Marketing plays a vital part in the success of any business. All companies need marketing to attract customers, make sales, and increase revenue. This is where marketing professionals and managers come in. MANCOSA offers a BCom Honours in Marketing Management that equips students with in-depth marketing management knowledge, including customer needs, product development, advertising, and more. In this article, we look at marketing management, the role and responsibilities of marketing managers, and the importance of marketing for all businesses. We also discuss how you can pursue a career in this dynamic working environment.
What is marketing management?
Marketing management encompasses all areas of marketing, including the planning, executing, and controlling of a business’s marketing activities to help reach predetermined company goals. It involves a comprehensive approach to promoting products and services to its customers and increasing the company’s overall profitability.
Unlike digital marketing, which focuses exclusively on online channels, such as social media, marketing management focuses on overall strategy and deploys tactics to keep the company competitive. Some critical components of this field include:
- Market analysis: Understanding market trends and customers by researching and gathering information about customer preferences, competitive services or products, and industry trends.
- Strategic planning: Developing long-term strategies aligning with the company’s goals and setting objectives so teams know what’s expected.
- Product development: Creating and improving products or services to meet customer needs. This includes product features, positioning, and pricing.
- Pricing strategies: Determining the best pricing strategy to effectively sell products and services to customers based on the perceived value.
- Promotion: Developing promotional activities to create awareness and generate adequate demand for products or services so the company can reach its sales and revenue goals.
- Distribution strategies: Planning and managing the movement of products from manufacturers to end consumers. This involves selecting appropriate transportation and distribution channels.
- Measuring and analysing performance: Monitoring the success of marketing campaigns to ensure that KPIs are achieved and the company gets high returns on investment.
What’s the role of a marketing manager?
Marketing managers oversee and execute a company’s entire marketing strategy. Their responsibilities cover a broad spectrum of marketing activities to promote products and services, increase brand awareness, and drive more sales and revenue. Their job specifications may differ based on the company or the industry in which they work, but most marketing managers are typically responsible for the following:
- Market analysis and reporting. They need to stay informed about industry trends, consumer behaviour and marketing conditions. By analysing data, including customer insights, sales reports and market research, they can make informed data-driven decisions.
- Campaign management. Managers need to plan and execute marketing campaigns across various channels, including digital, print, broadcast and out-of-home. By coordinating these advertising efforts, they can increase the reach and optimise results.
- Strategic planning. They need to develop and implement comprehensive marketing strategies that are aligned with overall business objectives. This includes conducting marketing research, identifying target audiences, assessing competitor activities and setting clear, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their outputs.
They must also continuously assess performance and adapt strategies to meet changing market dynamics, ultimately driving business success and maintaining a competitive edge. An article by Business Tech states that marketing is crucial for South African businesses and that companies should always keep it as a top priority. This is where a postgraduate marketing degree is beneficial. Given the extensive knowledge and expertise you need to succeed in this industry, an advanced degree in marketing management will benefit you if you’re looking for a successful career or career advancement.
The relationship between brand awareness & marketing management
Brand awareness is crucial as it establishes a brand’s presence in customers’ minds. It fosters recognition, trust, and preference for a company’s products or services. Strong brand awareness can drive customer loyalty, influence purchase decisions, and create a competitive advantage in the market.
Marketing management creates, maintains, and enhances brand awareness through strategic planning and consistent branding efforts. Thus, marketing managers significantly contribute to establishing a strong brand presence that resonates with customers and creates a lasting impression in the eye of the public. Together, brand awareness and marketing management keep companies competitive in ever-changing markets.
How does marketing drive sales?
Marketing plays a critical role in driving sales. Here are some strategies marketing professionals use to maximise sales and revenue.
1. Market research
Marketing professionals must research and constantly gather information about their customers to ensure they understand their preferences, needs, and purchasing behaviour. Ensuring the company’s marketing message aligns with its customers’ wants and needs can lead to better conversions, which means that customers will buy from them instead of competitors.
2. Product development
Marketing professionals work closely with product development teams to create products and offers that resonate with their target market. This makes selling products easier since it solves their needs and meets the customer’s expectations.
Furthermore, effectively positioning these products and services and highlighting their key benefits and features makes selling a more effective and efficient process.
3. Pricing strategy
Marketing teams often implement loyalty programmes that reward customers or run promotions when they purchase certain products, such as the famous “buy two, get one free” promotion used by many top brands. Bundling products can help increase sales and heighten perceived value. Effective pricing research can also help the company offer its products and services competitively to attract more clients.
4. Advertising campaigns
Implementing marketing and advertising campaigns across multiple channels, including digital and traditional media, ensures the company attracts a broader pool of potential customers, leading to more sales and conversions.
5. Customer relationship management
Maintaining solid customer relationships through personalised communication, such as email marketing and allowing customers to provide feedback, enhances brand loyalty. Targeted communication allows marketers to target specific segments of the company’s audience and tailor messages to their needs.
6. Digital promotion
Social media and other digital platforms allow companies to attract a broad audience. South Africa alone has around BCom Marketing Honours Degree.