What can be marketed?

Almost anything can be marketed

When you study marketing at university, one of the first things that you learn is that virtually anything can be marketed – therefore, the principles of marketing extend well beyond the scope of physical (goods) products.

Historically, the study of marketing tended to focus upon the marketing of goods only. This is because most developed economies tended to be manufacturing-based in the past. Over recent decades however, there have been a significant shift in these economies with intangible services representing 60-80% of a country’s GDP. From the 1980’s onwards, particularly with the academic interest in the marketing of services, marketing practices have extended to a broad range of products, events and activities.

It is important to remember that the “product" in marketing is used in its broadest sense and can incorporate the following categories:

  • Goods
  • Services
  • Events
  • Experiences
  • People
  • Places
  • Information
  • Ideas

Goods

Goods are physical items that can be seen, touched, owned and used in some physical manner. Examples of goods include food, furniture, cars, clothing, shoes, laptops, mobile phones, books, flowers, kitchen appliances, and so on. Probably the easiest way to think about goods is to consider the products that you can buy in a shop.

Services

As mentioned above, in most developed economies, services the production of services constitutes the majority of GDP. Services are a little harder to understand as they are intangible – meaning that they cannot be touched or owned.
Some common services are banking and insurance, medical and health, education, hotels, hospitality and restaurants, hairdressers, legal firms, accounting services, not-for-profit firms, and so on

Events

Events can be marketed – probably the most famous ones are the large, global sporting events –like the Olympics, the World Cup, tennis and golf tournaments, boxing matches and so on. Events can also include the theater, concerts and various performance shows and other entertainment.

Experiences

By combining several goods and services a company offers, it may create an outstanding experience for its customers. Marketers create, stage, and market experiences to increase the quality of their company’s image or brands thus increasing the number of positive associations in the minds of the buyers. Many firms within the holiday and tourism markets seek to deliver an experience. A good example here would be Disneyland, or an exotic cruise.

People

Each person can become a brand with the help of a celebrity marketer. Artists (musicians, actors, directors and so on) are those who come first in people’s mind when they think about marketing a person. But, you may also build a brand for a CEO, successful lawyers, doctors and many other professionals.

Places

In order to attract tourists or companies to a certain place, people use marketing techniques to communicate its value. Therefore, we can surely talk about marketing for towns, cities and regions. In addition to this, every country has its own unique marketing approach and there are many tourism authorities for many regions throughout the world.

Information

Recently there had been developed the idea of an information marketplace. This is why we can talk now about an industry focused on producing, packaging and distributing information. Like any other industry, it is marketing driven and requires effective strategies to market information.

Ideas

Each and every offering, either a product or a service, is actually the platform for selling an idea. In addition to this, we notice that social marketing is focused on promoting ideas to benefit certain social actions and changes.