The term marketing refers to the process of product development as well as sales, promotion and distribution. It is often confused with promotion or advertising.
The whole concept of marketing revolves around the customer. In marketing the needs of the customer comes first. During product development, prospective customers (the target market) are determined and analyzed. The company then comes up with a product line that would best answer those needs.
Nowadays, however, the steep competition between manufacturers and service providers has empowered customers. They can easily choose between several brands or firms.
Businesses can no longer take a laid back approach when it comes to sales. It has become their job not just to produce products and services that would cater to customers’ needs, but to also convince the customers that their product and service offering is superior. This is why promotion, sales and distribution also falls under marketing.
When it comes to promotion, marketers use various methods. These include the use of traditional media such as mass media (TV and radio), newspapers, direct mail, billboards, etc.
With the advent of the internet, marketers now have another very powerful and relatively inexpensive ally. This is why internet marketing has become very popular. Examples of internet marketing methods include email marketing, pay-per-click ads, search engine marketing, or SEM (search engine marketing, including optimization). Social media marketing is the latest, but not the last, fad in the internet space.