Elements of Marketing
Marketing thinking starts with the customer’s needs. Today’s customer is in the driver’s seat. It is also because of the change in the demand-supply equation. Now the demand is less than the supply just reverse the past time’s situation. Today, each marketer wants to satisfy and retain the customer because of the intense competition. The marketing has the core basic concepts (also known as customer and marketplace concepts) as its elements given below:
Elements of Marketing
1) Needs, Wants and Demands
Consumers are motivated by their desire to satisfy complicated needs and these should be the starting point for all marketing activities. Need refers to something deep-rooted in an individual’s personality. How people go about satisfying that need will be conditioned by the cultural values of the society to which they belong. So in some cultures, the need for self-fulfilment may be satisfied by a religious penance, while other societies may seek it through the development of their creative talents.
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Wants are desires for distinct satisfiers of these deeper needs. For example, for satisfying hunger need the person may want Chinese food, South Indian food etc. Although people’s needs are few, their wants are numerous. Human wants are continually shaped and reshaped by institutions and social forces. Wants are the form taken by human needs as they are reshaped by individual personality and culture.
Demands are wants for specific products that are backed by qualification, ability, and willingness to buy them. When supported by the purchasing power wants become demands. The marketer must not only be interested in knowing how someone may want their product but also how many actually have the purchasing power to purchase.
A product is defined as a thing produced by labour or effort or the result of an act or a process. It refers to anything that is produced, whether as the result of generation, growth, labour, thought, or by the operation of involuntary causes; as the products of the season, or of the farm; the products of the brain; the products of manufactures.
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Product refers to the end result of the manufacturing process, to be offered to the marketplace to satisfy a need or want. The product in marketing terms is defined as anything tangible or intangible offered for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that is capable of satisfying needs. Included can be objects, people, services, places, and ideas. The satisfaction people get from products can derive from any aspect of the product, such as its quality, package, service warranty, brand name, supplementary use, or symbolic value.
The utility is a concept within economics that is related to marketing. The utility is a measure of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, consumption of various goods and services. Given this measure, om may speak meaningfully of increasing or decreasing utility and thereby explain economic behaviour in terms of attempts to increase one’s utility. The product/service and marketing of the product /service form the foundation of the exchange process and together they create a utility.
The production process creates the form utility of goods or services, whereas place, time, and ownership utility are created by the marketing function, it is the act of offering a goods or service when (time utility), where (place utility) and via processes that make possession easy, eg, distribution/price/purchasing terms (ownership utility).
So greater the utility, the greater the demand and potential will be for a successful business.
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Value means relative worth or importance. The value may be best defined from the customer’s perspective as a trade-off between the benefits received versus the price paid. Value is created when product and users come together within a particular use situation. Thus, each transaction is evaluated as to dissatisfaction, satisfaction, or high satisfaction experience, in terms of the value received. These service encounters impact customer decisions to form long-term relationships with organisations.
For customers, value is represented by the ratio of perceived benefits to the price paid. Customers will evaluate benefits according to the extent to which a product lets their needs be satisfied. Customers also evaluate how well a product’s benefits add to their well-being as compared with the benefits provided by competitors’ offerings:
Customer Perceived Value –
Benefits Deriving from a Product /Cost of Acquiring the Product
From this equation, we can see that a customer will experience value from a product or service when the perceived benefits exceed the price of the product. What is not evident in the equation (but nevertheless crucial) is that the value of the firm’s product must exceed that of competitors. From this equation, the astute marketer also understands that there are two ways through which an organization can increase value. One is by increasing perceived benefits. The other is by lowering the price. It is greatly preferable to compete “above the line” on perceived benefits than, to engage in price competition.
5) Cost, Satisfaction and Quality
Customer satisfaction is the attitude like the feeling of a customer toward a product or service after it has been used. It is commonly described as the full meeting of one’s expectations. The concept of satisfaction is essential for marketers because it is the core of success in today’s highly competitive world of business.
Marketers often try to become customer-focused and market-oriented and in doing so, improving customer satisfaction becomes an important corporate goal for them. In fact, satisfaction is a major aim of all of our marketing activities and is a key influence in the formation of future purchase intentions.
For example, a satisfied customer is likely to share his experiences with others, thereby engaging in what is known as positive word-of-mouth advertising. Similarly, a dissatisfied customer is very likely to switch brands or complain thereby engaging in negative word-of-mouth advertising.
Quality is the perception of product excellence by customers. It is linked to customer need satisfaction. Organisations adopt the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM). They always improve the quality of their products for customer satisfaction. Everyone is involved and committed to satisfying customer needs through quality improvement.
Satisfaction is the customer’s perceived performance from a product about the expectations. The customer is dissatisfied if the performance falls short of expectations; satisfied if the performance matches the expectations, and delighted if the performance exceeds expectations. Marketing aims for total customer satisfaction by matching product performance with customers’ expectations.
6) Exchange and Transactions
The essence of marketing is a transaction and exchange intended to satisfy human needs and wants. Marketing emerges when people decide to satisfy their wants and needs through exchange. Exchange is the act of getting the desired product from someone by offering something in return.
Exchange is the social concept of marketing. Exchange actually takes place depending upon whether the two parties are agreed to the terms and conditions of exchange. When the exchange is completed it is called a transaction.
Needs Wants Demand
Exchange is the process of obtaining the desired product from someone by offering something of value in return. Exchange is the essence of marketing. It is a value-creation process.
Five conditions should be fulfilled for the exchange to take place:
i) There should be two or more parties to participate (buyer and seller).
ii) Parties must have something of value that the other desire.
iii) Parties should be capable of delivery and communication.
iv) Parties should be free to accept or reject the offer.
v) Parties should believe that it is appropriate or desirable to deal with each other.
A transaction is a trade of values between two or more two groups. It can be in monetary or barter forms. When the exchange is made, it results in a transaction.
7) Relationship Marketing and Networks
Relationship marketing is an integrated effort to identify, maintain, and build a network with individual customers and to continuously strengthen the network for the benefit of both sides, through individualised, interactive, and value-added contacts over a long period.
According to Professor Philip Kotler, “Relationship marketing is the process of building long term. trusting, and win-win relationships with customers, distributors, dealers and suppliers. Over time, relationship marketing promises and delivers high quality, efficient service and fair prices to the other party. It is accomplished by strengthening economic, technical and social ties between members of two organisations or between the marketer and the individual customer”.
Relationship marketing seeks long-term, “win-win” transactions between marketers and key parties (suppliers, customers, distributors). The ultimate result of relationship marketing is a unique company asset called a marketing network of mutually profitable business relationships. Networks consist of the organisation and its key stakeholders. They are the result of relationships.
Stakeholders consist of suppliers, employees, customers, technological partners, channel members, and advertising agencies. The organisation has mutually beneficial relationships with them. Today, the competition is between marketing networks, not between companies.
Traditionally, the term “market” has been used to describe a place where buyers and sellers gather to exchange goods and services, e.g., a vegetable and fruit market or a stock market.
According to Pyle, “Market includes both place and region in which buyer and seller are in free competition with one another”. In marketing, the term market refers to the group of consumers or organisations that is interested in the product, has the resource to purchase the product, and is permitted by law and other regulations to acquire the product.
According to Philip Kotler, “A market consists of all the potential customers sharing a particular need or wants who might be willing and able to engage in exchange to satisfy that need or want”.
So the size of the market depends upon the number of persons who have unsatisfied needs and are potentially capable of performing the exchange.
Marketers are the persons whose duties include the identification of the goods and services desired by a set of consumers, as well as the marketing of those goods and services on behalf of a company.
A marketer is a person that sells goods or services in or to a market especially, the one that markets a specified commodity.
According to Philip Kotler, “A marketer is someone seeking a resource from someone else and willing offer something of value in exchange. It is clear, that a marketer is not a producer. Marketer is one of the parties to exchange”.
In a normal situation, the marketer is the company serving a market of end-users. The company and competitors send those respective products and messages directly and/or through marketing intermedia to the end-users. The relative effectiveness is influenced by their respective intermediaries as well as m environmental forces.