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Who Markets?

A marketer is someone who seeks a response—attention, a purchase, a vote, a donation—from another party, called the prospect. If two parties are seeking to sell something to each other, we call them both marketers.

Increasingly, marketing is not done only by the marketing department. Marketers now must properly manage all possible touch points (where a customer directly or indirectly interacts with the company), including store layouts, package designs, product functions, employee training, and shipping and logistics. To create a strong marketing organization, marketers must think like executives in other departments, and executives in other departments must think more like marketers. Interdepartmental teamwork that includes marketers is needed to manage key processes like production innovation, new-business development, customer acquisition and retention, and order fulfillment.

What Is a Market?

Traditionally, a “market" was a physical place where buyers and sellers gathered to buy and sell goods. Economists describe a market as a collection of buyers and sellers who transact over a particular product or product class (such as the housing market or the grain market). Marketers use the term market to describe customer groups. They talk about need markets (the dietseeking market), product markets (the shoe market), demographic markets (the “millennium" youth market), geographic markets (the Chinese market), or voter markets, labor markets, and donor markets. Four key customer markets are consumer, business, global, and nonprofit.

Figure 1.1 shows how sellers and buyers are connected by four flows. Sellers send goods and services and communications such as ads and direct mail to the market; in return they receive money and information such as customer attitudes and sales data. The inner loop shows an exchange of money for goods and services; the outer loop shows an exchange of information.

FiGURE 1.1 A Simple Marketing System

 
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