The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market, which includes these steps: broad market research; market targeting and market segmentation; determining distribution, pricing and promotion strategies; developing a communications strategy; budgeting; and visioning long-term market development goals.[18] Many parts of the marketing process (e.g. product design, art director, brand management, advertising, inbound marketing, copywriting etc.) involve use of the creative arts.[citation needed][19]
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[49] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[50] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[51] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.

Marketing strategy involves mapping out the company's direction for the forthcoming planning period, whether that be three, five or ten years. It involves undertaking a 360° review of the firm and its operating environment with a view to identifying new business opportunities that the firm could potentially leverage for competitive advantage. Strategic planning may also reveal market threats that the firm may need to consider for long-term sustainability.[9] Strategic planning makes no assumptions about the firm continuing to offer the same products to the same customers into the future. Instead, it is concerned with identifying the business opportunities that are likely to be successful and evaluates the firm's capacity to leverage such opportunities. It seeks to identify the strategic gap; that is the difference between where a firm is currently situated (the strategic reality or inadvertent strategy) and where it should be situated for sustainable, long-term growth (the strategic intent or deliberate strategy).[10]
Diversification is the riskiest area for a business. This is where a new product is sold to a new market.[83] There are two type of Diversification; horizontal and vertical. 'Horizontal diversification focuses more on product(s) where the business is knowledgeable, whereas vertical diversification focuses more on the introduction of new product into new markets, where the business could have less knowledge of the new market.[84] FREE Digital Marketing Course
Marketing strategy and marketing mix are related elements of a comprehensive marketing plan. While marketing strategy is aligned with setting the direction of a company or product/service line, the marketing mix is majorly tactical in nature and is employed to carry out the overall marketing strategy. The 4P's of the marketing mix (Price, Product, Place and Promotion) represent the tools that marketers can leverage while defining their marketing strategy to create a marketing plan.[110]
Market pioneers are known to often open a new market to consumers based off a major innovation.[93] They emphasise these product developments, and in a significant number of cases, studies have shown that early entrants – or pioneers – into a market have serious market-share advantages above all those who enter later.[94] Pioneers have the first-mover advantage, and in order to have this advantage, business’ must ensure they have at least one or more of three primary sources: Technological Leadership, Preemption of Assets or Buyer Switching Costs.[92] Technological Leadership means gaining an advantage through either Research and Development or the “learning curve”.[92] This lets a business use the research and development stage as a key point of selling due to primary research of a new or developed product. Preemption of Assets can help gain an advantage through acquiring scarce assets within a certain market, allowing the first-mover to be able to have control of existing assets rather than those that are created through new technology.[92] Thus allowing pre-existing information to be used and a lower risk when first entering a new market. By being a first entrant, it is easy to avoid higher switching costs compared to later entrants. For example, those who enter later would have to invest more expenditure in order to encourage customers away from early entrants.[92] However, while Market Pioneers may have the “highest probability of engaging in product development”[95] and lower switching costs, to have the first-mover advantage, it can be more expensive due to product innovation being more costly than product imitation. It has been found that while Pioneers in both consumer goods and industrial markets have gained “significant sales advantages”,[96] they incur larger disadvantages cost-wise.
^ Brown, L., Competitive Marketing Strategy: Dynamic Manoeuvring for Competitive Position, Melbourne, Nelson, 1997; West, D., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., Strategic Marketing: Creating Competitive Advantage, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 50-56; Schaars, S.p., Marketing Strategy, The Free Press, 1998, [Chapter 4 - 'A Brief History of Marketing Strategy'], pp 18-29
High levels of horizontal integration lead to high levels of communication within the business. Another benefit of using this strategy is that it leads to a larger market for merged businesses, and it is easier to build good reputations for a business when using this strategy.[86] A disadvantage of using a diversification strategy is that the benefits could take a while to start showing, which could lead the business to believe that the strategy in ineffective.[84] Another disadvantage or risk is, it has been shown that using the horizontal diversification method has become harmful for stock value, but using the vertical diversification had the best effects.[87] Is Digital Marketing Oversaturated in 2019?
One way marketers can reach out to consumers, and understand their thought process is through what is called an empathy map. An empathy map is a four step process. The first step is through asking questions that the consumer would be thinking in their demographic. The second step is to describe the feelings that the consumer may be having. The third step is to think about what the consumer would say in their situation. The final step is to imagine what the consumer will try to do based on the other three steps. This map is so marketing teams can put themselves in their target demographics shoes.[86] Web Analytics are also a very important way to understand consumers. They show the habits that people have online for each website.[87] One particular form of these analytics is predictive analytics which helps marketers figure out what route consumers are on. This uses the information gathered from other analytics, and then creates different predictions of what people will do so that companies can strategize on what to do next, according to the peoples trends.[88]
Advertising, or promotion, is only one component of your marketing plan. The marketing process begins with the idea for your product and continues until that product is in the hands of a consumer who bought it. Even after a customer has made a purchase, your marketing shouldn't end—a portion of your advertising should be targeted at current customers to ensure they remain customers and increase loyalty.
At first, I wondered why marketing was a necessary component during product development, or a sales pitch, or retail distribution. But it makes sense when you think about it -- marketers have the firmest finger on the pulse of your consumer persona. They research and analyze your consumers all the time, conducting focus groups, sending out surveys, studying online shopping habits, and asking one underlying question: "Where, when, and how does our consumer want to communicate with our business?"
Product refers to an item or items the business plans to offer to customers. The product should seek to fulfill an absence in the market, or fulfill consumer demand for a greater amount of a product already available. Before they can prepare an appropriate campaign, marketers need to understand what product is being sold, how it stands out from its competitors, whether the product can also be paired with a secondary product or product line, and whether there are substitute products in the market.
In the past, marketing practice tended to be seen as a creative industry, which included advertising, distribution and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology and neuroscience, the profession is now widely recognized as a science,[16] allowing numerous universities to offer Master-of-Science (MSc) programs.[17]
Digital marketing channels and traditional marketing channels are similar in function that the value of the product or service is passed from the original producer to the end user by a kind of supply chain.[93] Digital Marketing channels, however, consist of internet systems that create, promote, and deliver products or services from producer to consumer through digital networks.[94] Increasing changes to marketing channels has been a significant contributor to the expansion and growth of the sharing economy.[94] Such changes to marketing channels has prompted unprecedented and historic growth.[94] In addition to this typical approach, the built-in control, efficiency and low cost of digital marketing channels is an essential features in the application of sharing economy.[93]
From a model-building perspective, the 4 Ps has attracted a number of criticisms. Well-designed models should exhibit clearly defined categories that are mutually exclusive, with no overlap. Yet, the 4 Ps model has extensive overlapping problems. Several authors stress the hybrid nature of the fourth P, mentioning the presence of two important dimensions, "communication" (general and informative communications such as public relations and corporate communications) and "promotion" (persuasive communications such as advertising and direct selling). Certain marketing activities, such as personal selling, may be classified as either promotion or as part of the place (i.e., distribution) element.[47] Some pricing tactics, such as promotional pricing, can be classified as price variables or promotional variables and, therefore, also exhibit some overlap.
The vision and mission address the second central question, 'Where are we going?' At the conclusion of the research and analysis stage, the firm will typically review its vision statement, mission statement and, if necessary, devise a new vision and mission for the outlook period. At this stage, the firm will also devise a generic competitive strategy as the basis for maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage for the forthcoming planning period.
Regardless of who is being marketed to, several factors, including the perspective the marketers will use. These market orientations determine how marketers will approach the planning stage of marketing.[5] This leads into the marketing mix, which outlines the specifics of the product and how it will be sold.[6][7] This can in turn be affected by the environment surrounding the product [8], the results of marketing research and market research[9], and the characteristics of the product's target market.[10]
A disadvantage of using the horizontal integration strategy is that this limits and restricts the field of interest that the business.[84] Horizontal integration can affect a business's reputation, especially after a merge has happened between two or more businesses. There are three main benefits to a business's reputation after a merge. A larger business helps the reputation and increases the severity of the punishment. As well as the merge of information after a merge has happened, this increases the knowledge of the business and marketing area they are focused on. The last benefit is more opportunities for deviation to occur in merged businesses rather than independent businesses.[86]
Positioning concerns how to position a product in the minds of consumers and inform what attributes differentiate it from the competitor's products. A firm often performs this by producing a perceptual map, which denotes similar products produced in the same industry according to how consumers perceive their price and quality. From a product's placing on the map, a firm would tailor its marketing communications to meld with the product's perception among consumers and its position among competitors' offering. [54]
If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.
^ , Blackwell Reference, Kotler, P., "What consumerism means for marketers", Harvard Business Review, vol. 50, no. 3, 1972, pp. 48–57; Wilkie, W.L. and Moore, E.S., "Macromarketing as a Pillar of Marketing Thought," Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 26 No. 2, December 2006, pp. 224–32 doi:10.1177/0276146706291067; Wilkie, W.L. and Moore, E.S., "Scholarly Research in Marketing: Exploring the "4 Eras" of Thought Development," Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2003, pp. 116–46

Taking these statistics into consideration, online marketing is a critical element of a complete marketing strategy. It is vital for marketers to use online tools such as social media and digital advertising, both on website and mobile device applications, and internet forums. Considering an appropriate distribution channel for products purchased online is also an important step. The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy
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