The primary concern or objective of marketing is to identify and satisfy, or exceed the changing needs of customers. In view of this broad concern of marketing, it can be seen that the concept of marketing summarizes many activities in a business. Marketing, in fact, refers to any activity undertaken by a firm that has been designed to plan, price, promote and distribute ideas, goods and services to target markets. These marketing activities were executed in order to create an exchange and sales that will result in the achievement of the proprietors’ individual goals and the firm’s goals, both in the short-term and the long-term. It is then obvious that marketing forms an integral component of any business’s operations.
In particular marketing activities attempt to increase a firms’ revenue base, by showing the importance of attracting potential customers in target markets to purchase the firms’ products in order to satisfy their wants, rather than those of firm’s competitors. Consequently, the marketing directly contributes to the attainment of the financial goals of the firm. Hence, the success of a firm is reliant upon the extent to which it is able to identify, and satisfy the customer’s needs more effectively.
Marketing as an activity that involves several features, all of which are presented during the course of the marketing process. Such features include, firstly and most importantly, that marketing is a long process that begins with the creation of an idea and ends up as product that will be sold to satisfy a customer’s needs. Secondly, marketing is seen as a managerial process as it involves making managerial decisions about the particular mix of product, price, place and promotion in a firm. Furthermore, marketing involves managers planning and ensuring that particular arranged activities are carried out, in order for the marketing plan to be successful. Finally, marketing is perceived as a way in which firms are able to satisfy the needs of customers, and in turn achieve their own business goals.
Marketing provides the business with the ability to satisfy the changing wants of customers. In light of this, and the fact that businesses have become increasingly aware of the role that marketing plays in achieving success in the business, several approaches or philosophies to marketing have developed. There are different approaches to marketing, to help to define marketing and to show, how a specific marketing approach/s depends upon particular business’s marketing strategy and the type of product being marketed. Starting with a Marketing Concept, which believes that a customer’s need for satisfaction, is the economic and social reason for an organisation’s existence.
This approach requires, that all of the business’s activities should be targeted towards meeting consumer wants, while at the same time meeting the organisation’s goals. In effect, this approach needs the firm to find out what the customer wants, and subsequently develops a product to meet these requirements and then sell it at a profit.
Then the Production Concept should be considered. This approach states that the business will sell its product if it is both well made and affordable. Businesses utilising this method require management to focus on improving production techniques and cost structures of the business
The Product Concept focuses on the quality, features, and performance of the product. Believing that if the product has more features or is of a better quality and performance compared to competitors, it will then gain greater sales it is defiantly less customer orientated.
The Selling Concept concentrates on developing sales techniques and promotional activities in order to entice customers into buying an organisation’s product, whether they want it or not. Therefore this approach places direct emphasis on customers, but possibly not on their want-satisfaction.
After all the Societal Marketing Concept which is the latest marketing approach, combines the main ideas of the marketing approach, that is, determining customer needs and satisfying the business’s goals, but also integrates social responsibility into the business. This social responsibility includes increasing environmental awareness, which may include tackling the problems of pollution and the exploitation of non-renewable resources. Modern day businesses are under pressure to adopt this marketing approach, in order to become more socially responsible. This approach not only focuses on fulfilling the customer’s want-satisfaction, but also satisfying society.
These four approaches in particular show, that marketing is more than promoting and selling a product. They could be compared with the four P?s (product, place, promotion and price), which are normally used to describe the process of marketing. But the concepts of marketing, production, product, selling and society marketing give another view into the difficult and never ending process of marketing.