What is marketing? Almost every marketing textbook has a different definition of the term "marketing." The American Marketing Association (AMA) uses the following: "The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives." From this definition, we see that:
Marketing involves an ongoing process. The environment is "dynamic." This means that the market tends to change--what customers want today is not necessarily what they want tomorrow. For example, sales of beef are declining in the United States because consumers have become health oriented. Similarly, Tupperware parties are less popular today than they once were because there are fewer housewives who do not work outside the home.
This process involves both planning and implementing (executing) the plan.
Some of the main issues involved include:
Marketers help design products, finding out what customers want and what can practically be made available given technology and price constraints.
Marketers distribute products--there must be some efficient way to get the products from the factory to the end-consumer.
Marketers also promote products, and this is perhaps what we tend to think of first when we think of marketing. Promotion involves advertising--and much more. Other tools to promote products include trade promotion (store sales, coupons, and rebates), obtaining favorable and visible shelf-space, and obtaining favorable press coverage.
Marketers also price products to "move" them. We know from economics that, in most cases, sales correlate negatively with price--the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded. In some cases, however, price may provide the customer with a "signal" of quality. Thus, the marketer needs to price the product to (1) maximize profit and (2) communicate a desired image of the product.
Marketing is applicable to services and ideas as well as to...