What is Marketing?

Marketing is defined as a social and managerial process of by which individual and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with each other. (Kotler et al, 2002)

According the Chartered Institute of Marketing, it is a management process that indentifies, anticipates and satisfies customer requirements profitably.

It is an integrated process of communication, business development and product creation and delivery to meet or exceed the customer needs and wants better than the competition.

From the definition of marketing, several ideas come into our mind. Analysing the definition will give us a better understanding of the Marketing Concept.

1. It is a process

It is not a single act or action but a combination or a series of actions. It is a managerial process, social process, management process and business development process. All these processes are woven together and thus it becomes “an integrated process.”

 2. Identify Customer

Marketing aims at identifying customer’s needs and wants. What do people in the market require i.e. the demand for specific needs and wants.

 3. Satisfy Customer

Once the customer needs and wants are identified, the next step is to satisfy these needs and wants by creating and exchanging product. Here it becomes a process of creation and exchange.

4. Keep Customer

Marketing does not end with sale. It goes beyond that. Once the customer need is satisfied, the marketing process will formulate strategies to retain the customer by consistently satisfying their needs and wants.

5. Right Product, Right Time, Right Place

Marketing achieves its aim not by simply creating a product but by creating a right product delivered at the right time and place. The 3 Rs are the steps that hit the marketing target with a perfect shot.

6. Better than Competition

Successful marketers manage to exceed the customer satisfaction and serve them better than competition by creating competitive advantage.

 7. Building Relationships

Smart marketers build long term relationship with valued customers, distributors and suppliers (Kotler et al). Their focus is not on the short term sale, but rather building a strong relationship through what is called relationship marketing.

Core Marketing Concepts

Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders & Wong, (2002) identified 5 core marketing concepts which revolve around the main marketing concept. These are:

1. Needs, wants and demands

Human needs are the basic requirements of life. These may be physical needs, social needs, safety needs etc.

Wants are “needs” but they take the form which may be shaped by culture or a personality. Like hunger is a need, but to satisfy that hunger with a mango juice, or bread and beans is a want.

Demand is the ability to satisfy wants by paying for them, that is, the customer gets buying power.

2. Products and Services

A product is anything that has a value or benefit and satisfies the human need and wants. Products may be physical or non-physical as services.

3. Value and Satisfaction

Value and satisfaction comes from the benefit of the product. The customer gets more than what he pays for.
4. Exchange and Relationships

Exchange occurs through transactions and relationships are built thereafter. Exchange and transaction happens between two parties form obtaining something of value and benefit. Relationship is keeping the customer after identification and satisfaction.

5. Market

Market is a place where buyer and sellers transact.

Difference between Sales and Marketing

A common misconception is to confuse marketing with sale. Sale is to sell the product to the customer. It is only a small part of marketing not the whole marketing. Sale starts only once the product is created and communication, distribution and promotion channels are established. Marketing starts long before sale and lasts long after sale. Marketing starts, even, before product creation. Kotler and others rightly put it that marketing is the homework that manager undertakes to asses needs and wants, to create a product to satisfy these needs and then offer them (sell) to the costumer. Advertisements, promotions, and other methods of introducing the product is only one part in the whole process of marketing.

 

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