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What is Marketing? How to Grow Your Brand and Increase Sales

Launching a new business, or need to earn higher sales? It’s time to put together a bonafide marketing strategy. Brush up on the basics of marketing.

Marketing has certainly evolved over time, now including subsets such as digital marketing and viral marketing.

The term has many layers, however, its basic purpose is to attract customers to your product or brand using messaging and, ideally, convert leads into customers.

The main branches of marketing are business-to-business (B2B) marketing and business-to-consumer marketing (B2C).

To figure out how to create a marketing plan, let’s dig a little deeper into small business marketing strategies.

What is marketing?

First, let’s answer the question: What is marketing?

According to The American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing refers to "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.”

We can break down the types of marketing into 9 different categories.

  • Content marketing: Information that educates and engages consumers with helpful tools, tricks, and tips about your industry. This content strategy includes blogs, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and videos. Content marketing helps the customer journey and makes you appear like an expert.
  • Social media: There are many social media platforms that target different audiences and posting on these platforms engages and entertains your consumers, generating new prospects and making sales. For example, LinkedIn is a more professionally-oriented platform for business advice and employment, while TikTok targets a younger audience.
  • Influencer marketing: Businesses find thought leaders or celebrities, for example, in their industry, and hire them to talk about their brand and products. Followers on social media and other channels tune into what they are saying, providing exposure and sales.
  • Search engine marketing: Search engine marketing is key to using keywords and phrases that search engines like Google recognize to rank in searches and data tracking. It includes SEO, PPC, and SEM, all of which are key in helping your target audience find you online.

Marketing and advertising

Some might think that marketing and advertising are the same. This is not the case. Rather, advertising is a part of marketing.

According to The Economic Times, “advertising is how a company encourages people to buy their products, services or ideas. Advertising is one element of marketing.”

Now the question remains, How do you grow your brand and increase sales using marketing strategies?

The 4 P’s of marketing are: product, price, place, and promotion.

The 4 P's of marketing

Here is a tool to help you understand what is involved in marketing. It is referred to as the 4 P’s marketing mix and will help clear the way for you to break down your marketing strategies.

Keep in mind that each one is not separate from one another and they will overlap from time to time. The 4 P’s are product, price, place, and promotion.


The product is what you are selling. It can be tangible, like a car, groceries, or clothing. It can also be intangible, like a service such as consulting, coaching, or college classes.

Products are commonly referred to as goods or services that are purchased by a customer. A product can also be a combination of both tangible and intangible. For example, you purchase a car, and there is a warranty for certain things that could go wrong. It may or may not be needed but is an additional part of the purchase.


Price is the cost or the amount of money that a consumer needs to purchase the goods or services. There are many components that go into the price and figuring out what something should cost, including demand, competition, production costs, and how much consumers will spend.


Place or placement refers to where the consumer buys or finds the products. This could be at a brick-and-mortar store, online, or a combination of both.

For example, there are big box stores, fast food restaurants, specialty shops, and select high-end luxury stores.


This is a strategy that takes into consideration the target audience and how to advertise to them. It is, in a nutshell, the who, what, where, and why of your customers.

It looks at different target audiences and where they are, their wants, and their needs. This is a mix of online and traditional advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and everything you do to sell. Promotion is a strategy for reaching your audience.

Invest in marketing because it increases brand awareness, increases sales, promotes new products, retains customers, and draws new talent.

What's the purpose of marketing?

Marketing is one word for multiple objectives. Marketing helps find and funnel potential customers into loyal customers. All the aspects of marketing include different components that work together strategies for success.

Through marketing, you generate awareness, interest and action, and sales.

Increase brand awareness

Marketing and market research are essential to building and growing your brand and increasing brand awareness.

Think McDonald's, Coke, Google, Apple, and Target. These iconic brands have become popular—so popular that everyone instantly recognizes their name, logo, and overall image. McDonald’s golden arches, Target’s red bulls-eye, and Apple's bitten apple are iconic.

But this awareness didn’t happen overnight. It takes strategy, consistency, time, and money to get to this level of brand awareness. The more customers see and recognize your brand, the more customers you will attract, and the stronger your brand awareness will become.

Increase sales

One of the biggest goals and benefits of marketing campaigns is to increase sales. The more you get your name out there, the higher your chances of converting leads into sales.

It's hard for a consumer to buy a product they don't know about, and marketing boosts your chances of being the product they think of when they are in need.

Promote new products

Marketing is big business. Marketing is essential in bringing attention and creating excitement about new product launches.

It also is important to tell the story of your brand and what the new product is all about. Marketing makes your new products more attractive, appealing, and memorable. Marketing new products creates demand among your target audience if done strategically.

Promotions include traditional marketing campaigns like press releases, television advertising, radio advertising, billboards, newspaper advertising, magazine advertising, and print catalogs.

Online promotions include websites, blogs, social media marketing, and other virtual initiatives. The best way to promote new products is to know your target audience and reach them where they spend time.

Retain customers

Retaining loyal customers is just as important as converting them. Once you have their first order, it is important not to forget to keep them in your sales funnel for future sales.

A sales funnel is simply the buyer's journey. It is a marketing strategy that funnels customers through a five-stage journey. The funnel starts with a really big audience considered as your prospects, and as time goes by, will eventually become a smaller group of very targeted repeat and loyal customers.

Providing these customers, in addition to a great product or service, at the beginning with excellent customer service, email messaging, social media campaigns, informative blogs, how-to tips, membership programs, exclusive sales, and other value-added promotions will gain their trust and retain them for future business. Remember, people like to do repeat business with people they know, like, and trust.

Draw new talent

As your business grows, you will likely grow your talent team. When your brand is well-known and marketing strategically, talent looking for quality jobs will want to work for you.

Now, more than ever before, companies are including their inside-the-scenes culture in their branding as part of their overall storytelling. They use testimonials from employees to share their thoughts and feelings about what it is like to work at a company and why they are happy there. Finding the right long-term talent can be as strategic as finding long-lasting loyal customers.

Marketing strategy in 5 steps 1. Determine your goals 2. Know your audience 3. Choose the correct marketing channels 4. Track data 5. Focus on retaining customers

How to create a marketing strategy

Creating a successful marketing strategy is key to reaching your goals and building your brand. Marketing strategy includes where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you want to go in the future. It is an important part of your overarching business plan and should be used as a map to guide you along your journey.

Take a look at things to consider when creating a marketing strategy.

  • Identify and determine your goals, both short and long-term, that correlate with business goals.
  • Know your audience. Create buyer personas and define your target audience.
  • Secure software tools that will measure the success of your established goals.
  • Review media, including paid, owned, and earned media to continually track data.
  • Plan and create media campaigns and calendars for everyone to follow.
  • Assign tasks and launch your strategy.
  • Focus on retaining customers.

Email is the perfect marketing tool

How to develop an effective marketing strategy is a dynamic process and can evolve over time. Consistency and paying attention to feedback, measuring market performance, and adjusting the direction you are heading will help you along the way.

It’s all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together for a positive outcome. If you are unsure where to start, Mailchimp is here with marketing products to help you along the way. With our marketing automation tools, including marketing plan templates, you can create strategies that work together, make you look professional, and are designed to convert prospects into long-lasting loyal customers.

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