7 Marketing Principles You Can Learn and Use While Still in College | AD

*This is a collaborative guest post

Nowadays, many students are interested in starting their own business while in college. It is a great opportunity because they can access various resources, such as courses and potential target audience. Learning about the principles of marketing is a huge step that will make the process easier.

Even if your major is not in business, the fundamental principles are extremely important to becoming an entrepreneur. Of course, it might take some time to master them all, but the result is worth it. Time is something all of the students lack because of the curriculum and the number of written assignments. One might think they have no time to devote to learning about marketing when they are stuck with endless essays and research papers.

But there is a way out. If you struggle to free some time, there is always cheap write my research paper help by WritePaper.com out there. Professional academic writers can help with all parts of the process, including proofreading, editing, providing samples, or doing all for you. In such a way, you can get great results and focus on learning the fundamentals that will be covered in this article.

Marketing Does Not Equal Advertising 

One of the biggest misconceptions in modern times is to limit marketing to advertising. Advertising is just one of the tools used in it. It is extremely important, but it does not define the company’s goals and overall strategy. It rather serves as a means of achieving those goals.

And before one gets to the part, it is necessary to consider the four Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion, and place. 

These principles were formulated by E. Jerome McCarthy based on Neil Borden’s article published in 1964. They are also called “the marketing mix.” These four elements lie at the bottom of any successful strategy. Although they were named in the middle of the last century, they are still relevant.

Product

Product is the first and obvious step. A company needs to define its product, value, and characteristics. What are you trying to sell? How can it solve particular issues people have? How unique is it among the competition? What differentiates it from other products?

Answers to all these questions will influence the further steps.

Price

The next factor is price. To make a decision on the price, one has to do extensive industry research. Look at what competitors offer. Consider how much a target audience pays for such a product or service. The price depends on the market value.

Think of gadgets, for instance. Apple can charge higher for their products, although they are not particularly better than their competitors’. But the characteristics, design, and promotion allow them to do so.

Place

Place refers to the way you are going to sell your products. Is it a brick-and-mortar store? Or is it an eCommerce platform? Is it a company’s website? Or do you plan to sell via online marketplace platforms?

The choice depends not on your convenience but rather on what is comfortable for your target audience. Research how they usually shop and what affects their buying behavior.

When the principles were formed, online shopping hadn’t appeared yet. But in the modern world, it is a norm. That’s why working on a distribution strategy is incredibly important.

Promotion

Promotion is the next crucial factor of the mix. After defining the product, audience, and the place to sell, you need to decide how to make the customer aware of it. There are many promotion channels, such as

  • TV and radio advertising;
  • printed ads, like on billboards or in magazines;
  • direct emails;
  • paid ads online, like Google ads;
  • social media;
  • PR marketing;
  • content marketing, etc.

The main difficulty here is determining which of them you should choose. Small and starting businesses do not have the means to cover them all. Thus, it is better to choose two or three that are most effective for the specific business.

The effective ones will be those that reach the target audience. For example, millennials can be reached via social media, like Facebook or Instagram. But an older generation might be targeted easier via email correspondence.

To figure out what works best, one needs to conduct audience and industry research.

It Is All About Customers

All successful strategies are customer-centered. It is all about the customer. Brands can work as B2B or B2C models. B2B means selling to businesses. And B2C means selling to individuals, end-customers.

One needs to create a client profile with as many details as possible to research, such as

  • age;
  • marital status;
  • residence;
  • occupation/work/college;
  • financial status;
  • buying channels;
  • preferred media, etc.

If you have multiple segments, you need a profile for every one of them. It will impact the price, promotion, and place of distribution.

Think about what value a product gives to a customer. Consider the most comfortable way for them to shop. Think about security and client protection in terms of data and payments. Design packaging and shipping strategy should be based on the audience’s preferences.

STP

STP stands for segmenting, targeting, and positioning – the strategic marketing formula. One of the main differences in today’s marketing is that it is number-based. Everything can be and should be researched before making a call.

Segmenting refers to segmenting the audience you are trying to reach. Targeting defines how to access their market. And positioning means creating and cultivating the brand’s position there.

Conclusion

Knowing the fundamentals of marketing helps not only those who want to start a business. It also allows having deeper insight into how brands operate and how people behave. There is always a psychological discourse in this industry. It explains the base of how markets work and how to use this knowledge for your own benefit. And students can apply this information to start their own small business while in college or after.

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