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The Scope of Marketing

To be a marketer, you need to understand what marketing is, how it works, who does it, and what is marketed.

What Is Marketing?

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.

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.4 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.5

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.”6 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.

 
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