No organization will be able to survive, if it fails to market what it wants to. In India a saying goes like this – Bolne wale ki basi bhi bik jati hai, na bolne wale ki taja bhi nahi bikati (those who make marketing efforts are able to find customers even for rotten ones and those who remain silent in their marketing effort are not able to find customers for the fresh ones).
This shows how important marketing is. Gone are the days of sellers market. In these days of buyers market only those marketers will survive who take care of their customers in every possible way.
Marketing has been continuously shifting its focus and goals keeping in view the changing marketing environment. First, marketing appeared as a branch of applied economics and was concerned with the study of channels of distribution. Then, it became a managerial discipline and was concerned with the increase in sales.
Then, it shifted to an applied behavioral science and is concerned with the understanding of buyers and sellers. Thus, it has travelled from commodity approach (me-too products) to institutional approach (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, agents) to functional approach (exchanging, promoting, logistics, and pricing) to managerial approach (analysis, planning, organizing and controlling) to social focus.
Different people have given different concepts of marketing. American Marketing Associations definition in 1935 carried the traditional view emphasizing only one-way traffic, i.e., transfer of goods and services from producer to consumer, i.e., pushing products and services. Profit maximisation is the sole objective and consumers are taken for granted.()
The managerial perspective is concerned with the art of selling, but selling is only the tip of marketing in its totality. The current perspective as given in their 2004 version is concerned with knowing and understanding the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself, i.e., engaging in customer service engineering.
It is against profit maximization at the cost of stakeholders consumers, uses marketing as a means for social welfare. In fact consumer is the purpose of marketing. In the new concept of marketing, the orientation has changed from production to marketing, product to customer, and supply to demand, sales to satisfaction and internal to external.
The new concept given by AMA is: “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”
Marketing concept and philosophy state that the organization should strive to satisfy its customers wants and needs while meeting the organizations goals. The best way to meet the organizations goals is also by meeting customer needs and wants.
The marketing concepts emphasis is to understand the customers before designing and producing a product for them. With the customers wants and needs incorporated into the design and manufacture of the product, sales and profit goals are far more likely to be met.
Interpreted literally, the marketing concept only advocates discovering consumers wants and needs and satisfying them. Critics assert that consumers may not be aware of all of their wants and needs.
In the 1950s, how many consumers were of need for microwaves to cook food? In the 1960s, how many consumers were aware of having personal computers? The new definition of AMA does not talk of hidden needs.
Supporters of the marketing concept have contended that it does not stifle innovation and that it does recognize that consumers cannot conceive of every product that they may want or need, because need is defined in a very broad sense.()
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