What is marketing?

Marketing is the process done by a company to encourage the buying or selling of services or products. It involves advertising, selling, and supplying the product to businesses or consumers.

In other words, marketing is the process of matching a company's services and products to customers looking for those services and products. Marketing campaigns generally involve the following elements:

  • Identifying the target audience.
  • Identifying how to solve the problem.
  • Developing the message on how the problem will be solved.
  • Identify how the message will be delivered to the relevant audience.
  • Following up with the audience.

4Ps of marketing

It is based on a marketing mix model and involves the following 4Ps of marketing.

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
The 4P's of marketing
CC BY-SA 4.0 | Image Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org | Jorgetarlea


Products are physical goods or services that fulfill customers' needs and wants. This element involves identifying a product idea, designing the product, branding, packaging, and labeling. Marketers need to identify what type of products need to be sold, how to deal with competitors, and if the product can be linked with another product.


This element refers to the price at which a business will sell a particular product or service. Companies need to consider several aspects before finalizing the cost of the product. These include the unit cost, marketing costs, supply expenses, and other expenses. Businesses also need to compare the competitors' prices for similar products.


This element deals with the product distribution part. It determines how the product or service will reach the customer. It identifies the distribution channels and mediators, such as wholesalers and retailers, that will be involved in the distribution process. The region where the product should be sold to receive profit is also determined at this stage.


The fourth P of marketing is promotion. It deals with various activities like advertising, selling, direct marketing, sponsorship, public relations, and event marketing. The goal is to create awareness about the product or service by providing a message like telling stories or persuading the customers to receive a response from the customers.

Digital marketing and its types

Digital marketing helps brands promote their products and services using the internet and other digital technologies like computers and mobile phones. Digital marketing uses email, social media platforms, online advertising, and text messages as a marketing channel.

Several types of digital marketing are available in the industry. Some of these include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is a marketing technique used to optimize the content and reach of the website such that the business ranks on the internet whenever a keyword related to the business is searched.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing aims to attract potential customers or leads by distributing valuable and relevant content to the audience. It offers value in the form of written material or other media forms like videos for free.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing is a form of digital marketing used by companies to attract leads and customers towards their services and products by sending them emails. Companies send a promotional email (email containing a sales link) to their target audience and try to convince the audience to click the link by providing valuable content within the email.
  • Pay-per-click marketing: In pay-per-click marketing, a company places an advertisement on a platform (mostly on Google search engines ), and whenever someone clicks on the ad, the company pays for it.
  • Social media marketing: Social media marketing aims to drive potential leads through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It provides value to the customers and encourages them to participate in online discussions to build an engaging connection with the company.

Brand awareness

One of the main goals of digital marketing is to increase brand awareness. Brand awareness states how familiar a consumer is with the product and brand of the company. In other words, it indicates the degree to which a customer can recognize a brand under several conditions.

Companies use various digital marketing approaches like social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization to build brand awareness.

Use of social computing in marketing

Social computing is a computer science concept dealing with social behavior and computational systems. Social software systems that illustrate social computing include email, social network services, wikis, social bookmarking, and blogs. Social computing is used in marketing for two processes:

  1. Advertising
  2. Market research

Companies use social computing tools to connect with customers and receive feedback from customers.


Advertising is used to promote or sell a service or product. Usually, advertisements are run by business owners looking to sell their products or services. Advertisements are non-personal. The advertiser controls and pays for advertisements.

Traditional advertising methods involve TV commercials, magazines, newspapers, radio advertisements, and outdoor advertisements. However, due to the advancement in technology, nowadays, businesses use several latest strategies to advertise their products. One of the widely-used approaches is the internet.

Companies run advertisements using the internet in various manners to promote their product and service to their target audience. This method is convenient because it allows the companies to narrow their audience. Hence, they can reach their ideal customer at a lesser cost than traditional advertising methods.

Online advertisement methods include pay-per-click ads, banner ads on blogs or websites, media-rich ads, social network advertising, email marketing, online classified ads, advertising networks, social media marketing, and native ads (ads run on the website news feed).

Market research

Earlier, marketers studied demographics collected by market research firms to determine their target customers. This technique was expensive and time-consuming. Currently, social network users voluntarily provide information such as their age, likes, dislikes, education, marital status, and much more on their social media accounts. Marketers take advantage of this information and use it to find their potential buyers.

Marketers use social computing tools for market research. These tools provide results faster and are cheaper than market research firms.

Below are examples of how marketing research is done on popular social media sites:

On Facebook

Marketing teams conduct market research on Facebook in the following manner:

  • Ask for feedback on marketing campaigns from Facebook users.
  • Provide a few options to the users and ask them which one they will pick and why.
  • Conduct surveys to understand the requirements of a particular age group and know which types of ads should be shown to a particular demographic audience. For example, new parents can be shown ads related to parenting and kids' products.

On Twitter

Twitter is a social networking platform spread worldwide. Marketers use the platform to research their potential buyers in the following manner.

  • Twitter search can be used to search for competitor companies and their followers. This will give the business owners an idea of how the competitors are working and how the audience reacts to them.
  • To look for professionals working in a particular industry or segment.
  • To search for the current trends and what people are talking about today.
  • To interact with customers by posting updates about the new product, providing support, or gaining feedback from the buyers.

On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform focusing on connecting working professionals from all over the world. Companies usually use this platform to recruit talents for their company or connect with people working in other companies. The platform can also be used for marketing research. However, it works differently than Twitter and Facebook.

On LinkedIn, users can search for solutions to their problems by asking questions to fellow users or running polls. Market researchers can use the same technique to identify their target audience.

Advantages of digital marketing

Some advantages of using digital marketing include:

  • It allows businesses to reach a large number of audiences.
  • It is less costly than traditional marketing.
  • It allows real-time connection between the companies and their customers.
  • It encourages customers to click the advertisement or purchase as soon as they view the company’s advertisement.

Context and Applications

Marketing is an essential concept in information systems and management. The concept is covered under several courses, including:

  • Bachelors in Computer Science
  • Masters in Computer Science
  • Bachelors in Information Technology
  • Masters in Information Technology

Practice problems

Q1. Which of the following defines marketing?

  1. It is a process that encourages buying or selling of products.
  2. It is a strategy used to sell post-pandemic COVID-19 brand products.
  3. It is a method used by the marketing department to solve problems.
  4. It is a consumer-centric strategy in the marketing industry.

Answer: Option a

Explanation: According to the definition, marketing is a procedure that encourages buying and selling of a company's products and services.

Q2. Which of the following is not a P of marketing?

  1. Price
  2. Place
  3. Promotion
  4. Partnership

Answer: Option d

Explanation: The 4Ps of marketing are- product, price, place, and promotion.

Q3. Which of the following is an example of online advertising?

  1. Newspaper
  2. Pay-per-click ads
  3. Magazines
  4. Account-based ads

Answer: Option b

Explanation: Pay-per-click ads, blog banners, social network advertising, email marketing, and native ads are examples of online advertisements.

Q4. Which marketing element determines the cost at which a product or service should be sold?

  1. Price
  2. Product
  3. Promotion
  4. Place

Answer: Option a

Explanation: The price element of the marketing mix involves identifying the price at which a company should sell a product or service.

Q5. For what is social computing used in marketing?

  1. Advertising and market research
  2. Marketing efforts
  3. Business Marketing strategy
  4. Delivering products

Answer: Option a

Explanation: Social computing tools are used in marketing for advertising and market research.

Common Mistakes

Students often think that digital marketing and social media marketing are the same. However, it is not true. Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing. So, these terms should not be used interchangeably.

  • Business-to-business marketing (B2B marketing)
  • Direct-to-consumer
  • Inbound marketing
  • Product life cycle
  • Marketing segmentation

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