The American Marketing Association explains that marketing is a set of systematic activities that include research, solution development, promotion, sales and service. Each of these major elements is further broken down into different roles within the marketing function.
Marketing research plays a major role in helping the company identify the needs and wants of its target markets. Through various surveys and data-collection strategies, companies evaluate the problems, needs and preferences of customers. The results drive the development of products and services. Marketing Land notes that technology-driven marketing is the key to attracting and retaining customers in a customer-centric organization.
After solutions are developed or evaluated, focus turns to promoting the benefits of offerings to target customers. Major elements of promotion include paid-for advertising, public relations and personal selling, reports Wikipedia. Advertising and PR help build goodwill, create awareness and project a favorable brand image. Personal selling is used to create direct interaction between company representatives and targeted prospects.
Customer retention and loyalty are critical to profitability for companies. Thus, post-sale marketing activities emphasize building loyalty and managing relationships. Many companies use customer relationship management software programs to monitor customer activity, manage ongoing communication and perform ongoing market research. CRM allows the organization to create a more engaging relationship with customers, according to CIO.