What Is the Definition of Marketing? (2021)

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Greg Gillman knows the ins and outs of marketing — which is why he’s created this helpful guide for you. 

What Is Marketing?

We’ve all heard of the term “marketing,” but do you really know its definition? Marketing has tons of different definitions, but generally speaking, it refers to the activities that a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Since this term casts a wide net, it comes in many different forms — some obvious, some subtle. 

5 Different Types of Marketing You Need to Know About

Marketing is not a monolith. In fact, there are several different types of marketing that you can employ for your business. Here are five different types that you need to know about: 

1. Social Media Marketing

Probably the most popular type of marketing in 2021 is social media marketing. People spend on average 145 minutes a day on social media — making it a great place to reach potential customers. There are many ways that you can go about social media marketing. 

For starters, you could utilize pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on social media wherein you’re paying for advertising based on how many people actually click on your ad. This can be done on a variety of different platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more. 

You can also utilize unpaid advertising on social media, wherein you use a free business profile to build an audience and engage with them through your content. 

This is a great approach if you have a small marketing budget or already have a large following on social media. 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Another popular type of marketing in 2021 is search engine optimization, also known as SEO. SEO differs from traditional marketing efforts as it’s less obvious and is more subtle — known as organic marketing. Companies utilize SEO tactics to rank higher on Google to earn more clicks and conversions as a result. 

A common SEO tactic involves creating branded content with specific keywords that Google’s algorithm can pick up. The best way to do this is to create a blog for your brand and post about topics that are relevant to your industry and are of interest to your customers. 

Another SEO tactic involves posting content on trusted third-party sites with links back to your site. 

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEO sounds similar to another marketing type — search engine marketing or SEM. Unlike SEO, SEM involves paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. Essentially, you’re paying to be at the top of the list instead of working the algorithms to reach the top of the list.

Similar to social media advertising, SEM utilizes pay-per-click advertising wherein different companies bid to rank for specific keywords. On Google, your bid is taken into account with something known as a “quality score” to determine your ad rank. 

4. Influencer Marketing

If it seems like 2021 is all about influencer marketing — you’re not wrong. The popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and even YouTube have made influencer marketing relevant and mainstream. 

Influencer marketing involves using “influencers” with established followings to promote products or services. Influencers are well-known and trusted within their respective niches, making them great brand ambassadors. 

5. Email/SMS Marketing

While email marketing may seem like an archaic concept compared to influencer marketing, it still has a place in 2021. People still check their emails, and email is still a great way to communicate with customers. 

However, if you want to bring your marketing strategy into 2021, you also need to utilize SMS marketing to communicate with your customers via text message. 

This method is more direct and personal compared to email, which means that it’s only reserved for companies that earn customers’ trust and faith through opting-in. 

What Are “The 4 Ps of Marketing?”

To better understand what marketing is all about, you need to understand the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. 

1. Product

The first P of marketing is “product.” Product refers to the item that you’re actually advertising,  and although it may be referred to as a “product” in this example, it’s important to note that it actually encompasses both products and services. You’re trying to sell this product, but in order to do so, you need to advertise it. 

2. Price

The second P of marketing is “price.” Price refers to how much the product or service costs. It’s important to select a price point that consumers are willing to pay based on the nature and quality of the product in question. 

At the same time, the price needs to be high enough for the company to make a profit from selling it. 

3. Place

The third P of marketing is “place.” Place refers to where the product or service is being sold. In the past, most products and services were sold in traditional brick-and-mortar retail storefronts. 

These days, more and more products are sold on the internet through ecommerce. That being said, most companies take a hybrid approach wherein they maintain multiple distribution channels between an online store and physical storefronts

4. Promotion

The fourth and final P of marketing is “promotion.” Promotion refers to tactics that encourage consumers to purchase the product in question for a set price.

Promotional tactics include incentives like coupons, sweepstakes, and premiums. This involves direct marketing, public relations, direct mail, and other tactics to boost brand awareness.

What Is the Best Approach to Marketing?

Based on everything you’ve learned about marketing so far, you’re probably wondering what the best approach to marketing is for your business. 

There are two different approaches to consider: multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing. Here’s what you need to know about each: 

Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing involves utilizing several different marketing channels. For instance, you could be utilizing social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and SMS marketing. However, these marketing channels aren’t properly integrated — delivering a more disjointed approach. 

Furthermore, multichannel marketing doesn’t utilize all possible channels, leaving you with an incomplete approach for reaching potential buyers. When a brand identity changes from Twitter to LinkedIn to SMS, even your most ideal customers can become disillusioned. Retailers may see reduced engagement on social networks, a lack of brand loyalty, or a loss of sales to competitors.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, involves integrating all available marketing channels for a comprehensive marketing approach and enhanced customer experience. Within omnichannel marketing, these channels aren’t just used but are integrated so that they all work together for a seamless journey that anticipates your customers’ needs.

Each channel has a purpose and every channel in this marketing mix works together to the benefit of the customer. 

Wrap Up on Marketing

By now, hopefully, you’re an expert on marketing best practices. And even if you’re not, there’s a solution in the form of marketing experts who can help fill in your knowledge gaps. Greg Gillman is an omnichannel marketing expert who works with direct-to-consumer brands to boost revenue. 

Thanks to his efforts, he has helped his clients generate $4 billion in annual revenue. Even though his clients include big names like Adidas, Petco, and Ring, he knows what it’s like to be a small business and can help you achieve your marketing goals no matter how small or new your company is. Reach out to him now to get started on your marketing journey. 


Marketing Definition | Investopedia

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies and How to Use Them | Business2Community

The Four Ps in Marketing Strategy | Small Business Chron

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