Marketing is the name given to a number of activities used by companies to increase their sales. These include virtually all activities in which a company product or communication comes into contact with a potential customer. Marketing creates and uses these moments of contact to communicate the benefits of the products in the hopes of convincing customers to make a purchase.Marketing is also the name of the department within a company that conducts marketing functions. The basics of marketing are often summed up as the four “P”s. 1. Product: The marketing department works with other departments to develop new products that fit the evolving needs and wants of existing and new customers. This requires researching competitive products, understanding what customers want, and recommending ideal features and benefits for the products. It also includes designing product packaging that attracts customers. 2. Price: Marketing determines how much to charge for products, based on competitive products and customer demand. The chosen price ideally maximizes revenue while also leading to increased sales and market share. 3. Place: Marketing activities include determining product distribution. This requires understanding distribution costs and the competitive dynamics of regional marketplaces. 4. Promotion: Marketing develops all company communications, such as advertising, direct marketing, public relations, websites and web marketing. This includes developing marketing campaigns that stimulate customers’ interests, learning what media is best for reaching these customers, and providing resources to help the company sales force effectively sell the product.