From an outsider looking in – what interests me about marketing?

Summary – 

  • What is marketing?
  • Marketing is about customers.
  • Marketing is about products and services.
  • Marketing is much more than customers and products.
  • What interests me about marketing?

Marketing may be a new career path for me. 

I recently interviewed for an entry-level marketing position. As with most job interviews, there were opportunities for improvement. I fell short on one question: What interests me about marketing? I answered, “The challenge of getting the right product to the right customers.” A decent answer, although, I should have thought more on that question in my preparation for the interview. 

I decided to reflect on that question and give it the proper consideration it deserves. 

I had heard about the 4Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion, and place – but didn’t know much more than that. I wanted to learn more about marketing. To do that, I completed Drew Boyd’s Marketing Foundations course on LinkedIn Learning. Mr. Boyd, with his more than 30 years of experience, offers a solid introductory course for anyone who wants to learn more about marketing.

Here are a few pieces of information I took away from that course that helped fuel my interest in marketing. 

What is marketing?

The American Marketing Association, or AMA, defines marketing as “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.” 

I like Drew Boyd’s definition – “changing beliefs in the minds of customers” and “getting them to believe that your products and services offer a better value than the competition.” That’s certainly a more approachable definition that gets right to the point. 

Marketing is about customers.

Marketing, at its core, is about creating and retaining customers. It goes beyond a single transaction. You want to attract customers for the long-term and keep them coming back to you. A satisfied customer makes your business possible. A customer is satisfied when your product provides benefits that are of value to them. Don’t assume your customer is satisfied. Get their feedback if you can.

In Lean Six Sigma, we learn that the customer defines value. Anything that doesn’t add value to the customer is considered waste. It’s a similar approach to marketing. It’s also a reminder that the customer is the common denominator throughout every aspect of your business.

Marketing is about products and services.

Look around you. Marketing is everywhere. Every product or service was part of someone’s marketing strategy. Have you ever stopped to think about why you bought one product over another one? There is a reason we buy the products that we do. 

It breaks down like this – products have features, features provide benefits, and benefits provide value. You bought that product because you believed it would provide a benefit to you. More than that, you bought one product over another because you perceived it to offer more value than one of its competitors.

Marketing is much more than customers and products.

I didn’t realize how crucial marketing is to your business. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, marketing is at the center of it. It doesn’t end with customers and products. Marketing serves a roadmap for your company. It needs to be an investment in your company’s future. It must meet the changing needs of your customers – and ensure that customers continue to see value in what you offer. 

What interests me about marketing?

Quite a bit, once I learned more about it. It’s an exciting field of study, especially for someone from a different career path. 

I now understand that marketing is so much more than the 4Ps. It’s a complex, multi-sided, system of interrelated processes. It’s analytical, strategic, tactical, and measurable. It’s a combination of customers, products, and every aspect of your business. It involves solving problems and creating solutions.

Customers have more choices than ever for where and how they spend their money. It takes skilled marketers to reach customers and have a positive impact on them.

After learning the foundations, marketing is a career path that interests me. Marketing is a wide-ranging field of study. There are plenty more concepts than these. I look forward to learning more about marketing and exploring career options in this field.

Resources – Drew Boyd’s Marketing Foundations course on LinkedIn Learning

About the author – Jason S. Sullivan is a Quality Assurance Specialist considering a career change into marketing. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn and check out his other articles!

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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