A range of products and services may be marketed. Marketing includes all processes and activities by a company involved in getting the product or service to the consumer including advertising, selling, and delivering.
Most products and services that may be marketed fit within the following ten categories. However, a company’s offerings often overlap into more than one category.
- Tangible goods and products. This category includes any physical item such as food, apparel, electronics, machinery, and so on. In most countries, these goods form the majority of marketed items.
- Services. Included in this category are airlines, hotels, salons/spas, financial services, health services, lawyers, engineers, and so on. Many companies offer both a product and a service, as is the case with a fast food restaurant, for example. Developed countries tend to have a greater share of their economy from the service sector compared to countries with emerging economies.
- Events. Companies promote time-based events, such as arts performances like theatre, music, and exhibitions. Sports, trade shows, and religious conferences also fit this category.
- Experiences. Theme parks, travel tours, and camps are examples of companies combining services and goods to create, stage, and market experiences. Marketing experiences is very effective because it creates a memory and, thus, an emotional connection between the consumer and the company.
- Persons. Typically, this category brings to mind celebrities with agents who market them. However, our age of YouTube stars, bloggers, and Instagrammers has made self-promotion common.
- Places. From municipal up to national entities, places market themselves for tourism and to attract and retain residents and industries. Those who market places include for-profit companies such as real estate agencies, banks, and public relations agencies. Non-profit organizations marketing places include local business associations and local up to national advertising and promotion organizations.
- Properties. These include real estate and financial properties such as stocks and bonds. Real estate companies, investment companies, and banks market these properties while also providing service to their customers.
- Organizations. Companies and other organizations often work to market themselves to the consumer building a particular brand identity and establishing credibility, values, and trust. The goal is to make the organization stand out from competitors.
- Information. This category includes schools and universities. In an age of increasing choice among K-12 education, even public schools are finding the need to market themselves. This category also includes books, magazines, newspapers, and databases. In this digital age, data and consumer information is a major entity marketed by companies like Google.
- Ideas. This category points to the larger benefits or brand image a company may be promoting. Public service campaigns would also be included in this category.
Kotler and Keller (2006) have identified the the following 10 types of entities which may be marketed:
Goods: Physical goods that may be manufactured, produced in farms or mined. These account for the bulk of the marketing efforts in most of the countries.
Services: These are intangible products that involve performing some service for the customers. This may be service performed on the customer, like a haircut, on customer's possessions, like servicing of car, or for the customer, like screening of a movie. Services account the maximum marketing effort after products in most of the countries. In many developed countries the volume of services has exceeded that of goods.
Events: Time based shows such as new year celebration, or a sporting event.
Experiences: Experiences which results from a combination of products and services. The customer is interested in the total experience such as an organized holiday tour package rather than the individual products and services included in the package.
Persons: Like marketing of a celebrity or of a candidate in a public election.
Places: Like cities, state, nations, for purposes such as attracting tourists and investment.
Properties: This could be physical properties like real estate or intangible rights in properties.
Organizations: This basically refers to building positive image of organizations, such as companies, universities, and charitable organizations.
Information: Books are the traditional means of selling information, but there are many other type of information marketed. For example market intelligence, economic analysis and mailing lists.
Ideas: Every market offering includes a basic idea. In addition ideas may be marketed by themselves. For examples, some religious bodies try to promote their ideas of what constitutes the right behavior.
Kotler, P. and Keller K.L., 2006, Marketing Management Twelfth Edition, Prentice Hall, New Delhi.