Marketing is defined as "the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives."

The categories of marketing are known as "The 4 P's of Marketing":

  1. Product: the ideas, goods and/or services that you are marketing.
  2. Place or distribution: the store location, Internet site, catalogue or other venue where you are marketing
  3. Promotion: the manner in which you implement your marketing programs.
    • Marketing Program: the advertising or promotional medium or method that uses promotional products, such as ads, premiums, gifts, awards, prizes, or display.
    • Campaign: the time frame within which the entire advertising effort is conducted, usually with one set of advertising objectives.
  4. Price: the program cost, such as the product acquisition cost, product distribution cost and marketing investment.

Marketers' efforts are targeted to determine the best mixture of "The 4 P's of Marketing" in order to increase the sales. The mixture of elements of the four categories is known as "The Marketing Mix".

The marketing processes could be modeled in a sequence of four steps:

  1. planning the marketing mix;
  2. execution of the marketing mix;
  3. control & accountability of marketing mix performance;
  4. forecasting the next marketing mix based on current and past performance.

Marketing Resource Management (MRM): refers to software that helps manage marketing processes and resources. A sub-set of MRM is the software that manages promotion, Campaign Management System (CMS). MRM tools help define the broader context in which campaign management tools execute, although some overlap occurs.

  1. Campaign Planning & Managing software focus on the planning and execution of campaign function.
  2. Campaign Control & Accountability software determines:
    1. Existence: Proof of Advertising Performance, which tracks the delivery of advertising against expected goals.
    2. Effectiveness: Return on Objective (ROO), which examines marketplace response for advertising and marketing programs against preset objectives.
    3. Efficiency: Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), which measure the efficiency of various marketing tactics against marketplace performance.
      The tools for marketing mix efficiency are known as Marketing Mix Modeling or Marketing Mix Analysis.
  3. Campaign Forecasting software finds patterns in data and inferences about future behavior, performance or events in marketing. The tools for marketing mix forecasting are known as Marketing Analytics. Marketing Analytics tools are a sub-set of Predictive Analytics tools, specialized for marketing industry.

Marketing mix efficiency and forecasting could be determined using statistical data analysis software. Statistical data analysis applications include, but are not limited to, multiple regression analysis, logistic regression, neural net analysis, and genetic algorithm analysis.

An important part in marketing is defining the market. This means the group of consumers that is interested in the product, has the resources to purchase the product, and is permitted by law and other regulation to acquire the product.
Marketers use a number of techniques to achieve this challenging goal:

  1. Market Segmentation uses statistical techniques called factor analysis and cluster analysis to combine attitudinal and demographic data to develop segments that are easier to target.
  2. Market Basket Analysis uses statistical technique based upon the theory that if you buy a certain group of items, you are more (or less) likely to buy another group of items.
  3. Market Customer Data Integration (CDI) in which the market customer data integration is comprised of process and technology solutions for recognizing a customer at any touch-point while aggregating accurate, up-to-date knowledge about that customer and delivering it in an actionable form "just in time" to touch-points.

Perhaps the most important part in marketing activity is increasing the brand equity. Measuring and valuing brand equity is very important in current "over-supply market". Brand valuation systems are known as MPM (Marketing Performance Management):

  1. Strategic brand management focuses mainly on internal audiences by providing tools and processes to manage and increase the economic value of brands. These consist of Scorecards and Dashboards, which involve a matrix of interrelated goals, activities and measurements, and the well-known Six Sigma, which seeks to reduce defects through measurement and the elimination of variability.
  2. Tactical brand management enables managers to effectively handle the activities involved in generating leads, converting them into customers and increasing their profitability. The tactical systems most useful to branding managers are Campaign Management System (CMS), Lead Management System and CRM.
  3. Financial transactions: provide brand values to facilitate a variety of brand related transactions with outside parties in cases of acquisition or merger.

So far we classified Marketing Software based on the marketing activities: marketing mix management, market management and brand management.

Marketing software could also be classified as a sub-set of Business Intelligence (B.I.) and Analytics for marketing industry:

  1. Marketing Database collects and correlates data from diverse sources. Customer Data Integration (CDI) could be part of the Marketing Database. Transactional data like sales, price, cost and marketing investment could be integrated in Marketing Database. The process for collecting, cleaning and correlating data in Marketing Database is similar to Data Warehouse or Data Mart.
  2. Marketing Mix Analytics is B.I. tools and application that analyze transactional data integrated in Marketing Database, and evaluates past, current and future marketing mix performance. Marketing Mix Analytics could be: Marketing Mix Modelling or Marketing Mix Analysis, and Marketing Predictive Analytics.
  3. Marketing Data-Mining is B.I. tool that analyses customer data integrated in Marketing Database. Marketing data-mining could be used for: Marketing Segmentation and Marketing Basket Analyses.
  4. Marketing Scorecard and Dashboard are specialized reports that provide an overview of marketing goals and objectives and insight on progress toward each objective. B.I. reporting tools are used to design and generate these reports.

Marketing software could also be classified as part of the Enterprise Software Solutions. These systems break down into three-letter acronyms:

  1. Business Performance Management (BPM) is a set of processes that help organizations optimize business performance. BPM is seen as the next generation of business intelligence (BI). BPM is focused on business processes such as planning and forecasting. It helps businesses discover efficient use of their business units, financial, human, and material resources.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a category of enterprise-wide software application that allows companies to manage every aspect of their relationship with a customer.
  3. Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM). These applications are involved in planning, monitoring, and managing an organization's marketing efforts.
  4. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a category of enterprise-wide software applications that are designed to support and automate the core business processes of medium and large businesses: manufacturing, distribution, personnel, project management, payroll, and financials.
  5. Human Resources Management (HRM) is a software application that combines many human resources functions, including benefits administration, payroll, recruiting and training, and performance analysis and review into one package.
  6. Supply Chain Management (SCM) software applications provide and enterprise with oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacture to wholesaler to retailer to consumer.