Companies use a range of marketing activities to achieve revenue, market share, growth and profit objectives. They identify the needs of different customer groups and meet the needs with products and services. To take products to market, companies develop a range of communications programs to win and retain customers.


Planning underpins all marketing activities. Marketing executives set overall marketing objectives, such as increasing market share by 10 percent or growing revenue by 8 percent, and agree to budgets to meet those objectives. They plan a program of activities, creating a marketing calendar of key dates for activities such as advertising campaigns, product launches or customer events, and developing schedules to ensure that program elements are ready and approved.


Companies carry out market research to identify opportunities or threats and to gain a better understanding of customers’ needs. They review existing industry surveys or commission new surveys from market research firms to assess trends in the market. To gain more specific information, they contact individual customers by telephone or via the sales force to discuss their needs and plans. Product review sites and social networks also provide a valuable source of information on customers’ attitudes and preferences.

Customer Offerings

Marketing executives review the company’s overall product mix to assess strengths and identify gaps. They work with product development teams to ensure that new products and product upgrades meet the needs identified by customer research. They assess product features to prioritize developments and put together launch plans to take news products to market. Marketing also develops prices for products and services, reviewing competitors’ prices and setting prices that enable the company to win share while maintaining profit levels.


Marketing reviews customers’ purchasing patterns to identify the most important channels to market. Companies with a direct sales force can sell directly to customers. To expand sales, they have a choice of increasing the sales force or appointing distributors or retailers to cover other territories. For lower-value products, marketing can offer customers the option of ordering by telephone or Internet.

Customer Acquisition

To protect and grow revenue and replace business lost to competitors, companies need to acquire new customers. Marketing develops campaigns to generate leads for the sales force. It runs advertising campaigns that include response mechanisms to encourage prospects to provide their contact details in return for further information or a special offer. Marketing also offers website visitors the opportunity to download items such as reports or newsletters by registering their details. To help the sales force nurture prospects, it develops contact programs that maintain regular communication throughout the buying cycle.


Marketing aims to build strong relationships with customers to protect the customer base, increase the value of individual customers and grow revenue over the long term. It develops communication programs using email, newsletters and direct-marketing campaigns to maintain regular contact. Participating in social networking sites provides an opportunity to engage customers in dialog and learn more about their preferences. Marketers can use the information to personalize communications and make targeted offers, strengthening relationships further.