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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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