The primary role of marketing is to attract, retain and grow revenue from a company's targeted customers. In carrying out this role, marketing departments perform product and market research, prepare and package solutions, communicate brand value to the marketplace, and monitor ongoing customer relationships.
The ultimate aim of marketing activities is to help a company optimize its revenue and profit, and each element of the marketing process contributes to this end result. Market research is used to identify the characteristics and preferences of a company's primary target markets because the more a business learns and understands its prospects and customers, the more equipped it is to meet their needs.
Research and development or solution development is closely integrated with marketing in that products and services are often designed based on the results of market research. Marketing departments identify unmet needs in their target customers and give research and development professionals guidance in how to meet those needs.
The communication element of marketing is often one of its most important functions. Advertising, public relations and personal selling are all categories of marketing communication. Communication is used to convey brand value and product benefits to targeted customers.
When customers make purchases, marketing tracks buying behavior and uses follow-up messaging to generate loyalty and ongoing purchases.