Marketing management – a comprehensive introduction for businesses in 2021

12 minutes to read • Published 27 September 2021 • Marketing

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    Throughout this hallowed website and across a wide array of blogs, you’ll find lots of discussion about marketing. Marketing is not a luxury for any business – it’s indispensable.

    Even the biggest brands in the world still spend millions on marketing every year. What these businesses do better than most, however, is manage their marketing. So often, this is the key to success.

    What is marketing management?

    Marketing management is, in a nutshell, the complete process of instigating a marketing strategy for your business. Having a system is critical, but it’s only effective if you implement your plans. In business, as in life, having great ideas is the comparatively easy part. It’s finding the time and capability to put them into action that can grow problematic.

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    The core of marketing management can be summarised in a system known as the four Ps – product, place, price and promotion.

    ProductDevise a product or service that your target audience needs. That means understanding consumer needs and resolving a key pain point, even if your customers are not aware they are experiencing it
    PlaceWhere does your product or service sit in the consumer landscape? Who are you targeting as potential conversions? Build your marketing around the answers to these questions. Generation Z and Boomers react to wildly different marketing approaches
    PriceYour product or service needs an appropriate price tag. Such costing needs to be competitive enough to attract business instead of your competitors, be justifiable for what you offer, and be sufficient to turn a profit with a realistic number of conversion targets
    Promotionthe whole purpose of marketing is to get your product and service – and by extension, your brand name – into the public consciousness. Promotion is arguably the essential element of marketing management, as you only get one chance to make a good impression on potential customers

    There is more to the art of successful marketing management, as we’ll discuss throughout this guide. These four tentpoles provide a basis to work from, though.

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    Why is marketing management important?

    Successful marketing management will ensure that your strategy and planning is not in vain and thus bring success to your business. Without marketing management, you’re always one step behind your competition – and potentially wasting your marketing budget on ineffective implementation. 

    Successful marketing management also bolsters the profile and reputation of your business. Sales and conversions are the endgame for any endeavour, but they are not the only barometer of success. If you manage your marketing strategy well, you’ll have a wide array of potential leads for the future. These leads can be critical for inbound marketing.

    Above all, though, marketing management is about increasing your profit margins. Marketing is all about speculating to accumulate. You spend money on advertising, intending to create awareness that results in more sales. Your business is much likelier to achieve this ambition through a carefully managed marketing campaign than a scattergun approach to promotion.  

    What are the opportunities and functions of marketing management?

    The opportunities provided by marketing management are legion. Applied correctly, the principles of marketing management will serve the following purposes:

    Increasing brand awareness, thus attracting new customers and gaining a larger market share
    Retaining the loyalty of existing users, which must never be neglected
    Enhancing profitability by gaining more bang from your marketing buck

    Perhaps most importantly, managing marketing will ensure that your business enjoys a reliable, consistent branding presence. This identity can be indispensable when it comes to gaining – and keeping – the trust of customers.

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    Think of some of the biggest brands in the world, and you’ll notice they have enjoyed very consistent marketing for years. Examples of this include:

    Nike – the “swoosh” logo, celebrity endorsement, catchy one-liners (“just do it”, etc)
    McDonald’s – the golden arches, low-cost meals, a family dining experience
    Cadbury – purple colour schemes, emotional TV adverts, a touch of luxury

    It may be some time before your business can match these brands in terms of recognition. It may never do so, and there is no shame in that – they are international conglomerates. You can, however, take a lesson from the way their marketing is managed to within an inch of its life, creating a universal and unmistakable identity.

    What are the elements of marketing management?

    We discussed the Four Ps of marketing management previously. Refer back to these as a reminder, and consider how you can break down the process. Your first step is creating a mission statement for your marketing. In essence, this needs to answer a simple question – what constitutes success from your marketing strategy? 

    Be specific here, not vague, especially if you plan to bring in a third party to manage your marketing. Simply saying “make more money” is not helpful. Neither is an unrealistic target, though, such as “increasing conversions by 1000% in the next quarter.” Use the SMART objectives model to give your marketing management strategy the best chance of success.

    Once you have a mission statement, you need to begin managing your marketing to achieve this aim. Everything your business does from a marketing standpoint should be funnelled into reaching this target. Further examples of marketing management could include:

    • Research and due diligence on competitors, noting what they are doing well and what you can improve upon   
    • Studying the habits of your target audience so you can appeal to them specifically
    • Assessing your businesses place in the current market landscape vs where you would like it to be
    • Noting strengths and building upon them, as well as any perceived weaknesses that your business must overcome. SWOT analysis can be invaluable here
    • Investigate current and incoming marketing trends that will impact your business, reacting accordingly

    From here, you will need to continually refine, streamline and improve your marketing to ensure it remains in the hearts and minds of consumers. That is the art of marketing management. The initial idea for a campaign, and the flurry of excitement that follows it, lights a candle flame. Marketing management keeps this flame burning despite any prevailing winds. 

    See also →  5 value-added website features to please your users and win you more business

    How to optimise marketing management within your business

    Maximise your marketing management by paying very close attention to results. That does not mean sacking an agency or consultant if they do not steer you to the targets you set or buying them a bottle of champagne if they do. Use the data to assess whether the issue lies with your branding or target audience, not the marketing strategy itself.

    The monitoring of first-party data can be pivotal here. Every time a user visits your website, try to build a profile of their habits, likes and behaviours. This information will help you understand what convinces consumers to utilise your product or service – or to walk away without making a conversion. 

    See also →  Five business arguments for using design to inform your marketing strategy

    Keep a close eye on social media, too. In this realm, interactions are king. Having plenty of impressions is great, but it means little in the longer term. If you can encourage people to interact with your content – ideally positively, but this is the internet, so nothing is assured! – you can be assured that your marketing is making an impression. In this instance, do more of the same and keep that interest alive.

    Where to source marketing management for your business

    Marketing management primarily comes from one of three sources. You can manage it in-house if you have the capacity and expertise, or seek advice from a third party. If you take the latter approach, you’ll need to decide whether to approach an agency or rely on an individual marketing consultant.

    In-house marketing management

    Take a look at the steps involved in marketing management again. Do you think that this is realistically something you can handle in-house? If so, great. Nobody knows your business or brand better than you, and it will potentially save you a great deal of money. Even if you decide to take an online course to learn marketing, this cost will be comparatively low.  

    Do not overlook the time investment that marketing management requires, though. In addition, you should only consider in-house marketing management if you have experience in this area. That means directly managing marketing campaigns that have proved successful. 

    You could consider making a full-time hire to manage your marketing if that’s your preference. This approach, again, will likely be cheaper than seeking a third party on a contract basis, and you’ll have a dedicated contact at your beck and call. You just need to ensure that you make the right hire. It’s much harder to part company with an employee than a contractor, and you’ll potentially be opening the door to all manner of sensitive data. 

    Ultimately, managing your marketing in-house is a risk. It may be a risk that you’re willing to take to reduce your outgoings. That, as always, is a personal choice. Creative.onl recommends seeking the expertise and experience of a third party, though. You may be surprised at how impactful an independent pair of eyes can be.

    Marketing management agency

    You can find marketing agencies all over the world. If you enter “marketing agency” into Google alongside your city, you’ll likely find plenty to choose from within a stone’s throw of your business location. The process can be managed from afar too, though.

    If you bring a marketing agency aboard to manage your campaigns, you’ll enjoy the benefits of multiple experts. Marketing agencies are invariably staffed by numerous team members, who will likely have experience in different fields. By enlisting the services of a marketing agency, you’ll reap the benefits of management of all your campaigns – whether social media, print, email newsletter or other.

    Now, of course, these services are not provided for free. This expense is where some businesses bump against the idea of enlisting an agency to help with their marketing management. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, and an effective marketing management agency can be worth their weight in gold, a cheaper alternative is to enlist the services of an individual consultant.

    Marketing management consultant

    An independent marketing consultant will offer their services to your business as a contractor. This individual may work from your business premises or remotely, depending on logistics. For example, if your budget is tight, you may wish to hire a marketing consultant based overseas that charges a lower hourly rate. 

    Hiring a marketing consultant can have some very distinct advantages. For a start, you are likely to be the consultant’s only client for a set period, and your brand will enjoy their undivided attention. The consultant will eat, breathe and sleep your business model and marketing plan, doing all they can to bring success through your ideas.

    Alas, there are also pitfalls to hiring a solitary consultant. Unlike with an agency, you will rely on one individual’s understanding and opinions. If the consultant has bags of experience and empathises with your target audience, that is no problem. In fact, it’s an advantage – it ensures consistency in messaging. 

    Sometimes two or more heads are better than one, though. Be wary of pinning all your marketing management hopes on the whims and views of one person. If they misjudge the marketplace, the damage done to your business reputation can take a very long time to repair.

    How much does marketing management cost? 

    The cost of marketing management depends on which approach you choose. On average…

    • In-house marketing management from your existing team will simply cost you time – but it may also cost you conversions if the process is unsuccessful
    • A full-time staff member to oversee marketing management will typically command a salary between £40-60k PA, depending on experience, benefits package and location
    • Marketing management consultancy from an agency or individual will vary wildly, depending on your supplier of choice. The bill could be hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds per month – you’ll need to draw up a strategy and discuss it from there

    If you’d like a quote from Creative.onl regarding your marketing management, please just get in touch.

    How to get started with marketing management – a step by step guide

    Ready to get started with marketing management? Then follow this seven-step guide to maximise your chances of success.

    1. Before you do anything elseset a marketing budget. Available finances will dictate many of your impending decisions
    2. Consider your four Ps. Do you have an appropriate product worthy of marketing investment? Are you aware of who you will be marketing to and what you are hoping to achieve?
    3. Draw up a detailed mission statement for your marketing management efforts
    4. Review this mission statement and assess whether you can manage it in-house or you’ll need to outsource to a third party
    5. If the latter, decide upon whether you would like a marketing agency or an individual consultant. One consultant will be cheaper, but an agency will offer more experience and diverse inputs
    6. Share your targets with your consultant or agency, working with them to ensure that any marketing management is seeing the expected results
    7. Review the performance of marketing management regularly, considering actions that may improve your business fortunes

    This article has been quite a topline look at the phenomena of marketing management. It’s a complex subject, which will require more than one blog post to get to grips with. Our door is always open at Creative.onl if you would like to discuss your marketing management needs.

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