Easily explained, marketing is the thing you do to address your product or service in the collective consciousness of prospective buyers. The role of marketing is to generate buzz about your product—and in turn to create sales of your product or service. Sales is only a piece of marketing. While sales is just the act of winning over a prospect from prospect to customer, marketing is the technique that makes sales conceivable including brand development, publicity, awareness and advertising. Marketing is the hidden work that brings in customers through the door. Sales is the method of winning over those prospects into established customers.

The cause of the bankruptcy of a lot of businesses is a collapse of or lack of marketing. You can build up a fantastic product or supply a high value service, but if the marketing isn't there, your business won't succeed.

In most business schools the marketing typically taught is known as corporate marketing. They will teach you things like branding, demographics, and positioning. While these subjects are fundamental to know, they won't be a great benefit to the entrepreneur who doesn't have a big dollar budget, fifteen ad designers, and a brute sales force of one hundred fifty.

The flip side of corporate marketing is entrepreneurial marketing. In entrepreneurial marketing, rather than focusing on brand recognition you center on sales. Without a lot money to spend, the return on investment (ROI) of every ad, of every single campaign, is that much more important.

One of the most introductory and most important constructs in marketing is known as product, price, place, and promotion. If you can build up a great product at a market friendly price, position it in a spot where customers are, and promote it considerably well to create demand in the customers’ mind, you’ll succeed in making a lot of sales.

The product is the physical product in addition to appearance, function, labeling, packaging, and warranty. The word product also embraces any services you may provide. The service you supply is your product.

If your price is set high, people won't be able to afford it. If your price is too humble, you won't make any profit. Then again, if your price is too humble, many won't buy it since they may see it as a petty good. To handle these forces and optimize your net profits, you'll have to experiment a lot of different prices of your product(s).

Place fundamentally leans on positioning—the positioning of your marketing campaign and the positioning of your product.

How to correctly position your product is a life-or-death skill. Without suitable positioning, no one will recognize you exist. If you're covered in the back of a store on the bottom shelf and your site is number 3252 in the search engines for your keywords, you likely won't make a lot of sales, disregarding how well your product is.

The positioning of your product is also known as your distribution strategy. A distribution strategy is formulated by finding out where on the value chain you want your business to be positioned, and who the customer will be. You might sell your product to a retail store who then resells it to the customer, a manufacturer who sells entirely to wholesalers and territorial representatives, or directly to your end consumers.

Promotion is a critical part of the marketing process. Promotion decisions include those related to passing on your message, advertising, and public relations.

Here are a few more marketing terms you should know

B2B – Business to Business.

B2C – Business to Consumer

Brand – The collective representation and reputation of your business over all those who interact with it. This includes more than the logo and corporate identity.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

Demographics – Data on customers and prospects such as sex, location, birth, past purchases, income level, and marriage status. A marketer can target their promotions with phenomenal demographic data.

Direct-to-consumer – Selling a product directly to the customer.

Distribution Model – The levels of a product that includes where it's sourced, produced, and sold.

Distribution Strategy – Where and how a company positions itself in the value chain.

LTV – The Lifetime Value of a customer.

Market Research – Research about a market including the competition and competing products, its size, and rate of growth.

Retail – Selling a product to an end buyer

ROI – Return on Investment

Target Market – Who your business will be targeting with the promotions for your product. The people who are most likely to buy from you.

USP – Unique Selling Point, a.k.a. the value proposition; what you do that distinguishes you from your competitors.

Value Chain – A model based on the value added by each type of business at each level.

Wholesale – Selling of merchandise to another business who will later resell to consumers.