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THE SJSU MA DIARIES

  • Trang Han

What Is Marketing, Really?



You'd be surprised how many future marketing graduates know what marketing is. Many students, including myself, tend to confuse marketing with many other things, such as sales or advertising. There were several cases in which I heard people misuse the word 'marketing' as a synonym for 'selling.' Let's clarify a few things.


In a way, I guess you can say marketing is making people love the things they are marketed to. However, marketing's actual purpose is not to fool or manipulate people but instead present products or services in an attractive light to appeal to their target audience and have a competitive edge over competitors. Essentially, marketing is more about understanding society and the world we live in. Not about annoying uninterested people through cold-calling or countless pop-up ads on websites.


It's not about targeting people with money to buy something. It's about investing and researching to find a product-market that best serves a target audience. Form a relationship with those who want the type of product the company offers and are willing to pay for it. Once they find it, marketers' job is to learn how they can better serve the market audience and how they should communicate with them appropriately.


A marketer's responsibility consists of researching the market and the environment, analyzing the data, learning about the people we want to serve and the environment, locate where we need to operate, develop promotional deliverables, etc. The process is a success once we've reached and impressed our audience.


But our job isn't over yet.


After we introduce the offering to the public, the performance needs to be evaluated. They need to address shifting demands and issues, see what's working and what's not, and adjust accordingly. We will also be responsible for building, maintaining, and managing profitable customer relationships by ensuring that they receive superior customer value and satisfaction. Yup, marketers are not only working on finding and attracting customers but also on keeping them.

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