May 31, 2007 0 comments
Concept of Marketing
The concept of marketing has been variously defined over the years; here are some explanations from leading practitioners and theorists in the field.
“Marketing is the management process for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
Chartered Institute of Marketing
“If you are obsessed with attaining happiness you will never attain it. But if you focus on service to others, happiness will come immediately. It is the same with industry: if you are obsessed with looking for profits, you will never find them. But if you focus on satisfying the customer, you will gain everything.”
(Jose Lopez VW top executive cited by Jobber 1995)
Peter Drucker stated:
“Because the purpose of business is to create and keep customers, it has only two central functions – marketing and innovation. The basic function of marketing is to attract and retain customers at a profit.”
He went on to explain that the role of marketing is to identify customers requirements so well that when products and services are designed to meet these requirements and presented to the customers they automatically recognise and accept what is being offered. (Drucker 1973)
David Jobber stated that a modern marketing concept can be expressed as:
“The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition.” (Jobber 1995)
Three conditions should be met:
- Customer orientation – Corporate activities are focused upon providing customer satisfaction.
- Integrated effort – all staff accept the responsibility for creating customer satisfaction.
- Goal achievement – The belief that corporate goals can be achieved through customer satisfaction.
Philip Kotler defines marketing as:
“A social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” This leads into the debate about needs, wants and demand, Where needs stem from a state of felt deprivation affected by the complexity of physical, social and individual motivational factors. Wants on the other hand are shaped by culture and individual personality and can be influenced by variety of choice. Demand is affected by the ability to exchange resources to obtain what is on offer i.e. buying power.
The debate moves on into the concepts of products and services where Kotler defines a product as:
“Anything that can be offered to market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need. It includes physical objects, services, persons, places, organizations and ideas.”
Services are defined as:
“Any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another which is essentially intangible and does not result in ownership of anything.”
In his book on Competitive Advantage (1985) Porter discusses the need for people to understand the competitive environment that affects every firm. The competitive forces of other firms causes turbulence within the market, however the other forces at play include; Supplier Power, Buyer Power, Threat of New Entrants, and the availability of Substitutes.
It could be argued that competitive offerings present the biggest threat and therefore there are needs to have effective marketing intelligence gathering and analysis systems.
The marketing mix described by Kotler (1999) is
“The set of controllable tactical marketing tools – product, price, place and promotion – that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market.” It is useful, however to consider three more factors in this concept – physical evidence, process and people – as these will have a bearing on customer’s expectations and perceptions. For a discussion on expectation and perception theory see the work of Berry, Parasuraman and Zeithaml. They have developed a methodology for assessing customer’s responses to service offerings.