Marketing Agency: Participants’ Interactions

11 min read

The Marketing Agency’s core responsibility is to facilitate businesses to meet and transact with the market. This involves researching a need, creating a solution to that need, communicating to the target market that the product is available, and delivering it. It also entails creating value when the product is exchanged for money.

Marketing Agency

Together with other agencies in the Business Development Bureau, the Marketing Agency is served by 48 operational presidencies, in addition to the agency’s executive presidency. Each district is served by 2 operational presidencies, each consisting of 4 presidents, or 8 presidents. Besides implementing policy as formulated by the executive presidency, operational presidencies extensively interact with contractors and participants.

The comparatively higher number of operational presidencies serving this bureau means that the three functions – business planning, marketing, and Risk Management & underwriting, while automated, still require extensive interactions between participants, the agencies, and contractors to ensure they are done well. In addition, the three functions are essential in creating a business, utilizing not just the community’s infrastructure, but individual entrepreneurship as well. In other words, a participant may have all the financial, factoring, equipment, and other assistance they need, but still fail if they do not get it right with business planning, marketing strategy, and risk management.

Why is marketing important in the community?

Marketing is rapidly changing. Social media, digital marketing, and other tools that will inevitably emerge are all too tempting to businesses, which feel that using these tools dominantly will somehow get more customers. However, customers may regard this as noise, since it is hard for them to cut out all the useless information and get to what they need. Inevitably, brilliant. Marketing ideas are blunted and have minimal impact.

The community, through the Marketing Agency, facilitates businesses to get their message to the customers in the right way, and that they can keep out the noise out of their efforts. A key element in achieving this is by critically working to understand their customers, the market as a whole, and the unmet needs that the business can help resolve. This relies on focused and consistent information, which helps customers not only what the business offers, but essentially educates on the needs that they face, and how they can resolve them.

Marketing aims to make a business stand out. In the community, each sector is highly competitive, with those who can stand out from the crowd thriving. Standing out will help businesses that are otherwise similar to differentiate themselves based on their marketing tactics. For instance, one lawyer may pride themselves in getting things done, while another believes they offer the best value for money, even if both have identical services.

Marketing helps a small business that may only be destined to serve a hub or a few apartment buildings, to have customers from all over the community, and beyond. For instance, a Mexican restaurant that makes really nice tacos will market itself to all participants, and since the community is entirely walkable, it might find itself dealing with a clientele from all over the community, and in some instances, even doing deliveries to customers outside the community.

Sometimes, a business and customers may be wide apart on what the business can provide to satisfy a need. This gap may sometimes be the result of an actual need. In other instances, it could be the product of perceptions. Marketing is a useful tool in bridging this gap and persuading customers that the business has what they need to satisfy their needs. In this respect, marketing can be used to shape narratives, opinions, and reputation, and ultimately, influence how customers buy.

Marketing automation

Marketing strategy

In the context of marketing strategy, marketing can be defined as the means through which a business satisfies consumers’ needs by creating value. Marketing value is the plan by which this value is created on a sustained basis. For instance, if a business provides hair-dressing services, it will need a strategy through which it can present its services as a great need (grooming, feeling confident, looking good, etc.), and thereafter, show how it addresses the need – by styling hair, using the best products, versatile hairstyles, innovation and creativity in styling hair, among others.

As we have seen, every business in the community, with intense competition in every segment, needs to engage in marketing. It however needs to do so through a structured plan that is workable, measurable, and has a specific timeframe. Often, a strategy is a series or combination of plans that together give a business both something to work towards and a clear direction.

The Marketing Agency helps businesses develop, amend, and review their marketing strategies. It does not develop these plans for them. Instead, it avails its automated system, through which businesses can devise their marketing plans, with intensive collaboration from both operational presidencies and contractors, who are marketing specialists engaged in consultancy services.

The automated system is an invaluable tool in the first step in devising a marketing strategy – research. Research is essential in determining where gaps exist, as well as the internal capacity and circumstances of the business that intends to fill these gaps. This involves an internal SWOT analysis and a review of a business’s sustainable competitive advantages. The research also determines the context of a business’s environment, including various regulatory, economic, and political influences.

With the research having helped a business understand where it stands, the gaps it can fill, and how it can do so, it moves to make three major decisions: identifying the groups of consumers it can satisfy (segmentation), which of these groups you can serve better than the competition (targeting), and determining how these groups will think of the business relative to competitors (positioning). Collectively, this value decision plays a critical role in determining how the value that a business intends to create will be delivered.

The automated system will help in crunching data and suggesting various solutions through AI. Ultimately, the business owner, with help from a contractor, will determine how they will handle this.

For instance, a grocery store owner can identify that the market needs someone who can provide organic fresh-squeezed juice for detox. He will identify the people who need it –very busy participants, athletes, and healthy life enthusiasts. Among these, he feels the first two are already adequately served by commercial processed food producers, but he can make a pitch for the third group, since he stocks, and even grows, most of the ingredients. The juice can even be made as a customer watches. While the automated system will give him the data, such as market depth and expected sales, a consultant will come in to fine-tune the positioning to appeal not only to the target market but also to build a great impression with the other two groups.

An effective marketing strategy also shows how the value that a business intends to deliver will be delivered. In marketing, this is referred to as the four Ps of the marketing mix – a set of four (and sometimes, 7) key variables that a business can use to meet the needs of its customers optimally. The four are product, place, promotion, and price.

Product refers to how a product will be presented to the market, including its packaging. Place is where the product will be made available to customers, including the channels of distribution that will be used. Promotion is the various steps that a business employs to raise awareness about its product, including ads, public relations, events, and social media. Together, these three elements determine how much of a premium (price minus cost), that a business will charge.

While the process may look linear, it is an ever-evolving cycle, in which a business will have one product that they constantly improve, differentiate, and change how it is offered. For instance, an apartment “host” will undertake short courses in deep cleaning and how else to make the tenants on their floor as satisfied as possible, and will use various measures to keep them motivated to give him their business – pointing out areas that need cleaning, that they were not aware of, for instance, and not charging them extra.

Marketing practice

 While participants rely on the automated system to collect data and make important inferences regarding all aspects of their businesses’ marketing strategies, they need the help of professional marketing professionals to fine-tune AI-generated plans. This consultancy helps to ground the strategies in reality, as well as correcting any areas where the automated system, in its limitations, may make incomplete or inaccurate recommendations.

Contractors also interact with the automated system as a business draws up a marketing plan. Market analysts, brand managers, product developers, digital marketing professionals, and creatives (graphic designers, content creators, and audio-visual technicians, among others) are some of the consultants that a business may often engage to help in firming up or executing a marketing strategy.

Due to the high level of automation, and the presence of advanced data analytics tools that feed on vast amounts of data, the number of marketing professionals needed is much lower than is the case in modern economies. In the US today, around 1.5 million people, or close to 1% of the entire workforce, work in various marketing roles, including advertising, product development, digital marketing, and marketing research. With automation, the community would need a tenth of this. With around 40,000 businesses, this would be between 40 – 100 marketing consultants, engaged full-time in marketing activities.

Marketing consultants are facilitated to engage businesses by the Marketing Agency. The agency maintains a list of various marketing professionals, the skills they offer, and their reviews. This helps businesses to pick who to work with as needed. Operational presidencies also help businesses choose, and monitor the engagement between marketing professionals and businesses to ensure high standards of services.


The Marketing Agency plays a pivotal role in helping participants get their marketing plans and strategies together, as well as marketing consultants who help businesses implement and amend the strategies as necessary. Here, we illustrate where a business and a marketing consultant interact with the agency, and with each other.

Illustration 1

Naomi is a chemical engineer who recently joined the community. Previously, she had been working at a large toiletries company, from where she started consulting for a limited partner who was producing detergents and soap.

Naomi has already developed her business plan, in which she intends to have a business that manufactures different types of soap and cleaning aids, including bleach, detergents for cleaning floors, clothes, and virtually everything else. As an experienced scientist, she knows how to make all these products, and has identified a gap in the market.

After a successful test run to try out her business plan, Naomi is now ready to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help her compete favorably. A market survey with help from the Marketing Agency’s automated system reveals that while there are several other businesses manufacturing soap, she can use her expertise to produce new types of soap that are useful for people with sensitive skin and dermatological conditions.  

Soap made with aloe vera

After identifying the segment that she is going to target, Naomi then develops marketing material to target this group, She is helped in this task by a marketing consultant, whom she is referred to by her operational president for Business Development. She will call attention to the soap’s status as the only one with its qualities while inviting customers to indulge in a special experience, and persuading them that they deserve to pamper and nourish their skin with the best.

The soap, while produced using artificial ingredients, also has some organic additives. This is likely to draw in customers who feel their skin issues are a result of chemicals contained in other soaps.

Delivering to customers

After the market research, as well as an analysis of the market that she will target, Naomi now embarks on production. She has already identified a set of soap products that she will present to the market. While all are focused on people with dermatological conditions and sensitive skin, she will also include children and teenagers, who are particularly conscious about their skin as puberty affects it.

After producing the soap, she intends to position it not just as a soap, but as a medicinal intervention. Therefore, she does not place it in normal retail stores. Instead, it will be marketed through drug stores. She also lobbies dermatologists and hospitals to stock the soap, where, after a set of tests, they are satisfied that the soap does help in dealing with skin issues.

To promote the product, Naomi identifies the importance of influencers in persuading people that the product is great and that it delivers the value it promises. She recruits well-known personalities who are popular with teenagers, doctors who are respected for their medical opinions, and people who have recently used the product. She records videos that she then posts on her social media accounts.

Naomi has identified social media, and especially the use of videos, as a key way of communicating with her target audience. Additionally, she places posters, in collaboration with business owners, in dermatology clinics, hospitals, and drug stores. She also talks with people who provide services in these businesses so that they can be conversant with the product and gives them a certain percentage of sales to motivate them.

Naomi has a choice to make regarding her pricing strategy. If she goes for market penetration, she could get many customers, but the perceived value of her brand may suffer. She instead decides to sell the soap at a premium, pricing it a few dollars above similar soaps in the market. She does not expect mass sales but wants to create a dedicated client base that will believe in her products, and be ready to pay slightly more for the value and prestige.

Throughout this process, she is helped by various marketing contractors. For instance, she needs a graphic designer to help develop nice posters, while a video developer is needed to shoot and edit videos and make them as appealing as possible. In addition, a market analyst takes data from the automated system’s analytics and their own experience to advise on the best price, based on Naomi’s intended strategy.

From time to time, she will adjust the strategy with advice from the operational president or marketing experts, so that she can effectively market her product even in the face of stiff competition.

Illustration 2

Sylvia is an accomplished marketing professional. At the time she was joining the community, she was a branding professional, first recruited to help a business with its visibility. Over time, she learned new skills and started her own business as a marketing consultant. At first, her focus was helping companies with branding, marketing communication, and identifying the right target market with data from various agencies, as synthesized by the Marketing Agency.

Over time, Sylvia has identified a particularly underserved niche – marketing campaign management. She has decided to specialize in this area, as she brings in extensive experience from her previous assignments. In addition, she is well-versed in the Marketing Agency’s automated system. She can plan and execute marketing campaigns by using not only her gut feel and professional experience, but hard data as well.

Her clients include new businesses that need to penetrate the market, existing businesses that are launching new products, and those that need to revamp their brands. She liaises with them to plan and implement marketing campaigns that vigorously promote brands and have a lasting impact on the market.

Recently, an existing business, that manufactures soft drinks, wanted to introduce a new product. The market is already saturated, but since the business is already established, they expect that their brand will carry them some part of the way. The drink’s quality and aggressive marketing will do the rest.

After she was engaged, Sylvia first went through the market analysis that had been obtained by the business from the automated system, and fine-tuned by a market analyst. It showed real promise for the new product, but it would have to be pushed if it was to survive.

Marketing plan

The marketing data had already helped the company to identify its target market – young people who were unafraid to try out new things, including college students and those who had just started their business journey in the community. Sylvia used this data to develop a unique selling point – it was sweetened by cane sugar, it was refreshing and energizing, and it was cool and affordable.

The campaign would use digital marketing channels, including social media, but traditional channels such as TV ads would also be employed. The ads would not be used extensively, however, due to the cost implication. Engaging content would need to be created and targeted at the right market. This would help in communicating to the market and in receiving timely feedback.

After the campaign is launched, Sylvia and the business rely on their systems and the automated system to collect as much data as possible, to find out whether the campaign is working, and if necessary, change their strategy to align with market realities. For instance, they might notice that the product is being favored by gym enthusiasts, who believe the drink enables them to quickly regain their energy after a workout. Sylvia will then amend the strategy and communication to position the drink as a great energizer not only after a workout, but also after a long day at work, or just as a workout.

Every few days, Sylvia and the client meet to discuss the campaign, which is to run for three months. The prices of the product will not be adjusted to coincide with the campaign, which will help retain customers. After the campaign period ends, the business can hire Sylvia and other professionals to create running content that will be updated from time to time, but not on the same scale as during the campaign period.