by Admin
Updated: August 12, 2018

Marketing is how a product or service is matched to the needs and desires of potential customers

Marketing is not selling. Marketing is not pricing. Marketing is the process of connecting whatever it is you’re in business to provide to whatever motivates your potential customers to buy. In an interaction summarized as, “I want that! → How much is it? → I’ll buy it,” the role of marketing is to cultivate the “I want that!” part.

Marketing works in two directions:

  1. Toward the market: When there is limited flexibility in what you can offer, you must discover how to relate it to the needs and desires of potential customers.
  2. From the market: First identify the needs and desires of the potential customers and then create a product or service that meets those needs and desires.

Market research is the process of obtaining this information.


With a large enough population, you can make a business out of just about anything - no marketing required, provided you have enough reach.


Niches are demographics that exhibit demand for a relatively specialized product or service and are under-supplied because other potential providers haven’t identified them or can’t achieve the economies of scale needed to make it profitable.

Unique selling points

A selling point/proposition is a key feature of a product or service that potential customers recognize as providing a benefit that meets their needs or desires. A USP - a unique selling point - distinguishes the product or service from any similar offerings from competitors.

Start-ups will often need to focus on a single USP.

Needs & desires vs features & benefits

Broadly speaking, needs are matched to features & benefits as part of a rational buying decision whereas desires are matched to the emotional aspects (which are often more important).

Consider some kind of safety clip: Feature = strong, Benefit = will not break, available only in one unpopular color vs a very similar clip that is available in a selection of requested colors (Feature = available in red, Benefit = happiness).

Test marketing

The bottom line regarding the appeal of a product or service is how the customer feels about it. Marketing necessarily requires detailed knowledge of what is being offered but this familiarity can work against the ability to see it from a customer’s point of view.

Test marketing involves bringing potential customers into contact with the product or service in development to see how they react. Getting it right is not trivial.

More info

“What Marketing Is NOT” at

“Why Sales and Marketing Don’t Get Along” at

“Category: Marketing Essentials” at

Internal links

Price vs quality Choose your customers Customer Lifetime Value All articles
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