing library resources – content, knowledge databases – CIM”. Retrieved 16 March 2017.

Marketing definition approved in October 2007 by the American Marketing Association:


The Concept of the Marketing Mix” from the Journal of Advertising Research, June 1964 pp 2-7


Marketing Objective

Marketing objectives, set out what a business wants to achieve from its marketing activities. They need to be consistent with overall aims and objectives of the business. They also provide an important focus for the marketing team.

Marketing is “the process of identifying, anticipating (predicting) and satisfying customer needs profitably”.

Marketing objectives therefore need to be consistent with the purpose of marketing. They also need to be consistent with and support the overall corporate (business) objectives: What makes a good marketing objective? It is often said that an effective marketing objective meets the SMART criteria:

When setting future objectives for marketing such as in a marketing plan it’s useful to look hard at each measure and ask “is it essential?”. The SMART mnemonic helps as a test or filter which you can use to assess the quality of measures. My personal definition of SMART is:

  • Specific – Can the detail in the information sufficient to pinpoint problems or opportunities? Is the objective sufficiently detailed to measure real-world problems and opportunities?
  • Measurable – Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric?
  • Actionable – Can the information be used to improve performance? If the objective doesn’t change behaviour in staff to help them improve performance, there is little point in it!
  • Relevant – Can the information be applied to the specific problem faced by the marketer?
  • Time-bound – Can objectives be set for different time periods as targets to review against?

Objectives of marketing management as follows

1. Creation of Demand:

The marketing management’s first objective is to create demand through various means. A conscious attempt is made to find out the preferences and tastes of the consumers. Goods and services are produced to satisfy the needs of the customers. Demand is also created by informing the customers the utility of various goods and services.

2. Customer Satisfaction:

The marketing manager must study the demands of customers before offering them any goods or services. Selling the goods or services is not that important as the satisfaction of the customers’ needs. Modern marketing is customer- oriented. It begins and ends with the customer.

3. Market Share:

Every business aims at increasing its market share, i.e., the ratio of its sales to the total sales in the economy. For instance, both Pepsi and Coke compete with each other to increase their market share. For this, they have adopted innovative advertising, innovative packaging, sales promotion activities, etc.

4. Generation of Profits:

The marketing department is the only department which generates revenue for the business. Sufficient profits must be earned as a result of sale of want-satisfying products. If the firm is not earning profits, it will not be able to survive in the market. Moreover, profits are also needed for the growth and diversification of the firm.

5. Creation of Goodwill and Public Image:

To build up the public image of a firm over a period is another objective of marketing. The marketing department provides quality products to customers at reasonable prices and thus creates its impact on the customers.

Some examples of SMART objectives follow:

1. Profitability Objectives To achieve a 20% return on capital employed by August 2019.

2. Market Share Objectives To gain 25% of the market for sports shoes by September 2018

3. Promotional Objectives To increase awareness of the dangers of AIDS in France from 12% to 25% by June 2017. To increase trail of X washing powder from 2% to 5% of our target group by January 2019.

4. Objectives for Survival To survive the current double-dip recession.

5. Objectives for Growth To increase the size of our Brazilian operation from $200,000 in 2017 to $400,000 in 2018.

6. Objectives for Branding To make Y brand of bottled beer the preferred brand of 21-28 year old females in North America by February 2017.

Purpose of Marketing Objectives

Target Markets : Many goods have the greatest chances for sales in highly specific markets and demographics. For example, video games are bought most often by males between the ages of 13 and 49. Although this does not imply that people outside of this demographic will never buy a video game, it suggests that spending money to put ads right in the hands of members of this demographic will result in more sales than money spent advertising to different demographics.​

Brand Recognition : One goal of a business’s marketing objectives is to improve its brand recognition among a target demographic. A firm can also use its marketing objectives to lay the foundation for a cold call to that specific individual or business.

Increase Revenue : The ultimate aim of marketing objectives is to boost company revenue. To reach this goal, you must employ all the marketing techniques that work with your audience.

Marketing Objectives versus Sales Objectives : A common confusion is getting marketing objectives confused with sales objectives. While marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing overall revenue.  I like to think of the marketing objective as the message and or tool that assists and equips the sales professional to sell the product and or service. The marketing objective is in the communication, while the sales objective is to close the deal utilizing the message.

Business Benefits of Setting Marketing Objectives

Provided the marketing objectives are relevant and achievable, there are some important business benefits from setting them and monitoring progress against them. Effective marketing objectives:

  • Ensure functional activities consistent with corporate objectives
  • Provide a focus for marketing decision-making and effort
  • Provide incentives for marketing team and a measure of success / failure
  • Establish priorities for marketing resources and effort

Difference Between Marketing Objective and Business Objective

Business objective is the more precise, measurable path a business needs to take to achieve its goals (An example of a business objective: To meet our goal of having the dominant market share in the cloud server market, we will onboard 70% of the top 1000 cloud server buyers as paying customers by the end of 2017., and 80% by 2018.) A whole company is more directly affected by this objective.

A marketing objective, is typically subordinate to a business objective. Like a business objective it is also a more precise and measurable marketing path a business needs to take to meet its business objectives. (An example of a marketing objective: In order to meet our business objectives of 70% market share in the cloud server market, we will increase our online marketing budget by 30%, increase our spend on awareness activities by 50% over last year and achieve a cost per customer acquisition of $120 by the end of 2017.) Marketing is more affected by these objectives than other areas of the company.


Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market of potential customers into groups, or segments, based on different characteristics. The segments created are composed of consumers who will respond similarly to marketing strategies and who share traits such as similar interests, needs, or locations.

Market segmentation makes it easier for marketers to personalize their marketing campaigns. By arranging their company’s target market into segmented groups, rather than targeting each potential customer individually, marketers can be more efficient with their time, money, and other resources than if they were targeting consumers on an individual level. Grouping similar consumers together allows marketers to target specific audiences in a cost effective manner.

Market segmentation also reduces the risk of an unsuccessful or ineffective marketing campaign. When marketers divide a market based on key characteristics and personalize their strategies based on that information, there is a much higher chance of success than if they were to create a generic campaign and try to implement it across all segments.

Marketers can also us segmentation to prioritize their target audiences. If segmentation shows that some consumers would be more likely to buy a product than others, marketers can better allocate their attention and resources.

Four basic factors that affect market segmentation are

1. Clear identification of the segment,
2. Measurability of its effective size,
3. Accessibility through promotional efforts, and
4. Appropriateness to the policies and resources of the company.

Basis of Market Segmentation

  • Gender

    The marketers divide the market into smaller segments based on gender. Both men and women have different interests and preferences, and thus the need for segmentation.

    Organizations need to have different marketing strategies for men which would obviously not work in case of females.

    A woman would not purchase a product meant for males and vice a versa.

    The segmentation of the market as per the gender is important in many industries like cosmetics, footwear, jewellery and apparel industries.

  • Age Group

    Division on the basis of age group of the target audience is also one of the ways of market segmentation.

    The products and marketing strategies for teenagers would obviously be different than kids.

    Age group (0 – 10 years) – Toys, Nappies, Baby Food, Prams
    Age Group (10 – 20 years) – Toys, Apparels, Books, School Bags
    Age group (20 years and above) – Cosmetics, Anti-Ageing Products, Magazines, apparels and so on


  • Income

    Marketers divide the consumers into small segments as per their income. Individuals are classified into segments according to their monthly earnings.

    The three categories are:

    High income Group
    Mid Income Group
    Low Income Group

    Stores catering to the higher income group would have different range of products and strategies as compared to stores which target the lower income group.

    Pantaloon, Carrefour, Shopper’s stop target the high income group as compared to Vishal Retail, Reliance Retail or Big bazaar who cater to the individuals belonging to the lower income segment.

  • Marital Status

    Market segmentation can also be as per the marital status of the individuals. Travel agencies would not have similar holiday packages for bachelors and married couples.

  • Occupation

    Office goers would have different needs as compared to school / college students.

    A beach house shirt or a funky T Shirt would have no takers in a Zodiac Store as it caters specifically to the professionals.

Below are elaborated different segmentation of market, however there are 3 main categories of segmentation

  • Psychographic segmentationThe basis of such segmentation is the lifestyle of the individuals. The individual’s attitude, interest, value help the marketers to classify them into small groups.
  • Behaviouralistic SegmentationThe loyalties of the customers towards a particular brand help the marketers to classify them into smaller groups, each group comprising of individuals loyal towards a particular brand.
  • Geographic SegmentationGeographic segmentation refers to the classification of market into various geographical areas. A marketer can’t have similar strategies for individuals living at different places.

The purpose of segmentation is the concentration of marketing energy and force on the subdivision (or the market segment) to gain a competitive advantage within the segment. It’s analogous to the military principle of “concentration of force” to overwhelm an enemy. Concentration of marketing energy (or force) is the essence of all marketing strategy, and market segmentation is the conceptual tool to help achieve this focus. Before discussing psychographic or lifestyle segmentation (which is what most of us mean when using the term “segmentation”), let’s review other types of market segmentation. Our focus is on consumer markets rather than business markets, but most of the following concepts also apply to B2B.

Geographic Segmentation

This is perhaps the most common form of market segmentation, wherein companies segment the market by attacking a restricted geographic area. For example, corporations may choose to market their brands in certain countries, but not in others. A brand could be sold only in one market, one state, or one region of the United States. Many restaurant chains focus on a limited geographic area to achieve concentration of force. Regional differences in consumer preferences exist, and this often provides a basis for geographic specialization. For example, a company might choose to market its red-eye gravy only in the southeastern U.S. Likewise, a picante sauce might concentrate its distribution and advertising in the Southwest. A chainsaw company might only market its products in areas with forests. Geographic segmentation can take many forms (urban versus rural, north versus south, seacoasts versus interior, warm areas versus cold, high-humidity areas versus dry areas, high elevation versus low-elevation areas, and so on). These examples also reveal that geographic segmentation is sometimes a surrogate for (or a means to) other types of segmentation.

Distribution Segmentation

Different markets can be reached through different channels of distribution. For example, a company might segment the “tick and flea collar” market by selling the product to supermarkets under one brand name, to mass merchandisers under another brand name, to pet stores under another brand name, and to veterinarians under yet another brand name. This type of distributional segmentation is common, especially among small companies that grant each channel a unique brand to gain distribution within that channel. Other examples of distributional segmentation would be an upscale line of clothing sold only in expensive department stores, or a luxury hair shampoo sold only through upscale beauty salons.

Media Segmentation

While not common, media segmentation is sometimes a possibility. It is based on the fact that different media tend to reach different audiences. If a brand pours all of its budget into one media, it can possibly dominate the segment of the market that listens to that radio station or reads that magazine. Media segmentation is most often practiced by companies that have some control over the media and can somehow discourage competitors from using that media.

Price Segmentation

Price segmentation is common and widely practiced. Variation in household incomes creates an opportunity for segmenting some markets along a price dimension. If personal incomes range from low to high, the reasoning goes, then a company should offer some cheap products, some medium-priced ones, and some expensive ones. This type of price segmentation is well illustrated by the range of automotive brands marketed by General Motors, historically. Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac varied in price (and status) along a clearly defined spectrum to appeal to successively higher income groups.

Demographic Segmentation

Gender, age, income, housing type, and education level are common demographic variables. Some brands are targeted only to women, others only to men. Music streaming services tend to be targeted to the young, while hearing aids are targeted to the elderly. Education levels often define market segments. For instance, private elementary schools might define their target market as highly educated households containing women of childbearing age. Demographic segmentation almost always plays some role in a segmentation strategy.

Time Segmentation

Time segmentation is less common, but can be highly effective. Some stores stay open later than others. Some products are sold only at certain times of the year (e.g., Christmas cards, fireworks). Chili is marketed more aggressively in the fall, with the onset of cooler weather. Football is played in the fall, basketball in the winter and spring, and baseball in the spring and summer (or at least this used to be the pattern). The Olympics come along every four years. Department stores sometimes schedule midnight promotional events. The time dimension can be an interesting basis for segmentation.

Occasion-Based Segmentation

People tend to behave differently, and think differently, at different times or occasions. For example, dietary habits and preferences vary by occasion: breakfast is different from dinner; eating out on a Friday night is different from grabbing lunch during the week; Thanksgiving dinner is different from most other dinners. These types of differences can be the basis for segmenting a market. If the goal is to develop new product-development templates for a restaurant chain, then occasion-based segmentation might be a good solution. If the goal, however, is to develop the strategic positioning and advertising messages for a new smartphone or a new car, then occasion-based segmentation would not be applicable. The goal is one optimal solution, and the occasions do not matter.

Markets can be also segmented by hobbies, by political affiliation, by religion, by special interest groups, by sports team loyalties, by university attended, and by hundreds of other variables. You are only limited by your marketing imagination.

Psychographic or Lifestyle Segmentation

Lastly, we come to psychographic (or lifestyle) segmentation, based upon multivariate analyses of consumer attitudes, values, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, beliefs, and interests. Psychographic segmentation is a legitimate way to segment a market, if we can identify the proper segmentation variables (or lifestyle statements, words, pictures, etc.).

Qualitative research techniques (focus groups, depth interviews, ethnography) become invaluable at this stage. Qualitative research provides the insight, the conceptual knowledge, and the consumer’s exact language necessary to design the segmentation questionnaire. Typically, verbatim comments from consumers are used to build batteries of psychographic or lifestyle statements (these two terms are used interchangeably). A large representative sample of consumers (generally, 1,000 or more) are then asked about the degree to which they agree or disagree with each statement. For example, if you were designing a market segmentation questionnaire for an airline, you might conduct a series of depth interviews to help design the questionnaire. You probably would include a behavioral section (frequency of flying, how purchase tickets, who travel with, cities flown to, where sit, airlines flown, money spent on airline tickets, etc.). You would include a major section on attitudes toward air travel (motivations for air travel, fears related to air travel, positive emotions of flying, attitudes about airline employees, checking luggage, buying tickets, and so forth). You would also want to include a section on perceptions of the different airlines; that is, their “brand images.” You could go further and add a section on media consumption or personal values as well. It is at this point that you realize the questionnaire is too long, and you have to make some hard decisions about what questions or statements to include.

The method of data collection is very important, because the questionnaire is so long (often 45 to 60 minutes in length). The telephone is not recommended for segmentation studies because of questionnaire length. Moreover, the various rating scales and attitudinal statements are difficult to communicate by phone, and the resulting phone data tends to be “insensitive” and rife with “noise.”

In-person interviews and online interviews (or even mail surveys) are much better. Rating scales and attitudinal statements can be seen and fully comprehended by respondents. Seeing is much better than hearing, and it produces more accurate answers. Online surveys are especially valuable for segmentation studies, since respondents can take the survey at a time of their own choosing when they can give it their full, undivided attention. A mail survey offers some of the same advantages, but without the questionnaire controls, checks, and safeguards built into an online survey.

Analytical Methods

Most segmentation analyses are based upon various types of “cluster analysis,” which is a set of well-defined statistical procedures that group people according to the proximity of their ratings. Unfortunately, cluster analysis (regardless of its many types and forms) has inherent limitations and seldom yields coherent market segments. Cluster analysis routines tend to ignore the pattern of respondent ratings and rely primarily upon the proximity of respondent ratings. Too often this leads to clusters, or market segments, that don’t seem to make much sense when cross-tabulated against the original segmentation variables. Another limitation of clustering approaches is that all statements are treated as equal, whereas, in truth, some statements might be much more important than others in explaining consumer behavior in a particular product category.

A better way to achieve a good psychographic segmentation is to first identify the statements that are more important (i.e., the statements that tend to explain or cause specific consumer behaviors). Correlation analysis and regression can be used for this purpose. Factor analysis is also a powerful technique to identify the statements and groups of statements that account for much of the variance in the attitudinal data set. Directly, and indirectly, these techniques can help you identify the most important statements (i.e., attitudes, perceptions, values). Then these statements become the inputs to the final segmentation analysis. Many different methods can be used to “cluster” or group the statements at this point.

The final step is to attach a segment code to each market segment identified and then cross-tab all of the questionnaire variables by the segments. You must then study the segments, and the attitudes/statements that make up each segment, to make sure they make sense and hang together. If the segmentation results don’t make sense, then you have to go back, change some of your assumptions or methods, rerun the analysis, and repeat the cross-tab exercise to apply the “common sense” validity check.


Marketing Mix


Marketing is a continually evolving discipline and as such can be one that companies find themselves left very much behind the competition if they stand still for too long. One example of this evolution has been the fundamental changes to the basic Marketing mix. Where once there were 4 P’s to explain the mix, nowadays it is more commonly accepted that a more developed 7 P’s adds a much needed additional layer of depth to the Marketing Mix with some theorists going even going further.


Simply put the Marketing Mix is a tool used by businesses and Marketers to help determine a product or brands offering. The 4 P’s have been associated with the Marketing Mix since their creation by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960 (You can see why there may have been some need to update the theory).

Neil Borden in the year 1953 introduced the term Marketing mix, an extension of the work done by one of his associates James Culliton in 1948.

Marketing Mix – A mixture of several ideas and plans followed by a marketing representative to promote a particular product or brand is called marketing mix. Several concepts and ideas combined together to formulate final strategies helpful in making a brand popular amongst the masses form marketing mix.

The marketing 4Ps are also the foundation of the idea of marketing mix.

Product: A product is an item that is built or produced to satisfy the needs of a certain group of people. The product can be intangible or tangible as it can be in the form of services or goods.You must ensure to have the right type of product that is in demand for your market. So during the product development phase, the marketer must do an extensive research on the life cycle of the product that they are creating.

A product has a certain life cycle that includes the growth phase, the maturity phase, and the sales decline phase. It is important for marketers to reinvent their products to stimulate more demand once it reaches the sales decline phase. Marketers must also create the right product mix. It may be wise to expand your current product mix by diversifying and increasing the depth of your product line. All in all, marketers must ask themselves the question “what can I do to offer a better product to this group of people than my competitors”.

In developing the right product, you have to answer the following questions:

  • What does the client want from the service or product?
  • How will the customer use it?
  • Where will the client use it?
  • What features must the product have to meet the client’s needs?
  • Are there any necessary features that you missed out?
  • Are you creating features that are not needed by the client?
  • What’s the name of the product?
  • Does it have a catchy name?
  • What are the sizes or colors available?
  • How is the product different from the products of your competitors?
  • What does the product look like?

Price:  The price of the product is basically the amount that a customer pays for to enjoy it. Price is a very important component of the marketing mix definition. It is also a very important component of a marketing plan as it determines your firm’s profit and survival. Adjusting the price of the product has a big impact on the entire marketing strategy as well as greatly affecting the sales and demand of the product. This is inherently a touchy area though. If a company is new to the market and has not made a name for themselves yet, it is unlikely that your target market will be willing to pay a high price.

Although they may be willing in the future to hand over large sums of money, it is inevitably harder to get them to do so during the birth of a business. Pricing always help shape the perception of your product in consumers eyes. Always remember that a low price usually means an inferior good in the consumers eyes as they compare your good to a competitor. Consequently, prices too high will make the costs outweigh the benefits in customers eyes, and they will therefore value their money over your product. Be sure to examine competitors pricing and price accordingly.

When setting the product price, marketers should consider the perceived value that the product offers. There are three major pricing strategies, and these are:

  • Market penetration pricing
  • Market skimming pricing
  • Neutral pricing

Here are some of the important questions that you should ask yourself when you are setting the product price:

  • How much did it cost you to produce the product?
  • What is the customers’ perceived product value?
  • Do you think that the slight price decrease could significantly increase your market share?
  • Can the current price of the product keep up with the price of the product’s competitors?

Place: Placement or distribution is a very important part of the product mix definition. You have to position and distribute the product in a place that is accessible to potential buyers. This comes with a deep understanding of your target market. Understand them inside out and you will discover the most efficient positioning and distribution channels that directly speak with your market.

There are many distribution strategies, including:

  • Intensive distribution
  • Exclusive distribution
  • Selective distribution
  • Franchising

Here are some of the questions that you should answer in developing your distribution strategy:

  • Where do your clients look for your service or product?
  • What kind of stores do potential clients go to? Do they shop in a mall, in a regular brick and mortar store, in the supermarket, or online?
  • How do you access the different distribution channels?
  • How is your distribution strategy different from your competitors?
  • Do you need a strong sales force?
  • Do you need to attend trade fairs?
  • Do you need to sell in an online store?

Promotion: Promotion is a very important component of marketing as it can boost brand recognition and sales. Promotion is comprised of various elements like:

  • Sales Organization
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Sales Promotion

Advertising typically covers communication methods that are paid for like television advertisements, radio commercials, print media, and internet advertisements. In contemporary times, there seems to be a shift in focus offline to the online world. Public relations, on the other hand, are communications that are typically not paid for. This includes press releases, exhibitions, sponsorship deals, seminars, conferences, and events. Word of mouth is also a type of product promotion. Word of mouth is an informal communication about the benefits of the product by satisfied customers and ordinary individuals. The sales staff plays a very important role in public relations and word of mouth. It is important to not take this literally. Word of mouth can also circulate on the internet. Harnessed effectively and it has the potential to be one of the most valuable assets you have in boosting your profits online. An extremely good example of this is online social media and managing a firm’s online social media presence.

In creating an effective product promotion strategy, you need to answer the following questions:

  • How can you send marketing messages to your potential buyers?
  • When is the best time to promote your product?
  • Will you reach your potential audience and buyers through television ads?
  • Is it best to use the social media in promoting the product?
  • What is the promotion strategy of your competitors?

Your combination of promotional strategies and how you go about promotion will depend on your budget, the message you want to communicate, and the target market you have defined already in previous steps.

Marketing Mix 7P’s

The 7Ps model is a marketing model that modifies the 4Ps model. The 7Ps is generally used in the service industries.

Here is the expansions from the 4Ps to the 7Ps marketing model:

People: People refer to the staff and salespeople who work for your business, including yourself.When you provide excellent customer service, you create a positive experience for your customers, and in doing so market your brand to them. In turn, existing customers may spread the word about your excellent service and you can win referrals.

Give your business a competitive advantage by recruiting the right people, training your staff to develop their skills, and retaining good staff.

Process: Process refers to the processes involved in delivering your products and services to the customer. It is also about being ‘easy to do business with’. Having good process in place ensures that you:

  • repeatedly deliver the same standard of service to your customers
  • save time and money by increasing efficiency.

Learn more about business processes, procedures and standards.

Physical evidence: Physical evidence refers to everything your customers see when interacting with your business. This includes:

  • the physical environment where you provide the product or service
  • the layout or interior design
  • your packaging
  • your branding.

Physical evidence can also refer to your staff and how they dress and act.Consider how your store’s layout, fixtures and signage can build your brand and increase your sales.

An example of a company using the 7Ps strategy

Take a look at HubSpot as an example, which was founded in 2006; Hubspot has 8,000+ customers in 56 countries and sells software. What does their marketing mix look like?

This is a top level overview; you would take this into greater detail and ask the following questions:

1. Products/Services: Integrated toolset for SEO, blogging, social media, website, email and lead intelligence tools.

2.  Prices/Fees: Subscription-based monthly, Software-As-Service model based on number of contacts in database and number of users of the service.

3. Place/Access: Online! Network of Partners, Country User Groups.

4. Promotion: Directors speak at events, webinars, useful guides that are amplified by SEO and effective with SEO. PPC Social media advertising, e.g. LinkedIn.

5. Physical Evidence: Consistent branding across communications.

6. Processes: More sales staff are now involved in conversion.

7: People: Investment in online services.

4’Cs of Marketing

The 4Cs marketing model was developed by Robert F. Lauterborn in 1990. It is a modification of the 4Ps model. It is not a basic part of the marketing mix definition, but rather an extension. Here are the components of this marketing model:

  • Cost – According to Lauterborn, price is not the only cost incurred when purchasing a product. Cost of conscience or opportunity cost is also part of the cost of product ownership.
  • Consumer Wants and Needs – A company should only sell a product that addresses consumer demand. So, marketers and business researchers should carefully study the consumer wants and needs.
  • Communication – According to Lauterborn, “promotion” is manipulative while communication is “cooperative”. Marketers should aim to create an open dialogue with potential clients based on their needs and wants.
  • Convenience – The product should be readily available to the consumers. Marketers should strategically place the products in several visible distribution points.

Whether you are using the 4Ps, the 7Ps, or the 4Cs, your marketing mix plan plays a vital role. It is important to devise a plan that balances profit, client satisfaction, brand recognition, and product availability. It is also extremely important to consider the overall “how” aspect that will ultimately determine your success or failure.By understanding the basic concept of the marketing mix and it’s extensions, you will be sure to achieve financial success whether it is your own business or whether you are assisting in your workplace’s business success. The ultimate goal of business is to make profits and this is a surefire, proven way to achieve this goal.

All the elements of the marketing mix influence each other. They make up the business plan for a company and handled right, can give it great success. But handled wrong and the business could take years to recover. The marketing mix needs a lot of understanding, market research and consultation with several people, from users to trade to manufacturing and several others.


Bitner, M. J. and Booms, H. (1981). Marketing Strategies and Organization: Structure for Service Firms. In Donnelly, J. H. and George, W. R. (Eds). Marketing of Services, Conference Proceedings. Chicago, IL. American Marketing Association. p. 47- 52.

McCarthy, E. J. (1964). Basic Marketing. Richard D. Irwin. Homewood, IL.

Marketing : Science or Art

Marketing practitioners have argued, that if marketing is an art or Science for really long time. They have established many exhibits to prove there respective ideology but till date, no one answer has been obtained. Below i have combined views and opinions of different practitioners to give more insight on this topic, as this would be the first of many contradiction management students go through while reading marketing theory.

However, in my opinion, on one hand, marketing is about creating, appreciating, and inviting a change in mindset to garner better results. On the other hand, marketing requires measurement and analysis, two words closely associated with science. As you see even my views are contradicted. Hence lets start from understand what lead to the confusion of marketing being a science or an art.

Marketing as a Science

Marketing consists of understanding your organisation, the environment and the different segments in the market and combining these understandings to design a product, positioning it in the most profitable segment and doing all those things necessary to establish that positioning to  result in an exchange which is mutually beneficial to both the organisation and the customer.  Philip Kotler says, “Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit” (Kotler, 2001-2012).  For marketing to be successful it needs to subtly blend both science and art. But what are the science and art parts of marketing? Much has been written on this subject. Yet in view of fast developing technology, different views are emerging to keep the topic live.
In the last few years, there have been profound changes in the way how the marketers do their jobs. With the advent of newer technology, marketing, earlier characterized by predomination of advertising, is today driven by digital channels, social media and measured more precisely by modern technologies. The “modern marketer” is overwhelmed with data.  At least apparently, the science side of marketing is evolving.
Further, writing in, Scott Brinker (Brinker, 2013) has listed 4 principles of good marketing science and they are:
1.      Marketing as a science is about objectively using data to support decision making.
2.      Marketing as a science is about looking for patterns in the market and in customer behaviors — within data
3.      Marketing as a science is about embracing ideas from other scientific and engineering disciplines: psychology, economics, computer science, neuroscience, biology, industrial engineering, anthropology, sociology, etc.
4.      Marketing as a science is really about running good controlled experiments to test hypotheses.

Marketing as an Art

Dealing with big data and using sophisticated mathematical equations does not justify marketing as a science. Just dealing with numbers is book keeping. How the information is managed is the art. Take the case of an analytical team in Starcom MediaVest’s office – a leading media agency with plenty of creative work. The name of the team gives away the type of people who would be its members. It is quite natural to expect a few mathematicians or a statistician but certainly not a quantum physicist in the team.  Ms. Shezane Hasware, the scientist in the team, brings a dash of nuclear science to media. She says, “The half life theory explains how a nucleus keeps eroding itself to half but never becomes zero. You can apply that to TV GRPs. The impact of an ad on a consumers’ mind keeps diminishing but it never completely goes away. You need to take that into account while devising a plan.” (Bhatt, 2014)It is indeed an art to employ a scientist in an artistic team.
Marketing is understanding and managing human beings. We are all aware of the complexity of human behavior and it is impossible even with the super computers to predict the customers. If we were to derive a set of algorithms to predict the human behaviour, then there is no need of marketing! It isn’t that simple. The argument here is however not to say that algorithms in marketing is not useful; it is in a limited way. Its scope may be limited to specific situations such as targeting or retargeting of advertisements etc.
Certainly finding out what the customers need is a science and creating an offer to satisfy the need is an art. Pricing the product is more of a science and positioning it is an art. Communication is science and advertising the offering is an art. Distributing the offering is a science and selling is an art. Marketing is certainly more of an art than science with a caveat that the artist needs to comfortable with handling data and computer savvy. But there is a paradox – a purely right brained person however would be less successful than a purely left brained person.  The logic behind this is that creativity is for pure unadulterated joy.

What happens when Science is not applied to Marketing?

The NHS “Get Unhooked” campaign caused fear and dramatic distress to younger audiences. The Advertising Standards Authority banned the posters and the television advertisements from being shown till after the watershed. Meticulous marketing research would have been able to measure behaviour and response levels to the campaign, this scientific approach could have predicted and prevented the public backlash.

What happens when Science and Marketing get the balance right?

Marketing is chock-a-block with scientific equations on their products’ packaging as proof of real scientific results, to raise sales and popularity.  Boots No.7 anti-wrinkle cream was a successful in that they used science to increase the marketing results and the BBC included the anti-wrinkle cream in their programme showing the scientific evidence of the cream displaying results. Media hype ensued and the cream became very sought after, selling out over Boots stores in the UK.


There seems to be an overwhelming evidence of marketing being a more of science than being an art. The first two principles by Scott are all about handling data. All the marketing and the meta marketing people such as vendors, analysts, consultants, pundits, bloggers, etc., are talking about data, big data, analytics, web analytics and big data analytics. They are all falling all over themselves to squeeze these terms into their content marketing. There exists data everywhere or data is mined where there is none presently. The information era is slowly turning into data era. The expectation that big data would translate into profit, leave alone big profit is an enormous error. Data by itself would achieve nothing. Some discerning brain has to ponder over it to uncover some precious information useful to the organization. Creativity is needed to breathe life into the data. I would conclude by saying that creativity is like life and science is like a body to marketing.

As you can see, the age-old debate is easily solved: Marketing is art and science. Many aspects of marketing can’t be measured and require a certain talent to perform. Predicting when and why demand will rise might fall under science, while creating that demand is definitely an art. Developing your brand definitely takes creativity and artistic sensibility, but then determining the reach and effectiveness of that brand requires science. The two go hand in hand; they work together to strengthen each side.

Where many marketers fail is trying to stick with one or the other. A team of creators without any accountability for measurable results will call marketing “art” all day long. A team of analysts who understand how the marketing investments result in profit would balk at calling marketing “art”. Without the numbers to lead the creation or inspiration providing data to measure, marketing simply can’t work.

“Good story has always had a structure and employed techniques to engage and keep us engaged – hence the science aspect. Good story literally changes our brain chemistry, releasing oxytocin, that mysterious hormone that makes us feel good – so our tendency is to try and find a formula that will make that happen all the time.”


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