To be a marketer, you need to know the Double M well, Marketing and Marketed. Understanding what marketing is, how it works, who does it, and what is marketed. Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs. One of the shortest good definitions of marketing is meeting needs profitably.
When Google recognized that people needed to more effectively and efficiently access information on the Internet, it created a powerful search engine that organized and prioritized queries. When IKEA noticed that people wanted good furnishings at substantially lower prices, it created knockdown furniture. These two firms demonstrated marketing savvy and turned a private or social need into a profitable business opportunity.
What Is Marketing?
The American Marketing Association offers the following formal definition: Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
We see marketing management as the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value. Cocreation of value among consumers and with businesses and the importance of value creation and sharing have become important themes in the development of modern marketing thought.
Note that selling is not the most important part of marketing. Peter Drucker, famed management theorist, says that the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available.
When Apple launched its iPad tablet computer and when Toyota introduced its Prius hybrid automobile, these manufacturers were swamped with orders because they designed the right product, based on careful marketing homework.
What Is Marketed?
Marketers market 10 main types of entities: goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas.
Goods – Physical goods constitute the bulk of most countries’ production and marketing efforts. Each year, U.S. companies market billions of fresh, canned, bagged, and frozen food products and other tangible items.
Services – As economies advance, a growing proportion of their activities focuses on the production of services. The U.S. economy today produces a services-to-goods mix of roughly two-thirds to one-third.7 Services include the work of airlines, hotels, car rental firms, barbers and beauticians, maintenance and repair people, and accountants, bankers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, software programmers, and management consultants. Many market offerings mix goods and services, such as a fast-food meal.
Events – Marketers promote time-based events, such as major trade shows, artistic performances,and company anniversaries. Global sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup are promoted aggressively to companies and fans.
Experiences – By orchestrating several services and goods, a firm can create, stage, and market experiences. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom lets customers visit a fairy kingdom, a pirate ship, or a haunted house. Customized experiences include a week at a baseball camp with retired baseball greats, as one example.
Persons – Artists, musicians, CEOs, physicians, high-profile financiers, and other professionals often get help from marketers.9 Management consultant Tom Peters, himself a master at selfbranding, has advised each person to become a “brand.”
Places – Cities, states, regions, and whole nations compete to attract tourists, residents, factories, and company headquarters.10 Place marketers include economic development specialists, real estate agents, commercial banks, local business associations, and advertising and public relations agencies.
Properties – Properties are intangible rights of ownership to either real property (real estate) or financial property (stocks and bonds). They can be bought and sold and therefore require marketing through the efforts of real estate agents, investment companies, and banks.
Organizations – Museums, performing arts organizations, corporations, and nonprofits all use marketing to boost their public images and compete for audiences and funds. Some universities have created chief marketing officer (CMO) positions to better manage their school identity and image, via everything from admission brochures and Twitter feeds to brand strategy.
Information – Information is essentially what books, schools, and universities produce, market, and distribute at a price to parents, students, and communities.
Ideas – Every market offering includes a basic idea. Charles Revson of Revlon once observed: “In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.” Products and services are platforms for delivering some idea or benefit. Social marketers promote such ideas as “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” and “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”