Un Principles of Marketing – An Online Course Review

Most marketing courses teach you the latest trends and techniques used by top marketers to grow their businesses. But what is the nature of marketing? What do the best marketers do that differentiates them from others? What are their strategies? How do they approach marketing differently to other businesses? Most importantly, what makes a good marketing plan? In this article, we will examine these questions and more, to establish a clear picture of marketing as a process and an art form.

The What, Why, and How of Marketing

When you are first told about marketing, you may be tempted to write it off as meaningless buzzword-compliant fluff. After all, you may assume that you will learn all there is to know about marketing in a short course or in-classroom setting. In actual fact, though, marketing is a broad discipline that touches every area of business and life. It ranges from the way you present your products to consumers, through to how you sell your products and to whom you sell them too. Essentially, if you want to grow a business, you need to be doing some form of marketing. So even if you feel that you have mastered all the technical and analytical elements of marketing, you will still need to develop your creative and critical thinking skills if you are to operate at the highest level.

What exactly is marketing? Well, according to Wikipedia, it is “The marketing mix is the combination of tactics used to promote products and brands, along with the associated underlying factors, within an industry or organization”. Put simply, it is how you make consumers aware of your product or service, and make them chose you (rather than your competitors) when they are searching for a solution to their problem.

So, to answer the questions posed at the beginning of this article:

  • What is marketing?
  • Why do I need to market my product or service?
  • How do I market my product or service?
  • When should I market my product or service?
  • What constitutes a successful marketing campaign?

These questions will be explored in more detail in the following sections. Let’s get started.

The Nature of Marketing

If you are considering a career in marketing, you will already have gathered that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. In reality, there is far more to marketing than can be covered in a short article like this. For that reason, in the following section, we will provide you with a brief overview of marketing, the various areas of expertise that can be found within it, and a sense of its scope.

Market Research

The first and most fundamental part of marketing is market research. In simple terms, market research is the process of collecting information about your intended audience and analyzing it to find out what they want and need. If you are wondering why you need to conduct market research, it is because without it, you will be operating in the dark. You will not know whether or not your product or service will be effective, and you will not be able to make any changes to it if it is not. Market research should not be seen as a chore, but as a vital part of the marketing process. It is not enough to establish customer insight, you should be looking to expand on this data and develop clear brand and product positioning.

Customer Focus

A business with a customer focus will always be considered to be ahead of their time. In the digital age, customers can access product information, reviews, and pricing from just about anywhere, at any time, and on any device. As a result, businesses must always be thinking about how to serve their customers better, and the role that marketing can play in this is vital. In short, marketers can help businesses understand what their customers want and need, and how they can better serve them. Essentially, marketers can help businesses establish and maintain a lasting connection with their customers. This is often achieved through personalized customer experiences, such as a bespoke website, tailored emails, and in-app messaging.

Building strong customer relationships is vital if you want to succeed as a business. For that reason, marketers should be thinking about how they can put themselves in their customers’ shoes, and establish a clear picture of what would make them, as a potential customer, say ‘yes’ to your product or service. From that point, you can determine the best course of action to take, in order to gain their trust and show them that you understand their needs. As we discussed above, this can be achieved through various mechanisms, such as personalized marketing, content creation, etc.

Product Awareness

Product awareness is the degree to which a consumer is consciously aware of a product or service, and how to use it efficiently. Put simply, product awareness is the ability to recognize a product or service and explain what it is and how it works. If you are wondering why you need to be keenly aware of your product, it is because without it, you will not be able to ensure that you are providing the best possible service to your customers. By understanding what your product is and how it functions, you will be able to identify and fix any flaws before they arise. This is vital for the sustainable growth of any business. It also means that you can ensure that your product meets the needs of your customers, and that it does so perfectly. Product awareness, in other words, is the key to effective marketing.


In a nutshell, creativity is the ability to conceive of new things, or to find novel ways of solving problems. In practical terms, this means that marketers must be able to come up with catchy slogans, creative ads, and innovative marketing campaigns. As discussed above, marketing is a creative discipline, and it is important to note that it can be both art and science, as well as a bit of both. For that reason, marketers should not be afraid to experiment, or to try new things. After all, that is how you find the best ideas.


Above all else, marketers must be able to question everything. More specifically, critical thinking is the ability to form an independent judgement, and to consider several different points of view, as well as the evidence that supports them. So, basically, marketing is all about coming to a decision, and articulating (i.e. explaining) why you came to that decision. In other words, marketers must be able to explain their reasoning, and stand behind their decisions. Furthermore, it is vital that marketers are able to put the interests of the consumer first, and forget about their own short-term interests, when establishing marketing plans.

In summary, marketing is all about giving the consumer what they want, and making them choose your product or service over your competitors’. To put it simply, you want as many people as possible to be able to understand and appreciate what your product or service is, and why they should purchase it. To achieve this, you must master the following:

  • Market research
  • Customer empathy
  • Product awareness
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking

If you can master these five key areas of marketing, you will be able to develop winning marketing strategies that will make your job as a marketer easy, and fruitful.