In the eyes of the public, marketing is commonly associated with advertising and perhaps occasionally with sales. In academic texts, by contrast, marketing is often redefined as to encompass everything and anything as long as a market is involved somewhere. From the perspective of businesses, however, the multiple definitions of marketing lie somewhere in the middle.
Corporate marketing in concerned with the position of the company within the wider market and can involve operations like competitive analysis or monitoring of market dynamics and environmental shifts. Corporate marketing is not concerned with selling products; instead, it seeks to create brand awareness and foster good relations with businesses partners, current or potential investors, retailers, and distributors. Although it is defined as marketing, this function is often performed by professionals from other fields, such as finance or PR.
Strategic marketing is the endeavor of a business to differentiate itself positively from its competitors, using its strengths to satisfy customer needs in a given environment.The marketing strategy is devised by marketers but executed by other departments within the company, as it is actually logistics, product design, call centers and finance that have to implement the vision. For example, if the strategic marketing plan may call for a new product, the implementation will call for new research and development, new providers, and even new production facilities.
Closer to the traditionally held notion of marketing, marketing management involves the formulation and implementation of marketing programs. This is the level where surveys are performed or advertising campaigns are designed. For example, marketing manager might perform segmentation and targeting, where the potential market is classified in several groups in order to focus on the most profitable customers. Marketing managers also are responsible for the marketing mix, where the product, price, promotions and places of sale are fine-tuned in order to maximize market share.
A relatively recent development, relationship marketing emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction. It seeks to create a mutual commitment and understanding, generating customer loyalty. Relationship management aims to generate long-term repetitive buying behavior. Supermarket loyalty cards offer a well-known example of loyalty marketing, as are online bookstores that learn about the users' tastes and preferences in order to make accurate recommendations.