Skip to content
× FreshBooks App Logo
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
You're currently on our US site. Select your regional site here:

What is Marketing?

  1. Marketing Strategy
  2. Social Networking
  3. Marketing Campaign
  4. Market Research
  5. Product Differentiation
  6. Target Market
  7. FDD
  8. Marketing

Save Time Billing and Get Paid 2x Faster With FreshBooks

Try It Free ➝

What Is Marketing? Definition, Meaning & Overview

Updated: February 23, 2023

Imagine that your business has created the perfect product. 

It has found a gap in the market, scouted the perfect target audience, and then made a product that ticks every box with a realistic and honest price point. 

However, without marketing, your product may as well not exist. 

It’s difficult to describe just how important marketing is to the short- and long-term success of a business. 

The phrase is often thrown about, but what does marketing actually mean?

Read on as we take a look at what marketing is, why it’s important, and what different types of marketing are out there for you to utilize. 

List IconTable of Contents


    • Marketing refers to any and all activities that a business undertakes to promote and sell products or services to its target market. 
    • Marketers will commonly make use of the four Ps of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. This is also commonly referred to as the marketing mix. 
    • Traditional marketing is based on techniques including television, radio, mail, and word-of-mouth marketing. 
    • Modern-day marketing is mainly made up of digital avenues. Such as email marketing, social media, affiliate, and content marketing. 

    What Is Marketing?

    Marketing is an umbrella term that refers to the activities that a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a service or product. A company’s marketing efforts will include things such as selling and advertising. As well as delivering products to either other businesses or consumers. There are instances where a company’s advertising will be done by affiliates on behalf of the business. 

    Skip The Crash Course In Accounting

    The Purpose of Marketing

    A marketing professional’s main aim is to use advertising to capture the interest of important potential audiences. Specific audiences are the focus of particular promotions. They could use appealing slogans or phrases as well as celebrity endorsements. In addition to visually appealing or memorable packaging, or graphic designs.

    The 4 P’s of Marketing

    The 4 P’s of Marketing is a commonly used concept of marketing, popularized by Neil Borden in the 1950s. It is otherwise known as the marketing mix. The 4 P’s stand for:

    • Product
    • Price
    • Place
    • Promotion

    These are the four essential parts that a company needs to consider for its marketing efforts. Let’s take a closer look at each of the 4 P’s. 


    Product refers to any items or item that the business is planning to offer to customers. The product should be aimed toward fulfilling a gap in the target market or to fulfill consumer demand for a greater amount of a product that is already available. 

    Marketers will need to have a thorough understanding of what product is being sold before they can prepare a successful campaign. They also need to know how the product aims to stand out from competitors, whether the product can be paired with a secondary product line, and whether there are substitute products already in the market. 


    Price refers to how much the company aims to sell the product for. Companies have to take a few things into consideration when establishing a price. They have to consider the marketing costs, the unit cost price, and distribution expenses.

     They also have to consider the price point of competing products that already exist in the marketplace, as they don’t want to lose customers to a reasonable alternative. 


    Place refers to the distribution of the product. This includes considering how the company intends to sell the product. Whether that’s through an online store, a brick-and-mortar storefront, or even through both distribution channels. 

    For physical storefronts, a company will also have to consider its product placement. And when it’s sold through an online platform, they’ll also have to consider digital product placement. 


    Promotion is the fourth and final P. It refers to the integrated marketing communications campaign. Promotion includes a wide variety of activities such as: 

    • Selling
    • Advertising
    • Sales promotions
    • Public relations
    • Sponsorship
    • Direct marketing
    • Guerrilla marketing

    A company’s promotional efforts can vary. This would be depending on what stage of the product life cycle the product is in. Consumers associate a product’s price and distribution with its quality. So this needs to be taken into consideration when devising the overall marketing strategy. 

    Get A Headstart On Your Accounting

    The Types of Marketing

    There are a number of different types of marketing that can be utilized by a business. It’s up to each individual business when it comes to which type of marketing they choose to go for. It’s important to consider which type is best for your brand, and will appeal most to your target market. 

    Let’s take a look at some of the main types of marketing: 

    Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing is one of the biggest and most successful ways to market your business and products. It is more of an umbrella term that can be used to describe a number of different marketing techniques. 

    This involves reaching out to potential customers via social media platforms, an email list, messaging services, or any other digital channels. Your online marketing efforts can also boost other forms of marketing such as word-of-mouth marketing. 

    SEO Marketing

    Although SEO marketing also exists in the digital sphere, it covers such a wide range of activities that it merits its own classification. The technique of optimizing material for search engines is called search engine optimization (SEO), which makes it appear higher up on search engine results pages (SERPs) naturally.

    It is used by marketers to attract people who use search engines to find things that they are interested in or want to learn more about. 

    Paid Search Engine Marketing

    Paid search engine marketing is similar to SEO marketing in that it involves placing higher on SERPs. However, while the focus of SEO marketing is to organically rank higher, paid search marketing is the process of paying a search engine to place higher. 

    You may notice that whenever you type into a search engine, the first 3-4 results will have the word ‘AD’ next to them. These are examples of paid search marketing. Businesses will normally be charged on a ‘pay-per-click’ basis where they pay a predetermined amount for each click the advert receives. 

    Social Media Marketing

    Social media marketing is a vital aspect of many businesses marketing efforts. It works by using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other such sites to create impressions on its audience. 

    Social media marketing is also a great opportunity to reach out and directly interact with your audience. People enjoy interacting with brands and this method can bring a certain element of humanity to a business.

    Print Marketing 

    Print marketing is one of the more traditional methods of marketing. Nowadays, it is used to target specific audiences. This is because newspapers and magazines have a good understanding of what type of person subscribes to their material. So businesses can sponsor articles, photos, or advertisements in the publications where their intended customers are reading. 

    Video Marketing

    Video marketing is another more traditional method. It is most commonly done in the form of commercials. In modern-day, commercials are still a popular and viable form of marketing. But video marketing now encompasses a lot more than just television adverts. 

    Companies put a lot of effort into short snappy commercials or viral videos that aim to promote their brand or products. 

    Direct Marketing

    Direct marketing is delivering specific content to potential customers. This can include sending print marketing material via mail or sending things such as coupons, free goods, or pamphlets. 

    Event Marketing

    Event marketing is the process of gathering potential customers at a specific location with the aim of speaking to them about your products or as a chance to demonstrate your products. Typical examples of event marketing include trade shows, seminars, conferences, roadshows, or private events. 

    Affiliate Marketing 

    Affiliate marketing is when a business uses a third-party entity to drive customer interest. It is common for businesses to use online promoters such as content creators or influencers or a fashion model to promote your line of clothes by marketing products on their digital platforms. 

    An external party will promote your products to their own audiences that they’ve built. This is normally done in exchange for a commission. 

    It’s important to find an affiliate that matches your business. For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you’ll want to find a fashion blogger to market your products. This type of marketing can also be referred to as influencer marketing.


    A well-defined marketing strategy can benefit your business in a number of ways. Remember, even if you have the perfect product at the perfect price point – if you can’t get your audience to take notice then it won’t matter.

    By utilizing a strong marketing campaign, your marketing team can help with audience generation, it can help to educate your audience, and create long-lasting relationships between you and your audience. 

    Your marketing activity should bring your audience through the customer journey with a strong level of customer experience.

    Fresh Starts Deserve FreshBooks

    FAQS on Marketing

    How Do You Identify Marketing Customers?

    The way that businesses define and identify their customers will always differ. They will classically consider different demographics such as:

    • Age 
    • Sex
    • Gender
    • Education
    • Occupation
    • Relationship status

    By considering all of these aspects, they can decide which marketing customers would most benefit from what their business has to offer. 

    What Is the Best Marketing Strategy?

    There is no one size fits all best approach to marketing. It will depend on the business, what industry it’s in, and who they’re trying to reach. However, a lot of companies find great success by prioritizing a strong online presence for their marketing campaigns.

    What Is the Difference Between Marketing and Selling?

    While marketing is the process of meeting and satisfying a client’s wants and needs, selling is the process of converting goods into cash. The planning of a product’s and service’s price, promotion, and distribution are all part of the marketing process.



    553 HRS


    $ 7000




    Try It Free for 30 Days. No credit card required. Cancel anytime.