Guide to Learning Marketing, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
35 items | 267m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning Marketing

7m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning Marketing

Have you ever wondered why you feel enticed to pick up certain things while you’re shopping for groceries at the store? What is it about that label that caught your eye, compelled you to pick it up, briefly read about it, and then drops it into your shopping cart? Perhaps you liked the color of it. Perhaps you liked the new flavor that a long-time favorite beverage company just implemented. The answers to these questions will be numerous, but there’s one key term that can harbor all these questions, and that’s marketing. That product in your hand was designed for you to find it appealing. It was, what is called in the business world, marketed towards you. Marketing is by far the most important part of selling a product, service, or a business, but how much do you know about marketing? This guide will help give you a brief understanding of what marketing is.

Introduction to Marketing

Many people would consider marketing to be a fairly new concept, but it’s as old as civilization. Some people have even considered the exchanged between the various figures from different creation stories to have been the first instance of marketing. It’s considered by some to even be the oldest profession because, at its fundamental understanding, marketing is the exchange of ideas and the exchange of communication. The actual evolution of marketing came much later though in the 20th century. The first seminal work of marketing happened in the late 1960s early 1970s thanks to Philip Kotler who published his book on marketing management. Marketing is constantly confused with selling, though they both have their respective differences. Marketing is a much more common term and is widely used in comparison to selling as well.

In the past, people first started producing something and then realized that they needed something else from somebody else. This is how bartering came to be. Subsequently, as the Industrial Revolution came into being, many goods started to get produced and people found out that they had much more then what was required or demanded. The concept of selling items came from this surplus. This interaction gave birth to marketing, as sellers began to understand what other people wanted and didn’t want. The first salesman appears and thereafter, around the 1950s and 1960s (the Golden Age), marketing and advertising became a mainstay in many societies. It wasn’t until the 1970s though that marketing took flight. By the end of the 1980s, people realized that the oldest of the marketing concepts needed revision. Today, in the Technological Age, there is a new marketing theory that has taken over.

What is Marketing?

There are two definitions: the American Marketing Association definition and Philip Kotler’s definition.

American Marketing Association definition: This definition is quite old and continues to get revised. A past reiteration of it said that marketing management is “the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or user.” Many people find this concept of marketing to be very limited. It only talks about things which are produced, and it only seems to focus on the physical distribution of things from one producer to another consumer. This is why many people prefer Philip Kotler’s definition.

The Philip Kotler definition: This definition considers marketing to be a societal process in which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and freely exchanging services and products of value between one another. Marketing is an ongoing process full of discovering and translating the consumer’s desires and needs into services and products, serving the consumer and their demand through a network of marketing channels and expanding the market base when faced with competition from other marketers. This definition covers a broad spectrum of businesses, which is important to keep in mind in the modern world. Marketing isn’t merely a business exchange; there is a whole spectrum of aspects, emotions, feelings, desires, wants, fulfillments and so forth that this definition can describe. There are people like influencers who are constantly reshaping how we see marketing and business acts.

The next big question becomes “what is a market?” For many people, a market is a physical place. It’s a place where people meet, they exchange goods, products, or services. But now thanks to the internet, the spaces we fill are no longer just in the physical form. Digital spaces, such as social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are also market spaces. eBay is another example. It’s a marketing space that is open to virtually anyone and rarely involves a physical experience or exchange between the two parties. This is why the new definition of a market is considered a potential set of buyers and sellers who offer some value to consumers. A modern example of this definition would be professional YouTubers and Twitch streamers. These individuals offer the value of entertainment by creating recorded or streamed content readily consumed by their viewers. It’s become one of the top merging professions and marketing platforms in the modern-day.

The Marketing Concepts

Now we find ourselves at an important aspect of marketing, the concepts behind it. The concepts underline the previous definitions of marketing. Many people don’t understand they have different assumptions and the following set of concepts will give you a better understanding of the different assumptions that people work from.

People still believe in what is called the production concept. This concept indicates that all you need to do is produce and then somehow there will be customers who need what you are producing and the focus, therefore, is on producing more and more with the assumption that the more you produce, the more profitable your business will be. 

There is also the product concept. The focus on this concept is to develop a superior product to that of the competition. Unfortunately, there are dozens of examples of companies who built far superior products but failed in the marketplace. One example of this comes with Microsoft’s operating systems. To many tech-savvy people, Microsoft’s OSs aren’t the best OSs out there; however, consumers still flock to them. A majority of today’s computers use them.

The third concept is the selling concept. Some people believe that a lot of customers won’t buy on their own accord and need to be persuaded to buy something. It’s a common concept found among businesses and individuals who have a transactional and trading mentality.

The fourth concept, which is gaining the most acceptance in the modern world, is the marketing concept. This concept puts the pressure of success on you. Your success as a company lies in your ability to distinguish yourself from your competition by offering an improved value proposition to your customers. The main focus of this concept is in comparing yourself with what your competitors are offering and doing a better job of it.

The final concept takes into account certain things like environmental consciousness and being more socially aware. It’s called the societal marketing concept. This concept explains that not only should you have a better value proposition than your competitor, but you must also be socially relevant and desirable. This is by far the most visible and sought-after concept in today’s society. It’s become common to hear about a certain group of people becoming upset because a company has created an advertisement that they consider to be offensive. We live in a world that’s becoming more and more socially conscious, and therefore marketing and advertising are being forced to adjust to this demand. One example is recently when Nike, the shoe company, presented a sneaker that displays the Betsy Ross version of the American flag on it. Known as the USA-theme Air Max 1 sneaker, it was marketed as a celebration of the Fourth of July. It was pulled after criticism of the shoe claimed that the flag (an early reiteration of the American flag), was found offensive. The backlash included former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who endorsed Nike and appeared in previous advertising campaigns. According to him and other opposers, the flag was an offensive symbol because it has a connection to the slavery era.

This situation isn’t unique to Nike. Almost every week a company or other entity who is involved in marketing find themselves at either the positive or negative side of the internet’s opinion. This is why the societal marketing concept has become so important. Companies must take into consideration the larger good of society when they are marketing. Though ironically speaking, there have been companies that have marketed against the common mindset and have done successfully. But these are arguably the outliers of the marketplace.

Key Take-Away

When it comes down to it, all of these marketing concepts are still being implemented around the world. There are different assumptions in each of the concepts. It would be wise for you to consider what concepts many companies that you see around you are using when they are marketing or selling their products. This is especially true if you are considering becoming an entrepreneur or starting your own business. What will your ads say? Which concept works for you? It starts with a conversation between you and another person. Will it be a great conversation that leads to understanding the needs of your potential client or customer? Do you understand their problems, dreams, and needs? On the other side of the proverbial coin: do you need to understand these aspects of them? Marketing comes down to asking many of these difficult questions and accepting that the answer to be something one day, and then the next it’s something completely different.

About This Marketing Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about marketing from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

14 items | 116m read
2m watch | Basics

What is Marketing?

Marketing is a process that if followed will lead to the success of any small business. At times businesses focus on understanding one element of the process neglecting the remaining elements… Let’s try to understand the full process of marketing.
8m read | Basics

Why is Marketing Important?

Marketing is probably the most ubiquitous entity in business, flowing through and connecting virtually all industries in existence today.

In this post we’ll be addressing all of these questions and more:

Why is this trend so representative of our time?
What is the role of marketing in global economies?
What connects marketing, trust, and business ethics?
What are the nuances of defining marketing goals and strategies?
How did marketing evolve in line with technology and the internet?
2m read | Basics

Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference?

It may seem like advertising and marketing are two concepts that share exactly the same objective. In fact, they do have the same objective: alerting consumers to products and services being sold. Marketing and advertising have many things in common, but there are some differences. Comprehension of these differences and similarities will help any business or organization with their strategy for customer and audience acquisition.
4m read | Basics

The Difference between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

Which strategy for marketing will provide me the perfect reach and most quantifiable profit for the income I spend? That is the question promoters are dealing with each day. Traditional marketing Vs Digital marketing is still among the real discussions in many corporates when doing their advertising method.
9m read | Basics

History of Marketing Channels

Marketing has been around as long as humans have been selling things. Newspapers required newsies, apps require app stores, and Kylie lip kits require Insta. It’s never been sufficient to have a great product. If people don’t know about it, they’ll never be able to purchase it. Even Coca-Cola almost never happened if it wasn’t for the marketing genius who bought the formulation from the struggling inventor.
12m read | Basics

Types Of Marketing

Lots of people are talking about all the new forms of marketing a company can pursue. It’s true, certain traditional marketing has been around for a long time and is still used today, but with the Internet now playing such a huge role in any company’s success, people are coming out with more and more ways to market their products or services. The more we thought about all the different varieties of marketing, the more we realized there are so many different ways to promote something.
4m read | Basics

The Four Ps of Marketing

Marketing Mix, a term coined by Neil Borden, are the ingredients that combine to capture and promote a brand or product’s unique selling points, those that differentiate it from it’s competitors. The ideas behind Borden’s model were refined over the years until E. Jerome McCarthy reduced them to 4 elements called “The Four Ps.” This proposed classification has been used by marketing companies, branding agencies and web design companies throughout the world.
6m read | Basics

The Importance Of The Marketing Mix

Marketing is an approach of numerous processes included in commuting the goods and services from the fabricator or manufacturer to the immediate customer. It confides constructing the concept of goods and services analyzing the related customer, advertising it and distributing them to all the channels of selling.
7m watch | Basics

Philip Kotler's Marketing Strategy

Philip Kotler is the undisputed heavyweight champion of marketing. He’s authored or co-authored around 70 books, addressed huge audiences around the world and consulted some of the biggest brands. In this video, he shares his insights with the London Business Forum.
35m read | Basics

Summary of Kotler's Principles of Marketing

Simply put, marketing is managing profitable relationships, by attracting new customers by superior value and keeping current customers by delivering satisfaction. Marketing must be understood in the sense of satisfying customer needs. Marketing can be defined as the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships to capture value from customers in return. A five-step model of the marketing process will provide the structure of this chapter.
9m read | Basics

Process for Creating a Marketing Strategy

A strategic marketing process is just as it sounds – it’s a plan that lays out all of the elements connected with and impacted by your business’s marketing initiatives. Your marketing process doesn’t just concern your own brand, but your positioning in your industry as well. It’s the roadmap that propels you forward in your unique marketplace and helps you make valuable, memorable connections with your target audience.
8m watch | Basics

What is Market Research?

How is it possible to effectively understand your target marketing (audience) if you choose not to conduct essential market research practices? Small and large organizations alike should develop a strategic marketing research analysis plan.
6m read | Basics

The Market Research Process

Perhaps the most important step in the market research process is defining the goals of the project.  At the core of this is understanding the root question that needs to be informed by market research.  There is typically a key business problem (or opportunity) that needs to be acted upon, but there is a lack of information to make that decision comfortably; the job of a market researcher is to inform that decision with solid data.
9m read | Basics

The Methods of Market Research

While there are many ways to perform market research, most businesses use one or more of five basic methods: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials. The type of data you need and how much money you’re willing to spend will determine which techniques you choose for your business.
9 items | 75m read
3m watch | Advanced

What is Branding?

This 3-minute video was produced by the MSc Brand Leadership team at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, and explains what branding is in a nutshell.
13m read | Advanced

Steps for Building a Successful Brand

Make no mistake about it: a recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.

As a small business, you may be competing against big brands with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets. That’s why you have to find ways to differentiate–with a solid brand building process of your own.
9m read | Advanced

Brand Building Strategies

A crowded market, not understanding your target customer, inexperience — all of these factors may affect your ability to be successful, especially as a first-time business owner. It’s easy to get carried away with overcomplicated strategies, but keep your sights on the core elements when it comes to creating your brand.
9m read | Advanced

Types of Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is a business practice relying on research that leads the direction of how a business divides its target market into smaller, more manageable groups based on common ground they share. Simply put, customers of each market segment have similar characteristics that businesses can leverage to optimize their marketing, advertising, and sales efforts.
12m read | Advanced

The Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning Model

Today, Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) is a familiar strategic approach in Modern Marketing. It is one of the most commonly applied marketing models in practice. The STP model is useful when creating marketing communications plans since it helps marketers to prioritize propositions and then develop and deliver personalized and relevant messages to engage with different audiences.
5m read | Advanced

How to Create a Marketing Targeting Strategy?

Deciding a targeting strategy is the next step from carrying out segmentation. Where segmentation segments the complete market, targeting only observes the individual segment. Targeting then makes plans to get customers within that segment. In essence, targeting is a subset of segmentation.
8m watch | Advanced

Global Market Entry Strategies Explained

Going abroad for business? Or thinking of selling your products in foreign lands? This video goes through the main ways firms can grow their business by selling their products abroad. Exporting, Franchising, Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, Direct Investment.
8m read | Advanced

Best Practices for Global Brand Marketing

Global brand marketing is a big step to take for any organization, and the integrity of your brand and product should be handled well every step of the way. With these practices in your back pocket, you and your team will be ready to tackle the challenge of taking your product from ‘here’ to everywhere.
8m read | Advanced

Social Responsibility in Marketing

Businesses and people face some constraints on what can ethically be done to make money or to pursue other goals. Fraud and deception are not only morally wrong but also inhibit the efficient functioning of the economy. There are also behaviors that, even if they are not strictly illegal in a given jurisdiction, cannot be undertaken with a good conscience.
11 items | 69m read
4m read | Expert

Successful Marketing Techniques

Here are five successful marketing techniques you can use to increase your sales. All of them are simple to use. And they’re effective for building any businesses.
11m read | Expert

Best Digital Marketing Tools

While digital marketing tools will only help you execute a proper strategy (they won’t do the work for you), the right technology stack can really help you zoom past the competition.

Some tools out there are foundational — things like email marketing, web forms, analytics, and a CRM. However, other tools are more specialized, including keyword rank trackers, or design tools.
3m read | Expert

Best Market Research Tools

Every worker needs their toolbox, and market researchers are no different. Your research toolbox doesn’t have a vice or stud finder, but it does have tools that crunch data and find hidden insights.

The obvious tool you need is a world-class research platform, but let’s look at some of the other market-research tools to help you create the best possible experience for your customers and employees.
14m read | Expert

How To Create An Effective Marketing Information System

In a perfect world, an MIS system would be created from the ground up and integrated with all of a business’s systems and processes. In such a world, every sale and lead could be traced back to the marketing effort that produced it. Also, every complaint or compliment would be tracked to the source. Skilled customer service personnel would quickly turn all negatives into positives, and skilled marketing communicators would create content that incorporated the testimonials. That’s the dream. The reality falls far short.
7m watch | Expert

McDonald's Global and Local Marketing Strategy

This 7-minute video explores why McDonald’s has an important local strategy for each country alongside its clear global strategy.
12m read | Expert

Marketing Strategy Case Studies to Learn From

Have you noticed that the world of awesome marketing strategy is changing? And rapidly. Traditional media vehicles are losing effectiveness as people communicate in new and different ways. Mass audiences are fragmenting into small segments. Developing a point of difference is harder than ever. These awesome marketing strategies case studies will show you how though.
4m read | Expert

How a Global Brand Adapted to Local Tastes

Oreo is the world’s favorite cookie in more than 100 countries worldwide. The Nabisco division of Mondelez International had more than $2 billion in global annual revenues for its Oreo brand. In 2012, Oreo celebrated its 100th birthday. While the cookie continues to be the most popular in the United States, new exotic flavors are sweeping the globe.
12m watch | Expert

There is No Luck, Only Good Marketing

How can I be successful too? It is a frequently asked question when people are confronted with the success of others. Franz Schrepf challenges us to look at our lives from a different angle and uses the basic principles of marketing to convince us that success is not just a matter of luck. By changing the way we present and promote ourselves we can gain agency and happiness.
6m read | Expert

Trends That Will Affect the Future of Marketing

Trying to predict the future is always a risky thing to do; most of us are terrible at it. But if I had to bet on what the near term will hold, I would put my money on the following 7 trends.
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Marketing Books

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd. Serial entrepreneur and rebellious marketer Allan Dib reveals a marketing implementation breakthrough that makes creating a marketing plan simple and fast. It’s literally a single page, divided up into nine squares. With it, you’ll be able to map out your own sophisticated marketing plan and go from zero to marketing hero.

Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins. Path-finding author Mark Schaefer provides an achievable and realistic framework to help you stay ahead of the curve by re-imagining marketing in a world where hyper-empowered consumers drive the business results.

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, and timeless package. This Is Marketing shows you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech start-up founder, a small-business owner, or part of a large corporation.

Marketing: An Introduction by Philip Kotler. This book shows students how customer value—creating it and capturing it—drives every effective marketing strategy. Using an organization and learning design that includes real-world examples and information that help bring marketing to life, the text gives readers everything they need to know about marketing in an effective and engaging total learning package.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Marketing Courses

Introduction to Marketing by the University of Pennsylvania. Taught by three of Wharton’s top faculty in the marketing department, consistently ranked as the #1 marketing department in the world, this course covers three core topics in customer loyalty: branding, customer centricity, and practical, go-to-market strategies.

Marketing Management Course. In this marketing course, you will learn the fundamentals of marketing management, as you gradually learn advanced theories and applications through real world business examples, illustrations, cases and exercises. You will learn how marketing management tools can be used to increase your customer base, improve customer satisfaction and increase your company’s overall perceived value.

Fundamentals of market research, positioning, the marketing mix and campaign planning. Cover the concepts and tools you need to successfully develop a marketing strategy for a business, product or service. Begin by understanding consumers and the main market research techniques, then learn how to correctly segment, target and position your product to achieve success. Continue by analyzing the four critical areas in marketing, the famous four Ps of Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

Business Fundamentals: Marketing Strategy. If you want to be a business owner or a corporate executive whose job involves business decisions, then you will certainly need to master three fundamental disciplines: Business Strategy, Management and Leadership and Marketing Strategy.

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