What is Marketing?
Marketing is an activity to attract and make aware targeted consumers of products and services by means of high-quality messages. It is all the activities that companies do to make sure their products or services reach customers or other business buyers.
For business organizations marketing is the inevitable tool to succeed in this ever-changing marketplace. Marketing aims towards advertising, promoting, selling, distributing, long-term relations making with customers or other businesses, making customers loyal, building a brand, increasing sales of the company, and ultimately increasing profits and ROI.
Today, a buyer is regarded as a king, the success and failure of marketing depend upon the degree of satisfaction of customers. 7ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence plays a significant role in customer satisfaction. A quality product, reasonable price, accessible place, and influential promotion are key to increasing customers satisfaction that makes customers ready to buy and have the quality to make them satisfied.
It starts from a need point of people or organizations and ends with the customer value and satisfaction. Between the need and customer satisfaction, various essential elements take place such as want, demand, product, service, market, transaction, relationship, and so on. It becomes a success when mid elements properly work and make customers satisfied, otherwise not.
A Closer Look
Its scope is very wide and can be understood and defined in many ways. So, what marketing is today?
Must-read definitions of marketing in the 21st century provided by AMA “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.” and by Philip Kotler is “Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.”
The history of marketing is as old as human civilization. Since the people started forming society, their needs rapidly increased. Their increase in need gave rise to the production of necessary goods. Some goods were produced by oneself while some others they could not because of resources.
This made them do exchange their good with others’ goods they needed to satisfy their need. Just like we said, the starting point is a need and the last point is satisfaction, the same has also happened in history. This exchange led to the barter system. That is why the barter system is called the earliest form of marketing.
But, later with the invention of the modern exchange systems, from the barter phase to the present, marketing is
- a science
- a philosophy
- an attitude
- a perspective
- a discipline
- a management orientation, and much much more.
Simply, marketing is the performance of business activities that directs the flow of goods and services from the manufacturer to the customer.
It is a social process. Its activities are designed to meet the needs and expectations of society. It plays an important role in socio-economic development. Human society is rapidly changing in recent times. Social norms, values, and behaviors are radically changing, and so are the technology and methods of doing business. As human society changes, the meaning of marketing in that society also changes.
The shape of marketing that we see today in the forms of global brands, wide products, and service choices, aggressive promotions, value creation and delivery, and customer relations management. Today it has become a powerful science in the hands of business firms not only to satisfy customers through value creation and delivery but also to achieve a competitive edge in the marketplace.
When we look at every successful company around us, one of the salient features we find is its commitment to marketing. It is crucial to the success of every organization. Researches show that marketing capability has been the most important success factor of the company. Today, all marketings efforts are directed toward building long-term customer relationships.
Core Concepts of Marketing
The core concepts of marketing are the essence that tells us how it works, what are its components, and how it becomes complete. Its elements include:
Need, Want, and Demand
As we discussed need is the beginning point of marketing. It is the state of felt deprivation. The need may be primary such as food, and shelter, and secondary the need for intimacy.
Want is a form that our need takes. It is a desire for what satisfies our needs. It is basically shaped by our culture as when an Indian is hungry he may prefer rice but an American maybe a burger.
Demand is the combination of want, willingness, and ability to buy. Humans have numerous wants but they can’t buy them all. Demand is always backed by the ability to pay.
Product, Service, and Experience
Product, service, and experience are what are used to satisfy customers’ needs and wants. Products usually are in physical form, services intangible, and the experience they get after using.
A market is a place where buyers and sellers exchange or make transactions of goods and services. There is no specific location of the market, it can be anywhere, in fact, where the buyer and seller make transactions that place becomes a market.
Exchange, Transaction, and Relationship
Exchange means giving someone something and in return getting something. Exchange can be between goods and goods or service and service, it can be without in terms of money.
Transaction means giving and receiving something which is expressed in monetary terms. For a transaction to be it must be in monetary terms.
Here, in the marketing world, the relationship means building a long-term relationship between buyers and sellers, it is the core of long-term success.
Customer Value and Satisfaction
Customer value and satisfaction are the felt products or service performance. Customer value relates to the worth customers get after using. And, satisfaction means the match between what they expect and what they get from the products’.
Customer satisfaction is the endpoint of marketing, it is successful when customers are satisfied, if not it is said to be unsuccessful since its ultimate objective is to satisfy customers.
Principles (Ps) of Marketing: Marketing Mix
Principles of marketing are the success factors of all marketing activities. It can not be successful if its principles are not applied.
It is also called the marketing mix – which is the combination of all tactics and techniques companies use to influence customers’ attention towards their products/services. Previously its principles are only four (4Ps) which were mainly for physical products but now they are a total of seven because of services stake (3P) in the marketing.
Product is the first principle of marketing or components of its mix. It is something that has the quality to satisfy customer needs. It may be a physical or tangible one but possesses customer satisfaction quality. Products may be food, house, car, insurance, medicine, and so on.
A product must possess qualities that attract customers on it and satisfies them when they use it. For this, the marketer should consider the product life cycle stages and should add attributes like quality, styles, packaging, design, etc.
Price is the amount customers pay for your product/service as well as it is the amount you get after selling your product. Without a product, there is no price, people pay price based on the product.
A marketer should set fair, reasonable, and attractive prices for its product. The price should match the product’s features such as said quality, design, benefits, etc. When the price is set fair, the product may take time to get its market, but in long run, it best works in terms of profit and customer satisfaction.
Place or Distribution
The place is where customers buy your products, it is where products are distributed. For successful marketing, you as the marketer should choose the right place, the right place is one that is accessible to customers and has maximum demand.
And, while distributing products should be distributed in the right place, at the right time, and in the best possible way. The right distribution creates a positive image in customers. For this, different intermediaries, retailers, and wholesalers may help to achieve effectiveness in distribution.
So you produced the right product/service, set the right price, and developed the efficient distribution system but these all do not make aware of customers your products. Some may come to your store by themselves but many are not.
So the promotion takes place, it is using the means to influence, inform, and persuade customers about the products the marketer wants to sell. To create a real desire in customers’ minds appropriate means of promotion should be taken. Its components advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and building public relations are the best for the right promotion.
People are who serve the customers. Here people mean sales personnel who are responsible to serve customers. The talent, quality, attitude, personality, and motivation of sales personnel greatly determine how they will serve, respond, and react to customers.
Right sales personnel are vital to get better customer satisfaction. For this, the sales manager or marketer should build a team of great sales personnel and motivate them to give their best. In fact, people and following process and physical evidence come into the practice to provide better service.
The process of service firms also has a great impact on customer satisfaction. The organization’s process of serving customers should be effective, short, and simple. The operations management, control system, and customer service process should meet customer expectations.
This is the last principle and component of the marketing mix. This principle ensures the physical atmosphere of the sales organization should be clear, clean, and have better conditions. The physical condition of the organization greatly affects the psychology of customers. And, the importance of physical evidence is today becoming more prevalent in all types of organizations.
What is the Importance of Marketing?
The importance of marketing is so many, in fact, its importance is increasing day by day. As the environment and businesses are advancing the efforts of marketing needs to be changed, today’s effort may not succeed the next day.
By saying this, it is the best way to inform customers about what a company has to offer them, persuade them, and make sales. It is equally important for business, customers, society, and the nation. It has a crucial role in making the selling process of the firm successful. The other importance may be pointed out below:
- It helps to inform customers.
- Helps to build long-lasting relationships.
- Build customer satisfaction.
- Source of revenue to the business.
- Source of generating new customers and retaining them.
- Promotion of products.
- Distribution of products.
- Source of information to customers.
- Means of satisfaction to customers.
- Source of massive employment in the nation.
- Maintain supply and demand in the nation.
- Supports economic growth of the nation, etc.
Hence, marketing is all about informing customers about the products, persuading them to make a purchase, building a long-lasting relationship with them, building a position in the market, satisfying customers, and giving returns to the sales firm for all its efforts.