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Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management – the other being Innovation. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market with goods for sale. The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market. The ‘marketing concept’ proposes that in order to satisfy the organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the needs and wants of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors. Marketing and marketing concepts are directly related. Something necessary for people to live a healthy, stable and safe life.
When needs remain unfulfilled, there is a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. Something that is desired, wished for or aspired to. Wants are not essential for basic survival and are often shaped by culture or peer-groups. When needs and wants are backed by the ability to pay, they have the potential to become economic demands. Customer needs are central to market segmentation which is concerned with dividing markets into distinct groups of buyers on the basis of “distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviors who might require separate products or marketing mixes. Although needs-based segmentation is difficult to do in practice, has been proved to be one of the most effective ways to segment a market. In addition, a great deal of advertising and promotion is designed to show how a given product’s benefits meet the customer’s needs, wants or expectations in a unique way.
A marketing orientation has been defined as a “philosophy of business management. A firm employing a product orientation is mainly concerned with the quality of its own product. A product orientation is based on the assumption that, all things being equal, consumers will purchase products of a superior quality. The approach is most effective when the firm has deep insights into customers and their needs and desires derived from research or intuition and understands consumers’ quality expectations and reservation prices.
Although the product orientation has largely been supplanted by the marketing orientation, firms practising a product orientation can still be found in haute couture and in arts marketing. Consequently, this entails simply selling existing products, using promotion and direct sales techniques to attain the highest sales possible. The sales orientation “is typically practised with unsought goods. One study found that industrial companies are more likely to hold a sales orientation than consumer goods companies. The approach may also suit scenarios in which a firm holds dead stock, or otherwise sells a product that is in high demand, with little likelihood of changes in consumer tastes diminishing demand.