In the 21st century marketing has become a very important part of business. Marketing research reveals that, in general, most consumers respond better to marketing when it is subtle and relevant to their lifestyle and purchasing habits. Marketing plays a very crucial role in building brand awareness and trust in products and services offered by companies. The three main marketing techniques applied by companies include advertising, selling and networking.

Advertising, as the name suggests, is a way of attracting consumers. It can be done through the display of some logos, banners or billboards, or through the creation of an image of the company or brand which is then used by the consumer. When properly executed, advertising helps in building brand awareness among consumers. Marketing research reveals that, in general, consumers respond better to marketing when it is relevant to their lifestyle and purchasing habits; including identification of a targeted market and promotion of certain characteristics or themes to be promoted.

Social Media Marketing: Considered by many to be the first marketing technique to emerge from the Internet, social media marketing encompasses various activities aimed at creating a buzz about the brand, including its website, via the various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, YouTube etc. These channels are used to share information about the brand, product or service, with the help of consumers on the site. Marketing research shows that, when done effectively, social media marketing can generate a considerable volume of traffic and interest for websites. The success of this type of marketing lies in the ability to create a bond between the customer service department and the consumer who uses the channel to deliver messages and interact. Marketing research reveals that the three most popular social media channels are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Branding/Business Strategy: Another aspect of successful marketing lies in the creation of a strong and effective brand. Marketers use different marketing tactics to build brand awareness and trust among consumers. Some use direct promotion and some leverage on consumer behavior by offering incentives. While others engage in viral marketing, in which the brand is embedded in the community and gets “thousands” of followers, such activity generates buzz and allows marketers to generate buzz within the community thereby building a network of active users who can be turned into potential customers.

Marketing Research: Often, marketers depend on market research for an accurate analysis of the current scenario and predict future trends. This helps marketers to identify opportunities and threats in the market and formulate strategies accordingly. Marketing research forms the basis of effective marketing management and can be done by the company’s in-house, external consultants or outsourced. External consultants are usually paid only if the marketer gets measurable results.

Marketing strategies need to be constantly adjusted to keep pace with changing consumer demands and needs. Marketing managers should always keep track of the trends being followed by consumers. Once a marketing strategy proves to be successful, it helps marketers restructure it to make it more effective. Marketers should also continuously evaluate the success of their marketing programs. By keeping track of market research, marketers can see the effectiveness of their marketing strategies and adjust them accordingly.