Marketing is very important to the success of a business. Before people can buy a product or service they have to know about it. However, marketing entails more than just letting people know what your company has to offer. Throughout this paper, I will define marketing, offering my personal definition as well as more formal definitions from other sources. Furthermore, I will explain to the reader the importance of marketing to organizational success giving real world examples in support of this explanation. The field of marketing can include many things. I believe, however, the most important thing which it should include is communication with customers as to the value and benefits of using that particular company's products and services. It should help to establish the business's niche in the industry and distinguish it from other such businesses.
The text states that marketing is both an art and a science where constant tension exists between the formulated and creative sides. At its essence, marketing is about "identifying and meeting human and social needs". It encompasses both a set of actions which seek to identify customers' needs as well as a social process of establishing a relationship with the customer to buy their products; this relationship is vital to the long term success for a company and a critical part of the marketing equation (Kotler & Keller, 2006).
The American Marketing Association provides the following definition of marketing: "Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stake holders" (Kotler & Keller, 2006). Clearly, the value to the customer must first be defined by understanding the customers' needs including those that may go beyond the product or service a company is selling. For example, Safeway, a grocery store chain, goes beyond fulfilling a customer's need for groceries by addressing other needs, such as convenience, thru a door-to-door delivery of their groceries. While another company, Wal-Mart, is successful by making their products widely available to as many people as possible at the lowest possible prices. Again, the product is only part of the equation; Wal-Mart's marketing mix also focuses heavily on price and distribution (place). Finally, Microsoft now allows customers the convenience of purchasing and downloading their favorite software titles directly from Microsoft's Windows Marketplace website instead of having to travel to a retail store.