What is marketing?

Posted on: May 21, 2000

Marketing is the management process responsible for anticipating and meeting client needs profitably is the official definition of marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Marketing can be considered to operate at three levels.

  • First, there is a marketing function – someone within your firm takes overall responsibility for marketing – to ensure the appropriate resources are available, to ensure that all the different marketing activities throughout the firm happen in a co-ordinated and effective way and to manage the various marketing information systems that you need to draw upon
  • Second, marketing is a series of tools and techniques (for example, advertising, direct mail, publications, selling etc) designed to do different marketing tasks and these are described further below.
  • Third, marketing is a philosophy that focuses – at every point of the firm – on the needs of the client.

Marketing typically comprises a number of elements that are blended together into what is called The marketing mix – the elements are:

  • product (the product and the way in which that product is processed and delivered – the service element),
  • place (the market and channels where the services are promoted and delivered),
  • price (ensuring clients perceive value for money),
  • promotion (all those activities designed to alert clients and potential clients to the services and benefits available)
  • people (after all, in a service business it is the people who are the product and in professional service firms it is the people who are the marketers, sellers, producers and deliverers of the service)
  • physical evidence (how your firm looks – the reception, the corporate identity etc)
  • process (methodology, work process etc)
Anticipating and meeting client needs profitably
market

There is often some confusion within the legal profession about the terms marketing, selling and business development. They are distinct activities aimed at different parts of an ongoing and integrated cycle:

The business development process in a professional firm
(© Kim Tasso)
marketingdiagram

 

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As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.

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