M A R K E T I N G -U P D A T E

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On this page of our web site we examine Marketing and we learn why people buy things. We also look at the concept of marketing, market research and recommend the latest marketing tools.

Marketing means many things - The word 'marketing' is an umbrella word. To a salesman, marketing means selling. To an advertising executive, it means advertising, and to a department store manager it means retailing. Each of these people thinks of only one part of total marketing. This is not wrong. Each part plays a role, but none gives the whole picture. See also this useful explanation.

Our interest is with the whole picture, with total marketing. Let us therefore agree on a definition, so that we know what we are talking about. "Marketing is the total system of business activities designed to plan, price, promote, and distribute products or services to existing and potential customers."

This view of marketing implies a number of things:

  • First, your entire system of business action should be oriented towards your market. Your purpose in business should be to recognize your customers' wants, and to satisfy them.
  • Second, our view suggests that marketing is a dynamic process. It is not any one activity, such as selling, or advertising; nor is it only the sum total of several. It is a sum of many activities, plus their interaction with one another. We cannot split marketing into four or six parts, and write about each as if it stood alone. At all times we must maintain the overall view, focus on the whole picture.
  • Third, in our view marketing starts with the germ of an idea for a new service or product. It then follows through to market research, product design, and selling. Only when the customer's wants are completely satisfied, which may be some time after the sale and may include various services, is the marketing effort at an end
  • Fourth, our definition implies that good marketing must lead to the highest possible sales over the long run. Customers must be kept satisfied in order to persuade them to do repeat business with the firm.

Our next step is to see how this view helps you to market your products or services in a small business.

The concept in practice:

We may now take our definition above, and see how it suggests we go about the practical marketing of our products or services. The best summary of practical steps is that given in the so-called marketing concept. This was first formulated by General Electric many years ago. Today the marketing concept has come into its own as the basis of practical marketing policies for companies, large and small, around the world.

The marketing concept is a total approach and suggests a five-pronged system of action,

  • The approach makes sure that the manager {or the owner in the case of the small business} knows where his/her markets are.
  • He/she provides efficient customer and product services.
  • He/she sees that they have the right product at the right place at the right time.
  • He/she sells to the greatest possible number of customers, through the most efficient sales and distribution channels.
  • He/she supports the product adequately with advertising and sales promotion.

The marketing concept spells out two fundamental beliefs:

(a) all company planning, policies, and operations should be oriented to the customer. The customer is the fulcrum, the pivot point around which the business moves. In the words of an old expression: "The consumer is king"; and (b), profit is the goal of the firm. You may strive for service, for growth, for volume, but these become important only insofar as they contribute toward profit. Profit is the purpose of you business.

Consequently all your company's activities must be devoted to, first, finding out what your customers want, and then satisfying these wants at a profit to you. Read this interesting article about "Know Your Customers" click here

Footnote: This adapted material has been kindly supplied by Stellenbosch University, South Africa

  • If you wish to continue with further research and additional reading related to this matter of "Marketing" we recommend that you search the 'bookshelves' of our online partner.

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