What is marketing?

Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs. One of the shortest good definitions of marketing is “meeting needs profitability”.

The marketing concept is a management philosophy stating that an organization should strive to satisfy the needs of consumers through a coordinated set of activities that also allows the organization to achieve its objectives. Thus customer satisfaction is the major force underlying the marketing concept and driving the entire company. The marketing concept calls for all departments and all members to be committed to satisfying customers. The firm must determine consumer needs and wants, develop quality products that satisfy them, make products readily available at prices acceptable to buyers, and provide service and after sales support. Firms benefit from practicing the marketing concept. They don’t waste money on developments in which customers are not interested.

More about marketing

The American Marketing Association offers the following formal definition: Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Coping with these exchange processes calls for a considerable amount of work and skill. Marketing management takes place when at least one party to a potential exchange thinks about the means of achieving desired responses from other parties. Thus we see marketing management as the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value.

We can distinguish between a social and managerial definition of marketing. A social definition shows the role marketing plays in society; for example, one marketer has said that marketing’s role is to “deliver a higher standard of living”. Here is a social definition that serves our purpose: Marketing is a societal process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and freely exchanging products and services of value with others.

Managers sometimes think of marketing as “the art of selling products,” but many people are surprised when they hear that selling is not the most important part of marketing! Selling is only the tip of the marketing iceberg.

Marketing Management:   

Marketing management is the leading marketing text because its content and organization consistently reflect changes in marketing theory and practice. Marketing management mentioned fundamental topics such as segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Concept such as brand equity, customer value analysis, database marketing, e-commerce, value networks, hybrid channels, supply chain management, and integrated marketing communications. Good marketers are practicing holistic marketing. Holistic marketing is the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognize the breadth and interdependencies of today’s marketing environment. Four key dimensions of holistic marketing are:

  • Internal Marketing
  • Integrated Marketing
  • Relationship Marketing
  • Performance Marketing

Modern Marketing Management in:

  • Developing marketing strategies and plans
  • Capturing marketing insights and performance
  • Connecting with customers
  • Building strong brands
  • Shaping the market offerings
  • Delivering and communicating value
  • Creating successful long term growth 

What Is Marketed?

Marketers market 10 main types of entities: goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas.

Goods: Physical goods constitute the bulk of most countries production and marketing efforts. Each year, U.S. companies market billions of fresh, canned, bagged, and frozen food products and millions of cars, refrigerators, televisions, machines, and other mainstays of a modern economy.

Services: As economies advance, a growing proportion of their activities focuses on the production of services. Services include the work of airlines, hotels, car rental firms, beauticians, accountants, bankers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, software programmers, and business consultant. Many market offerings mix goods and services, such as a fast food meal.

Events: Marketers promote time based events, such as major trade shows, artistic performances. Global sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup are promoted aggressively to both companies.

Experiences: A firm can create, stage, and market experiences. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom allows customers to visit a fairly kingdom, a haunted house. There is also a market for customized experiences, such as a baseball camp with retired baseball greats, a four day rock and roll fantasy camp, or a climb up Mount Everest.

Persons: Artists, musicians, CEO’s, physicians, financiers, and other professionals all get help from celebrity marketers.

Places: Cities, states, regions, and whole nations compete to attract tourists, residents, factories, and company headquarters. Place market includes economic development specialists, real estate agents, commercial banks, local business associations.

Properties: Properties are intangible rights of ownership to either real property or financial property (stocks & bonds). They are bought and sold, and these exchanges require marketing. Real estate agents work for property owners or sellers.

Organizations: Organizations work to build a strong, favorable, and unique image in the minds of their target publics.

Information: The production, packaging, and distribution of information are major industries. Information is essentially what books, schools, and universities produce, market, and distribute at a price to parents, students, and communities.

Ideas: Every market offering includes a basic idea. Product and services are platforms for delivering some idea or benefit. Social marketers are busy promoting such ideas as “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” and “A mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”.

The marketing concept is not always easy to put into practice. Top level managers must be committed to it and must again the commitment of other members of the organization. An organization may need to restructure departments or functions to better coordinate activities. The business action illustrates how several firms, large and small practice the marketing concept.