What is Marketing Management?

What is Marketing Management?

8 mins read1.6K Views Comment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Jan 9, 2024 20:31 IST

Marketing management is a multifaceted discipline that plays a pivotal role in shaping a company's success. The significance of it lies in its ability to not just sell products but to create value and build lasting relationships with customers.

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From exploring the needs, wants, and demands of customers to meeting the goals of the organisation, the scope of marketing management is ever-expanding. 

But what are the main objectives of this function in an organisational context, and why do businesses need it to succeed?

To know more about what is marketing management, keep reading. 

How Did the Marketing Management Concept Originate?

The father of modern marketing, Philip Kotler, describes two perspectives on the concept of marketing in his book, Marketing Management, 2000.

One is societal, and the other managerial. 

As a societal process, marketing involves individuals and groups who get what they want by creating and offering products or services that others may value. 

As a managerial process, marketing involves planning, promotion and distribution of products or services in exchange for meeting organisational objectives and customer satisfaction.  (This is also how the American Marketing Association defines marketing.) 

Read more from Kotler and other bestselling marketing authors – Digital Marketing Books 

Now that you have an inkling of how the areas of management such as planning, distribution, etc., are integrated in marketing, let’s look into the definition. 

Do explore the best of 

Advertising courses Content marketing courses SEO courses
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What is Marketing Management? 

Marketing management refers to the application of the broad managerial activities of marketing.  It involves market segmentation, discovering the needs, wants, and desires of the target market, using the right communication channels, increasing value for the customer, etc. 

All these managerial activities in marketing, according to Kotler, fall under broader marketing management philosophies, such as

  • Production concept – to create efficient production
  • Product concept – to ensure the highest quality
  • Selling concept – to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Marketing concept – to earn revenue for the organisation by satisfying customers
  • Societal concept – to ensure the product has a positive impact on the society
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Primary Objectives of Marketing Management

You can think of marketing management as looking at the bigger picture. Selling the products or services to the right customer is one of many tasks.  It also tries to answer the following questions at the organisational level-

  • Why the organisation sells the product or service? 
  • What good it would do to customers? 
  • Will there be a continuous supply of products? 
  • How will the product help the organisation increase revenue? 

Here are the main objectives of marketing management. 

Expanding Customer Base For Revenue

To increase the sales of products, a company has to expand its customer base. The marketing management function here would be to develop a strategy that helps turn prospects into customers. 

Customers can find products or services they want to buy by researching online. Refer to the blog on digital marketing facts.

For that, a marketing manager can run marketing campaigns, display ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. to acquire paid traffic. 

At the same time, the business may deploy a strategic content marketing plan that is based on SEO that ranks the website organically on top of search results from any query the potential customer types on the search engine. 

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Through these tactics, it becomes easier for marketers to create a newer customer base that goes through the defined stages of the marketing funnel

Expanding a customer base is also about retaining existing customers. This is done at various levels through varied tactics such as email marketing, marketing automation, etc. 

As more and more customers grow, the higher the chance for improving revenue. 

Creating a Demand for the Product

Sales figures are increased when the organisation is able to create a demand for the product. The marketing manager and the team must perform marketing research to segment customers based on their needs, wants, and demands.  

Here understanding the competition is also important and cannot be overlooked. Many small businesses perform a SWOT analysis to outline the basic competitor threats and opportunities along with the company’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Also read on the difference between qualitative and quantitative research

This is where the marketing mix comes into play. By choosing the right elements, such as a unique product strategy, a good pricing strategy, a relevant place of distribution, and a diverse promotion strategy by leveraging the ideal communication channels online, the business can immediately gain a competitive advantage in the market. 

Satisfying Customer Demands

To sell the product to the customer, the brand must ensure that the product is of high quality. This means the company should meet the quality standards that the customer today demands. Failure to meet such demands often leads to losing customers. 

At the end of it all, it is the value that the customer expects more than the cost they bear. Kotler explains that marketers can add value by showing the customers more of the product’s benefits than the cost. This is also how modern marketing works nowadays. 

Improving Customer Relationships and Brand Image

For any modern business to continue earning more revenue, it is essential that they nurture the relationship with customers. The relationship should be mutually valuable for either parties and should be maintained for long. 

In terms of nurturing customer relationships after they buy the products, the goal is to continually make them a part of their daily or monthly communication strategy. 

Many brands today keep sending emails on the latest news of the brand or new launch of a product on a fairly regular basis, even when the customers are not expected to buy. Sometimes product launches are informed to customers with personalised mails with personalised discounts. 

While this communication is on the individual level, brands also actively engage their audiences on social media through posts. 

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Importance of Marketing Management

By reading about the objectives, you must have gathered a fair idea of why marketing management is important. 

It can be said that marketing management is necessary for the growth of an organisation not just revenue-wise but also as a trusted business. 

Branding aside, it is essential for eliminating overlooked errors in marketing, such as not knowing the customers enough, making wrong marketing decisions by reaching out to the wrong target audience, not giving importance to competition, etc. 

Proper marketing management keeps such things in check. 

IKEA: A Case Study on Marketing Management

IKEA's unique value proposition, centred on offering cutting-edge designs and functional home furnishing at remarkably low prices, epitomises its vision of enhancing the daily lives of many.

The deliberate segmentation of target demographics, such as college students and families with medium budgets, stands as a strategic move, contributing significantly to IKEA's sales and fostering a distinctive brand identity.

The cost reduction strategies adopted by the company, involving customer participation in shopping, shipping, and assembly processes, reflect a DIY ethos. Tactics like bulk purchasing, supply chain management, and eco-friendly packaging materials serve as cornerstones for cost efficiency.

Further, IKEA's global expansion strategy entails meticulous adaptation to specific markets, customising its product offerings to align with diverse consumer preferences across regions.

The brand's advertising endeavours, exemplified by initiatives like the 'Ambassador of Kul' pricing scheme, have effectively captivated a global audience.

But, IKEA encounters challenges in its pursuit of further market expansion, notably in unexplored territories such as South America, South Asia, and parts of the Middle East. Venturing into these regions could unlock untapped potential but presents hurdles to overcome.

In light of that, ensuring consistent service quality, particularly in transportation, assembly, and post-purchase services, remains imperative. The risk of damage during transit poses potential challenges, impacting customer satisfaction and potentially denting the brand's image.

Addressing the absence of online shopping options could expand IKEA's reach, especially considering the surge in online purchases, particularly for cost-effective products. Additionally, tapping into the premium and luxury segments in developed markets could present lucrative opportunities.

The delicate balance between affordability and quality, while IKEA's hallmark, occasionally poses challenges in maintaining product standards. This risk could lead to customer dissatisfaction and potentially tarnish the brand's image.

So what is the key takeaway from this case study?

IKEA's marketing strategy doesn't just revolve around selling products. It involves actively engaging customers in the creation and assembly process. The concept of DIY (Do It Yourself) isn't just a cost-saving strategy but also a way to involve consumers in the final product. This engagement fosters a unique connection between the customer and the brand, as customers actively participate in the creation of their furniture, turning it into a personalised experience.

How is Marketing Management Different from General Management?

Marketing management focuses specifically on activities related to promoting and selling products or services, whereas general management oversees broader organizational functions.

Also, while marketing management has its distinct functions, it often collaborates with other departments within an organization, requiring coordination and alignment with general management.

Parting Thoughts

You now know what is marketing management. Do check out some marketing management certifications and take the right steps in your career in marketing. Or, choose courses such as Executive Post graduate Certificate in Marketing Management from IIM Kozhikode to excel in this mid-career domain. 

FAQs

What are the main functions of marketing management?

They are selling to prospects, purchasing raw materials and assembling, transportation, storage, delivery, managing and maintaining standards of production, financing for required marketing activities, taking risks with contingency plans, competitive pricing, packaging and gathering information on the latest trends in the market, among others.

How are needs, wants and demands of customers are different from each other?

It is essential to distinguish needs, wants and demands of customers in marketing management. Primarily because marketing strategies can be planned based on these three varying parameters. Needs are basic requirements of people/customers and marketers do not create them, as they pre-exist. For example, food, water, etc., or similar that are necessary. Wants are specific to a customer base and are more intangible in nature. Taking the same example, need is food, but choosing a burger is what a customer wants. A demand is based on both of the above, provided the customer is willing to pay for it.

What are the main elements of marketing management?

Goal-setting to plan marketing campaigns, inbound marketing strategy, monitoring marketing efforts, conducting marketing research, and developing long-continuing relationships with customers are some of the main elements of marketing management.

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio