Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating. offering and exchanging products of value with others.
Marketing has its origins in the fact that humans are creatures of needs and wants. Need and wants create a state of discomfort, which is resolved through acquiring products that satisfy these needs and wants. Since many products can satisfy a given need, and satisfaction. These products are obtainable in several ways: Self – production, coercion, begging and exchange. Most modern societies work on the principle of exchange, which means that people specialize in producing particular products and trade them for the other things they need. The engage in transaction and relationship building. A market is a group of people who share similar needs. Marketing encompasses those activities involved in working with markets, that is, in trying to actualize potential exchanges.
Marketing management is the conscious effort to achieve desired exchange outcome with target markets. The marketer’s basis skill lies in influencing the level, timing and composition of demand for a product service, organization, place, person or idea.
Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. The marketing concept rests on four main pillars, namely a market focus, customer orientation, coordinated marketing and profitability.
Market Focus: No Company can operate in every market and satisfy every need. Nor can it even do a good job within one broad market. Companies do best when they define their target markets carefully. The do best when they prepare a tailored marketing programme for each target market.
Customer Orientation: a company can define its market carefully but still needs customer orientated thinking i.e. satisfy customer needs from the customer point of view, and not from its own point of view. Company’s sales come from two groups: new customer’s and repeat customers. It always costs more t attract new customers than to certain current customers. Therefore, customer retention is customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer:
Talks favourably to other about the company
Pays less attention to competing brands
Buys other products from the same company
Thus a Company would be wise to regularly measure customer satisfaction. The delighted customers are more effective advertisers than the advertisement placed in media.
Coordinated Marketing: Marketing requires the company to carry out internal marketing as well as external marketing. Internal marketing is the task of successfully hiring trained and motivating able employees to serve the customers well. Internal marketing must precede the external marketing. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company’s staff is ready to provide excellent service.
Coordinated marketing means two things, first the various marketing functions – sales force, advertising product management, marketing research, and so on must be coordinated among themselves. Second, marketing must be well coordinated with the other company department. Marketing does not work when it is merely a department. It only works when all employees appreciate the effect they have on customer satisfaction.
Profitability: The purpose of the marketing concept is to help organizations achieve their goals. In case of private firms, the major goal is profit, in the case of non-profit and public organizations; it is surviving and attracting enough funds to perform their work. The key is not to aim for profits as such but to achieve them as a buy product of doing the job well. A company makes money by satisfying customer’s needs better than a profitable way to satisfy some target group’s wants for personal satisfaction.