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Marketing Overview

January 1, 2001

What's the difference between marketing and sales? Or between marketing and advertising, or promotion?

The fact is that while lots of people think marketing is about advertising and other tactics, marketing is in fact much bigger than that. In fact, very good marketing is heavily based on analysis. In these articles we will show the analysis and the tactics that make up marketing.

Marketing a product or service consists of three essential stages. These are shown in the figure below.


In the first stage of marketing, we conduct analysis. Three types of analysis should be performed: Analysis of customers, competitors, and the company marketing the product. In fact, other types of analysis can and should be done; for example, broad environmental and technological analysis is also an important part of doing powerful marketing. In this tutorial, however, we focus primarily on the so-called 3 C’s.

Some people believe that focusing squarely on customers is most important. Others, including Michael Porter and his disciples, believe that competitors are the most threatening aspect of any part of a company’s strategy and should be the focus of obsession. Still others focus on the company and its core competencies.

In fact, if you think about it, you really need to analyze all three and pay equal respect to all parts of the analysis. To see this clearly, just consider trying to market a product that you have researched and found would deeply satisfy customers. Is this enough information to warrant launching that product? Wouldn’t you want to know if your competitors could destroy your intentions? And wouldn’t you want to know if your company has the capabilities and motivation and maybe even culture to provide what customers want. No, all three parts of the analysis are important.


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