Components of marketing
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

American Marketing Association

This course begins with the basics of marketing. Marketing describes the means of communication between an organization and its consumer audience (aka “customers” or “stakeholders”).

The techniques used in marketing include gathering information, and selecting target markets through market analysis and market segmentation, as well as understanding methods of influence on the consumer behaviour. These techniques provide actionable insights and business intelligence that facilitates behaviour change – in a way that delivers mutual benefit for the organization’s products and/or services and its consumers.

For nonprofit organization marketing, the objective is to deliver a socially-conscious message about the organization’s services to a specific audience and a call to action.

Governments too, employ a mixture of marketing and communications to connect with various audiences – to inform stakeholders about changes to regulations and laws; share information that has a social purpose (such as public health, emergency measures or public safety); and market and promote new programs and activities to benefit specific groups and indicate appropriate behaviours required.

In this learning pathway (and its readings), we will define a number of important terms in marketing. Advertising and sales are also part of marketing, but they come into play much later in the marketing strategy process.

Marketing professionals typically focus on a set of core principles, most of which are summarized by the 4 Ps:

  • Product,
  • Price,
  • Place, and
  • Promotion.

Some authors depart from the 4Ps model, and instead follow the premise that marketing is composed of four activities centred on customer value:

  • Creating,
  • Communicating,
  • Delivering, and
  • Exchanging value. [1]


The purpose of this learning pathway is to help you define the functions of marketers, what they do and why they do it. Your goal is to:

  • Define marketing and outline its components
  • Explain key marketing concepts and terminology
  • Examine the role that marketing plays in society and in different types of organisation

  1. Principles of marketing, by Jeff Tanner and Mary Raymond, BCcampus OpenEd