What is Marketing ?

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Some Basic Definitions of Marketing and The Marketing Concept

Definitions of Marketing

There are many definitions of marketing. The better definitions are focused upon customer orientation and satisfaction of customer needs.

Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others

Marketing is the management process that identifies, anticipates and satisfies
customer requirements profitably -

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The CIM definition (in common with Barwell's definition of the marketing concept) looks not only at identifying customer needs, but also satisfying them (short-term) and anticipating them in the future (long-term retention).

The right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price -

This is a snappy and realistic definition that uses McCarthy's Four Ps.

Marketing is essentially about marshalling the resources of an organization so
that they meet the changing needs of the customer on whom the organization depends -


This is a more recent and very realistic definition that looks at matching capabilities with needs.

Marketing is the process whereby society, to supply its consumption needs, evolves distributive systems composed of participants, who, interacting under constraints - technical (economic)and ethical (social) - create the transactions or flows which resolve market separations and result in exchange and consumption.

This definition considers the economic and social aspects of marketing.

What exactly is marketing and why is it important to you as an entrepreneur? Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers.

It includes diverse disciplines like sales, public relations, pricing, packaging, and distribution. In order to distinguish marketing from other related professional services, S.H. Simmons, author and humorist, relates this anecdote.

"If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that's public relations."

You might think of marketing this way. If business is all about people and money and the art of persuading one to part from the other, then marketing is all about finding the right people to persuade.

Marketing is your strategy for allocating resources (time and money) in order to achieve your objectives (a fair profit for supplying a good product or service).

Yet the most brilliant strategy won't help you earn a profit or achieve your wildest dreams if it isn't built around your potential customers. A strategy that isn't based on customers is rather like a man who knows a thousand ways to make love to a woman, but doesn't know any women. Great in theory but unrewarding in practice.

If you fit the classic definition of an entrepreneur (someone with a great idea who's under-capitalized), you may think marketing is something you do later -- after the product is developed, manufactured, or ready to sell.

Though it may feel counter-intuitive, marketing doesn't begin with a great idea or a unique product. It begins with customers -- those people who want or need your product and will actually buy it.

Entrepreneurs are in love with their ideas, and they should be. After all, why would anyone commit their energy, life savings, and no small part of their sanity to anything less than a consuming passion. Because entrepreneurs are passionate about their idea, product, or service, they innocently assume other people will feel the same. Here's the bad news -- it just doesn't work that way!

People have their own unique perceptions of the world based on their belief system. The most innovative ideas, the greatest products, or a superior service succeed only when you market within the context of people's perceptions.

Context can be many things, singly or simultaneously. To name a few, you may market to your customers within the context of their wants, needs, problems solved, or situation improved. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of many other contexts, such as social and economic trends or governmental regulations, which we'll discuss another time.

People don't just "buy" a product. They "buy" the concept of what that product will do for them, or help them do for themselves. People who are overweight don't join a franchise diet center to eat pre-packaged micro-meals. They "buy" the concept of a new, thin, happy and successful self.

Before you become consumed with entrepreneurial zeal and invest your life savings in a new venture, become a smart marketer. Take time at the beginning to discover who your potential customers are, and how to effectively reach them.

Without a plan, your entrepreneurial dream is really wishful thinking. While a marketing plan can be a map for success, remember that the map is not the territory. A strategy that ignores the customer isn't an accurate reflection of the landscape.

A good marketing plan can help you focus your energy and resources. But a plan created in a vacuum, based solely on your perceptions, does not advance the agenda. That's why market research, however simple or sophisticated, is important.

Just keep in mind that research attempts to predict the future by studying the past. It reveals what people have done, and extrapolates what people might do -- not what people will do.

Planning is imperative, research is important, but there's no substitute for entrepreneurial insight. After all, as Mark Twain wrote, "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus".

The Philosophy Marketing and the Marketing Concept.

The marketing concept is a philosophy. It makes the customer, and the satisfaction of his or her needs, the focal point of all business activities. It is driven by senior managers, passionate about delighting their customers.

Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialized activity at all It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer's point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise. by Drucker

This customer focused philosophy is known as the 'marketing concept'. The marketing concept is a philosophy, not a system of marketing or an organizational structure. It is founded on the belief that profitable sales and satisfactory returns on investment can only be achieved by identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs and desires. by Barwell

The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition. Jobber

Implementation of the marketing concept [in the 1990's] requires attention to three basic elements of the marketing concept. These are: Customer orientation; An organization to implement a customer orientation; Long-range customer and societal welfare. by Cohen

Now that you have been introduced to some definitions of marketing and the marketing concept, remember the important elements contained as follows:

  • Marketing focuses on the satisfaction of customer needs, wants and requirements.

  • The philosophy of marketing needs to be owned by everyone from within the organization.

  • Future needs have to be identified and anticipated.

  • There is normally a focus upon profitability, especially in the corporate sector. However, as public sector organizations and not-for-profit organizations adopt the concept of marketing, this need not always be the case.

  • More recent definitions recognize the influence of marketing upon society.

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