Marketing is one of the terms in academia that does not have one commonly agreed upon definition. Even after a better part of a century the debate continues. In a nutshell it consists of the social and managerial processes by which products, services and value are exchanged in order to fulfil individual's or group's needs and wants. These processes include, but are not limited to, advertising.
The term was first academically defined in 1937 when the newly born American Marketing Association (AMA) asserted: "Marketing consists of those activities involved in the flow of goods and services from the point of production to the point of consumption.
The AMA has since amended its definition to read: "Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."
Philip Kotler, in his earlier books, defined marketing simply as: "human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes". Brian Norris, defines marketing as "...the ongoing process of moving people closer to making a decision to purchase, use, follow, refer, upload, download, obey, reject, conform, become complacent to someone else's products, services or values. Simply, if it doesn't facilitate a "sale" then it's not marketing.
Adding to Kotler's and Norris' definitions, the Chartered Institute of Marketing's (CIM) definition claims marketing to be the "...management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably". Thus, operative marketing involves the processes of market research, market segmentation, new product development, product life cycle management, pricing, channel management as well as promotion.
Perhaps the simplest most comprehensive or wide-ranging definition of marketing may be this: The process of ensuring that every potential customer or consumer of your product or service is aware of your existence and that of your products or services and the reasons to buy from you as opposed to a competitor. Effective marketing can mean success for an inferior product, if the superior products marketing is not as effective. An example of this is where Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, describes in his book about the turnaround of IBM how in the early 1990's Microsoft's marketing of its Windows software, (at the time an inferior product to IBM's OS400), to all intents and purposes killed off OS400 which was not being marketed, so it had no awareness in its target market.
There probably exist as many definitions as there do speakers on the subject but Al Ries and Jack Trout get the prize for succinctness with their quip that marketing is simply "war" between competitors.
*There are a large number of potential customers
*Customers and their needs are fairly homogenous
*It is rather easy to replace lost customers with new ones
Companies with a greater amount of resources than their competitors will have an easier time competing in the marketplace. Resources include: financial (cash and cash reserves), physical (plant and equipment), human (knowledge and skill), legal (trademarks and patents), organizational (structure, competencies, policies), and informational (knowledge of consumers and competitors). Small companies usually have a harder time competing with larger corporations because of their disadvantage in resource allocation.
Success in business, as in life, is based on the relationships you have with people. Marketers must aggressively build relationships with consumers, customers, distributors, partners and even competitors if they want to have success in today's competitive marketplace. There are four type of relationships:
Most companies sell a mix of products and/or services. Today's marketplace is often too competitive for "one-trick ponies". Companies that sell the right mix products and services can have a competitive advantage over companies that sell just one product or service.
Criticism of marketing
Some aspects of marketing, especially promotion, are the subject of criticism. It is especially problematic in classical economic theory, which is based on the assumption that supply and demand are independent. However, product promotion is an attempt coming from the supply side to influence demand. In this way producer market power is attained as measured by profits that would not be realized under a free market. Then the argument follows that non-free markets are imperfect and lead to production and consumption of suboptimal amounts of the product.
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This is an extract from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
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