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One - What is Marketing?

One - What is Marketing?



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Published by zdrift
what is marketing
what is marketing

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Published by: zdrift on Aug 06, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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There is much misunderstanding about what marketing is. Many people equate it withpromotion, or "trying to sell things that people don’t really want". The aim of this chapter is toset out the foundations of marketing and to distinguish between marketing as a fundamentalphilosophy and as a set of techniques. Students should appreciate that while the techniqueshave now been widely adopted, many organisations still have a long way to go in developinga true customer focus which is at the heart of the marketing philosophy. After reading thischapter, students should have an awareness of the relationship of marketing to otherorganisation functions and be familiar with current debates about the nature of marketing.This is essentially a foundation chapter and many themes discussed will be returned to inmore detail in later chapters.
Marketing defined
Marketing as a fundamental business philosophy
The science and art of marketing
Foundations for success in business
Key marketing concepts
The marketing management process
Introduction to the marketing mix
ANNOTATED LECTURE OUTLINEPoint 1 - Marketing defined
Marketing is essentially about marshalling the resources of an organisation so that they meetthe changing needs of customers on whom the organisation depends. As a verb, marketing isall about how an organisation addresses its markets. The Chartered Institute of Marketingprovides a typical definition of marketing:
"The management process which identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirementsefficiently and profitably"Most private sector organisations operate with some kind of profit related objectives, and if an adequate level of profits cannot be earned from a particular group of customers, a firm willnot normally wish to meet the needs of that group. Where an organisation is able to meet itscustomers’ needs effectively and efficiently, its ability to gain an advantage over itscompetitors will be increased (for example by allowing it to sell a higher volume and/or at ahigher price than its competitors). It is consequently also more likely to be able to meet itsprofit objectives.
Point 2 - Marketing as a fundamental business philosophy
As a
business philosophy,
marketing puts customers at the centre of all the organisation’sconsiderations. This is reflected in basic values such as the requirement to understand andrespond to customer needs and the necessity to constantly search for new marketopportunities. In a truly marketing oriented organisation, these values are instilled in allemployees and should influence their behaviour without any need for prompting.To many people, marketing is simply associated with a set of 
As an example,market research is a technique for finding out about customers’ needs and advertising is atechnique to communicate the benefits of a product offer to potential customers. However,these techniques can be of little value if they are undertaken by an organisation which has notfully taken on board the philosophy of marketing.
Discussion topic: Undertake an informal audit of some organisations with which youare familiar. Assess how well these organisations perform on some simple indicators of market orientation, e.g., are opening hours designed to be convenient for staff ratherthan customers; are the "best" car parking spaces reserved for customers, or for seniorstaff?; do staff seem to be more concerned for the customer, or with following fixedprocedures?; does the company make it easy to buy its products?; does advertisingappeal more to managers’ egos, rather than consumers? How well does a universityperform in terms of being truly marketing oriented?
There have been many attempts to define just what is meant by marketing orientation. Amongempirical attempts to measure marketing orientation, a study by Narver and Slater (1990)
identified three important components: customer orientation; competitor orientation; andinter-fucntional co-ordination (Figure 1.1, p6).
Point 3 - Is marketing a science or an art?
Attempts to empirically study marketing using scientific frameworks of the natural scienceshave found favour with followers of the positivist school. On this basis, models have beendeveloped to predict consumer behaviour, the profitability of retail locations and price-volume relationships, among others. The great merit of the scientific approach is its claim togreat objectivity. To many people, marketing has no credibility if it does not take a rigorous,scientific method of enquiry. This implies that research should be carried out in a systematicmanner and results should be replicable.To counter this view, it is argued that marketing cannot possibly emulate the natural sciencesin its methodologies. Positivist approaches have frequently been accused of seeking meaningfrom quantitative data sets in an essentially subjective manner which is at variance with thescientific principles on which positivist approaches are based. The argument of post-positivistresearchers is that while positivist approaches enhance reliability and replicability, they do soat the expense of validity, that is to say, the findings are not a mirror image of reality. Post-positivists hold that the "real" truth will never emerge in a research framework which isconstrained by the need to operationalise variables in a watertight manner. In real lifemarketing, the world cannot be divided into clearly defined variables which are capable of objective measurement. Post-positivists place greater emphasis on exploring in depth themeaning of individual case studies rather than seeking objectivity and replicability throughlarge sample sizes.The scientific approach to marketing planning has a tendency to minimise risks, yet manymajor business successes have been based on entrepreneurs using their own judgement inpreference to that of their professional advisers.
Point 4 - Is marketing an academic discipline?
Marketing has borrowed heavily from other discipline areas. Its antecedents can be tracedback to industrial economics, but in the process of growth, it has drawn on the followingdiscipline areas:
Psychology - e.g. in the study of human motivation and perception

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