- Define the terms marketing, marketing concept, and marketing strategy.
- Outline the tasks involved in selecting a target market.
When you consider the functional areas of business—accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations—marketing is the one you probably know the most about. After all, as a consumer and target of all sorts of advertising messages, you’ve been on the receiving end of marketing initiatives for most of your life. What you probably don’t appreciate, however, is the extent to which marketing focuses on providing value to the customer. According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large” (American Marketing Association, 2011).
In other words, marketing isn’t just advertising and selling. It includes everything that organizations do to satisfy customer needs:
- Coming up with a product and defining its features and benefits
- Setting its price
- Identifying its target market
- Making potential customers aware of it
- Getting people to buy it
- Delivering it to people who buy it
- Managing relationships with customers after it has been delivered
Not surprisingly, marketing is a team effort involving everyone in the organization. Think about a typical business—a local movie theater, for example. It’s easy to see how the person who decides what movies to show is involved in marketing: he or she selects the product to be sold. It’s even easier to see how the person who puts ads in the newspaper works in marketing: he or she is in charge of advertising—making people aware of the product and getting them to buy it. But what about the ticket seller and the person behind the counter who gets the popcorn and soda? What about the projectionist? Are they marketing the business? Absolutely: the purpose of every job in the theater is satisfying customer needs, and as we’ve seen, identifying and satisfying customer needs is what marketing is all about.
If everyone is responsible for marketing, can the average organization do without an official marketing department? Not necessarily: most organizations have marketing departments in which individuals are actively involved in some marketing-related activity—product design and development, pricing, promotion, sales, and distribution. As specialists in identifying and satisfying customer needs, members of the marketing department manage—plan, organize, direct, and control—the organization’s overall marketing efforts.