Does Marketing Actually Work?

Last updated


Daniel Wade


July 28, 2022

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Does marketing work? This article answers that question demonstrating why you need marketing and the best way to conduct it to earn returns on your investment.

Stuart Britt said it best in his famous saying, Doing a business without any advertisement is like winking at a girl in the dark. You are aware of what you are doing, but no one else does.’

It underlies the place of marketing in any business. Starting the business is the easier part; letting people know what you are doing and come and buy it is the harder part.

So, does marketing actually work? Yes, it does. Marketing opens the scope of your business and allows you to grow. It builds awareness of your brand, sells your products, and allows you to connect and engage with your client base.

People who question the effectiveness of marketing have often approached it in an ad hoc manner. It is frustrating to have an unsuccessful marketing campaign, but the assessment should focus on what you did wrong or miss rather than concluding marketing is essential.


Table of contents

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to the deliberate actions of a business to get the interest of its target market on its products or services with the intention of selling them.

People often only focus on the promotion part of marketing, which contributes to unsuccessful marketing campaigns. Proper marketing covers the whole process of getting your products or services to the consumer.

A proper understanding of marketing and why it works requires comprehending the marketing mix. It consists of four essential PS; Product, Place, Price, Promotion. Marketing is essentially about finding a product that will appeal to a particular group of people, offering it at a place they can easily get to and at a price that matches the value they feel they get from the product.

There is a lot of research under each point, and these four Ps define the function of marketing.

What are the Functions of Marketing?

You can only answer whether marketing works if you know what to expect from your marketing efforts. The functions of marketing are the metrics you can use to measure return on investment and whether you achieved your goals or not. The seven critical functions of marketing are

Product/Service management

Product management is all about creating a product that your target market is going to want to buy. You need to research the target market and competitor analysis to know what features the customers want and how to differentiate yourself from the competitors.

Management of market information

All your effective marketing is data-guided. Your marketing department collects and analyses information regarding your target customers, market trends, competitor actions, and client feedback.

The marketing team then distills this information into actionable points and shares them with relevant departments.

Product /Service pricing

Your pricing strategy depends on so many factors. You need to consider factors such as;

  • The value your target market attaches to your brand.
  • Your production costs,
  • Any advantage you may gain by a small price cut profit you may gain by a small price increase
  • Are you positioning yourself as a luxury or budget brand?
  • How your pricing positions you with competitors
  • Any potential discounts you will offer to clients.


This function is responsible for building your profile and brand awareness in the market. It requires identifying the best methods and platforms to promote your brand and products to your target market. You need to identify the best time to promote and analyze your competitors’ promotional efforts.


Getting people to buy your products or services is the main function and goal of your marketing efforts. It is, however, done gradually that it usually appears and even less overtly. It starts with grabbing the potential customers' attention and nurturing them down the sales funnel that they are ready to make a purchase.


Marketing goes on until the customer gets the product. Your channels of delivery must meet the expected demand and offer convenience to the customer. If the customer suffers any disappointment at the point of purchase, you will have wasted your entire efforts. Your distribution can also give you a competitive edge and make all the difference.


Financing is a usually forgotten function of marketing. The success of your marketing affects your bottom line. Further, should you be seeking outside financing to support your business, your marketing plan is integral to whether you get it or not. You want your marketing to have significant returns on your investment, increase your reach and expand your business' potential.

Are There Benefits to Marketing?

In fulfilling its functions, marketing offers the following benefits to a business;

Consumer education

Marking disseminates information regarding your business and products to potential consumers. It creates brand awareness and educates your potential consumers on why they should choose you and not your competition. Information on marketing platforms like your website also tells them how to use and benefit from your product.

Maintains engagement with the consumers

Often, the traditional face-to-face conversation between customers and sellers is not possible, and thus, marketing steps in to maintain the engagement. Through various platforms like emails, social media, and your website, marketing keeps the conversation around you and your products going. It helps nurture leads and maintains relationships with past buyers.

It builds your brand reputation.

Your reputation plays a part in your appeal to the market, and how potential consumers perceive the value, you will offer them. Your marketing efforts set the tone for this image and build your brand reputation through further engagement.

Marketing sells

Another benefit of marketing arises from its core function. Marketing gets people to buy your products. Through its research and strategies, you can compete and even thrive through excellent marketing.

Marketing drives growth

Marketing helps your business grow by keeping your current customers engaged and finding new ones. Through collecting feedback from calls, emails, and social media platforms, your business can tap into new areas of the market to satisfy clients’ needs or better position your products. These new opportunities allow your business to expand and be on top of market trends.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any marketing effort you conduct online or on an electronic device. It takes advantage of various digital assets such as;

  • Your website and blogs
  • Social media pages
  • Video sharing channels
  • Email list
  • Online reviews
  • Search engine advertising
  • Mobile apps
  • Affiliate marketing

Does Digital Marketing Work?

Digital marketing works primarily because that is where people are. A Forbes study says 82 % of people shop online, while another by TechCrunch places the percentage of people who shop online at 79 %.

Many businesses are catching up to digital marketing opportunities, and the US expenditure on digital marketing is set to rise to $332 billion by 2021’s end. In delaying to take advantage of digital marketing, you risk lagging behind your competition too.

Why is Digital Marketing Important to a Business?

Digital marketing offers new opportunities to your marketing efforts. It has five distinct benefits to your business. These are;

You can target a highly specialized audience.

Digital marketing allows you to focus only on customers most likely to purchase your product or service. This aspect adds efficiency to your campaign since the message is not a shot in the dark with a little idea of the variables. You can filter your audience across different demographics and even have subgroups of the primary target market, which increases the quality of leads generated.

It is highly flexible.

Digital marketing is highly flexible, allowing you to pivot to productive areas even in the middle of a campaign. You are not limited to a couple of options. You can tailor your marketing to reflect where your audience is, your budget, and even change from non-performing channels to ones with a higher ROI potential.

It is more cost-effective than traditional marketing options.

By enabling you to develop high-quality leads, digital marketing allows you to have a higher chance of success and, thus, higher returns on your investment. Secondly, you can focus and target your audience through modes and channels where there are likely to be found. You can also access information regarding their purchasing habits. You, therefore, know what your customers are looking for and thus model your marketing to reflect this need.

It levels the playing ground for small and medium enterprises.

Digital marketing does not require huge budgets to be effective. Search engines prioritize content that resonates with readers and not on the size of the business. Social media budgets are also affordable, and there is a range of partnerships and strategies you can use to push your brand and products on a budget.

Even presentation of your marketing does not need professional models and shooting studios. Creating an attractive and appealing presentation that will be effective does not require a substantial digital marketing budget.

It is measurable – in real-time.

Digital marketing provides a breakdown of all metrics from the start of the marketing campaign to the finish. You can also view performance in real-time during the campaign.

Many marketing analytics software show how many people, and what kind of people have viewed your message, and even the duration of time spent. Better yet, you can trace all the sales you make back to the first point the customer interacted with your brand or business.

Does Marketing Actually Work?


Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts and spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.

Learn more about SparrowBoost