Most managers & marketing writers now distinguish between selling & marketing. The “selling concept” assumes that resisting consumer have to be persuaded by vigorous hard-selling techniques to buy non-essential goods or services. Products are sold rather then bought. The “marketing concept”, on the contrary, assumes that the producer’s task is to find wants & fill them. In other words, you don’t sell what you make, you make what will be bought. As well as satisfying existing needs, marketers can also anticipate 7 create new ones. The markets fro Walkman, video games, personal computers, & genetic engineering, to choose some recent examples, were largely created rather than identified.
Marketers are consequently always looking for market opportunities – profitable possibilities of filling unsatisfied needs or creating new ones in areas in which the company is likely to enjoy a differential advantage, due to its distinctive competencies (the things it does particularly well). Market opportunities are generally isolated by market segmentations. Once a target market has been identified, a company has to decide what goods or services to offer. This means that much of the work of marketing has been done before the final product or service come into existence. It also means that the marketing concept has to be understood throughout the company, e. g. in the production department of a manufacturing company as much as in the marketing department itself. The company must also take account of the existence of competitors, who always have to be identified, monitored & defeated in the search for loyal customers.
Rather than risk launching a product or service solely on the basis of intuition or guesswork, most companies undertake market research. They collect & analyze information about the size of a potential market, about consumers’ reactions to particular product or service features, & so on. Sales representatives, who also talk to customers, are another important source of information.
Once the basic offer, e. g. a product concept, has been established, the company has to think about the marketing mix, i. e. all the various elements of the marketing programme, their integration, & the amount of effort that the company can expend on them in order to influence the target market. The best-known classification of these elements is the “4 Ps”: product, place, promotion, & price. Aspects to be concerned in marketing products include quality, features (standards & optional), style, brand name, size, packaging, services & guarantee. Place in a marketing mix includes such factors as distributions channels, locations of points of sale, transport, inventory size, etc. Promotion groups together advertising, publicity, sales promotion, & personal selling, while price includes the basic list price, discounts, the length of payment period, possible credit terms, & so on. It’s a job of a product manager or a brand manager to look for ways to increase sales by changing the marketing mix.
It must be remembered that quite apart from consumer markets (in which people buy products for direct consumption) there exists an enormous producer or industrial or business market, consisting of all the individuals & organizations that acquire goods & services that are used in the production of other goods, on in the supply of services to others. Few consumers realize that the producer market is actually larger than consumer market, since it contains all the raw materials, manufactured parts & components that go into consumer goods, plus capital equipment such as buildings & machines, supplies such as energy & pens & papers, & services ranging from cleaning to management consulting, all of which have to be marketed. There is consequently more industrial that consumer marketing, even though ordinary consumer are seldom exposed to it.
Marketing is a new science. What has been around previously is the art of salesmanship. Salesmanship is the art of manufacturing something & making another person to want it. Marketing is the art of finding out what the other person wants, then manufacturing it for him.
In a market of multiple choice, it is no longer sufficient to produce a product 7 show your customers that it satisfies one of their basic needs. You must show them it provides benefits other products fail to provide, that it can be supplied at a competitive price & above all, supplied reliability. But in this fast-changing world, competitors catch up more quickly then ever.
Preferences that consumer have for this or that product work for shorter & shorter periods. Choice makes marketing work.
Companies need to be constantly engaged in product development, if they wish to grow & make profits.
Research is the basic tool of marketing. A marketer must determine what customers needs are. Marketing experts have developed techniques for determining the needs of prospective customers. It’s done by way of market segmentation.
How can market segmentation be of help to a manager who wants to develop a new product? Every market can be divided into segments or, in other words, into separate groups of consumers. First there are demographic factors like age, income, educational background, occupation, size of family, type of home & neighborhood, etc. Then there are psychographic factors – the customers’ opinions & interests, hobbies, vacations spots, favorite sports etc.
Then a product is compared with the goods already established in the market by quality or quantity standards. To be a success you must be ahead of your competitors.
Competition never stops. That is why market segmentation must never stop as well. It should be on a permanent basis. Introduction of a pioneer product cam immediately change the composition & number of a consumer grouping.
For nearly 150 years – up until the 1930s – Americans experienced a tremendous era of production. Automobiles, appliances, & wide variety of consumer goods were manufactured without a thought to what the consumer might actually want. The population was increasing dramatically & demand was high for all types of quality products. Industrialists thus perceived no need for products that were oriented toward consumer preferences. In the 1930s everything changed. The economy was rocked by a severe depression, & suddenly people could no longer afford many of the products that were being produced. To regain these lost sales & to find potential new markets, companies like General Motors & General Electric pioneered the marketing concept & launched America into an era of marketing. The American Association defines marketing as the “performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods & services from the producer to the consumer or user.” While modern marketing approaches first made an appearance in the 1920s & 1930s, it was not until the 1950s that the more sophisticated aspects like the marketing concept had fully evolved. Today marketing is easily as important as production.
The marketing concept implies that the decision-making process in production should begin with the customer. Modern businesses believe that profits can be maximized by creating products for which there is known demand. Thus, companies today are constantly looking for creative ideas that will meet specific consumer needs & wants.
Of course, nonprofit businesses such as charities, hospitals, universities, & museums can also use the marketing concept to advantage.
The marketing concept directly influences the functions of marketing. All marketing planning, or establishment of objectives & the steps necessary to achieve them, must consider how the marketing concept will affect these major specialized activities. There are seven functions of marketing:
- Buying. Purchasing raw materials, products, &/or services for business, government, or consumer uses.
- Selling. Finding prospective buyers, promoting goods &services through personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, & publicity, & providing post-purchase service.
- Marketing research. Systematically gathering, recording, & analyzing data about problems related to the marketing of goods & services.
- Transportation & storage. Providing vehicles such as rail or truck to get goods from the producer to the consumer, & storing these goods until the final sale if necessary.
- Risk-taking. Using market research to avoid possible product or business failures, & shifting risk to insurance in cases such as fire, theft, & flood.
- Finance & credit. Borrowing or obtaining necessary credit to fund operations.
- Standardization & grading. Providing specifications so that the quantity & quality of goods can be controlled & compared.