Defining Marketing

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What is marketing? Merriam-Webster defines marketing as the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market. (Merriam-Webster, 2007) The American Market Association define marketing as an organizational function and a set of process for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization. (American Marketing Association, 2006) Why is marketing an important factor in order for a business to be successful? Marketing plays a vital role in the success of an organization as well as in economic growth and development. (Perrault & McCarthy, 2004) In my personal opinion, marketing is understanding a customer needs (both current and potential) and creating a product that provides value. Customers form expectations about the value of products and services that are offered. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2005) There are many definitions for marketing, but the main focus point in all is the consumer and the product. Marketing allows organizations to get their products recognized and desired by consumers. (Oppaper, 2006)
In order for businesses to understand the needs of the customer, businesses need to implement a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy identifies customer groups which a particular business can better serve than its target competitors, and tailors products offering prices, distributions, promotional efforts and services toward these market segments. Ideally, the strategy should address unmet customer needs that offer adequate potential profitability; a good strategy helps a business focus on the target market it can serve best. (SBA Marketing Basics, 2007) A company's financial success depends on marketing. A customer who had a bad experience with a particular company can hurt the future sales for the company as well as any potential customer to whom he or she share their experience with.
Businesses must understand that what works for one company may not work for the next company. Businesses also need to review the important strategy of the four P's – product, place, price and promotions. (Oppaper, 2006) Simply stated, marketing is important for a business to understand what is being sold, where is it going to be sold, for how much, and to whom. Just as an organization would do with a in your business plan, you will need to pull the many pieces together to demonstrate how you will reach your target audience.

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(All Business, 2007) A company's brand or signature product identifies that item with the company in the mind of a customer. Over time and with proper advertising, this brand or product is associated exclusively with that particular company. (Kotler & Keller, 2006)
Buy One, Get One (BOGO) half off is an example of marketing technique. Customers identify BOGO with Payless Shoesource. This technique has helped Payless Shoesource to keep current customers as well as gain potential customers. The growing importance of delivering value and satisfaction to the customer is the central theme in marketing management in many organizations. (Webster, 1992) Payless Shoesource has been around since 1956. Customers know that they can get a quality shoe for half the price at Payless Shoesource. We have a unique opportunity to deliver customer relevant on-trend fashion and design, at prices that are accessible to everyone. (Corporate Strategy, 2003)
Marketing as described in marketing management is 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 goals. (Kotler & Keller, 2006) The ongoing competition between cellular companies is another example of marketing. A cellular carrier's biggest downfall is selling a phone and service to a customer only to have the customer return everything because there is no network coverage in their house or their place of business. Their monthly pricing plan could be the best plan currently offered, in contrast, marketing shows that companies not only need to offer outstanding phones plans, but also outstanding coverage area as well. T-Mobile currently offers "Personal Coverage Check" to all customers. T-Mobile representatives check 3 locations (home, work, and one other frequent location) to ensure coverage is available. If the services do not meet the needs of the customer, the representative will let the customer know that T-Mobile service will not be able to meet their needs. (Oppaper, 2006)
Marketing is a process that the ultimate goal is to create exchanges that will satisfy and benefit both the customer and the organization. (Michigan State University, 2007) University of Phoenix (UOP) is another example of a successful marketing technique. UOP is geared towards "working adults." UOP also promotes that you can earn a 4 year degree in just 2 years, which appeals more towards working adults. People are exposed to the advertisement for UOP while watching television or surfing the internet.
In summary, marketing is the function of an organization that identifies their current and potential customers, creates products or services that meet the needs and wants of customers, informs and persuades the customers to purchases these products or services, and reinforces the customer's confidence in the purchase that they made. (Michigan State University, 2007) Marketing is a social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. (Shields) Marketing is paramount for the success of a business.

References
(2006, March 16). Retrieved June 5, 2007, from Oppaper: http://www.oppaper.com/print.php?id=81375
All Business. (2007). Retrieved June 5, 2007, from How to Prepare for Seasonal Marketing: http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/marketing-promotions/1973-2.html
American Marketing Association. (2006). Retrieved June 6, 2007, from http://www.marketingpower.com/mg-dictionary-view1862.php
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2005). Marketing: An Introduction 7th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Corporate Strategy. (2003). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from Payless Shoesource: http://www.payless.com/NR/exeres/A51C13FC-6578-42D7-9C14-E8F3D083E160.htm
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2006). Marketing Management, 12th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Merriam-Webster. (2007). Retrieved June 6, 2007, from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/marketing
Michigan State University. (2007). Retrieved June 5, 2007, from http://www.msu.edu/course/prr/473/oldstuff/Marketing.htm
Perrault, W. D., & McCarthy, J. E. (2004). Basic Marketing: A Global-Managerial Approach, 15e. Retrieved June 5, 2007, from University of Phoenix: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary/content/eReader.h
SBA Marketing Basics. (2007). Retrieved June 5, 2007, from United States Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/marketing/basics.html
Shields, H. M. (n.d.). Marketing Archaeological Resource Protection. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.cr.nps.gov/seac/protecting/html/4j-shields.htm
Webster, F. E. (1992). The Changing Role of Marketing in the Corporation. Journal of Marketing, Vol 56, No 4. , 1-17.


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