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Marketing culture and orientation

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Par   •  13 Février 2012  •  Dissertation  •  8 490 Mots (34 Pages)  •  564 Vues

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2 Marketing Culture and Orientation

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A. THE DEVELOPMENT OF MARKETING

It would be a mistake to think that marketing is a phenomenon of the 20th century. Its origin can be

traced back to early civilisation. When communities began to specialise they produced surpluses in

certain products which they then sought to exchange with other communities. The need to exchange

goods encouraged the emergence of local markets where different products could be brought together

in one place for sellers and buyers to trade. In these simple market structures, the sellers had a fairly

good idea of what pleased their customers, since often they were neighbours of each other.

The Industrial Revolution

Prior to the 17th century and the start of the Industrial Revolution, producers and merchants tended to

operate on a small scale, concentrating their operations in very localised markets. The Industrial

Revolution, however, brought with it advances in technology and production techniques which meant

new processes, greater output and a transformation of the British economy away from its dependence

on agriculture to one of industrial production. Industry now became more remote from its markets as

it sought power and fuel to generate its machines.

Increased output meant an even greater desire to trade, while the large-scale production forced the

development of distribution channels to enable the demand from wider, larger markets to be met. The

era was founded on the principle of supply in trying to satisfy even greater demands by increasing

production efficiency. It laid the foundation of the modern industrial society, with sophisticated

systems of marketing institutions and finances, all of which are based on the fundamental concept of

carrying out trade through exchange.

The 20th Century

Improvements in technology and production processes have meant that this century has witnessed a

transition from a production society to a consumption society. Increasing competition, not simply

local or regional, but national and international, has meant that the problem is no longer one of supply

but of anticipating demand. All kinds of industries are now engaged in an intense struggle to establish

customer preference in favour of their products over that of the competition. Rather than wait for

orders to come to them, the industry must go out and manage demand for its products.

For many this was the start of the marketing era and out of it many of the modern marketing practices

were born. Advertising appeared as a means of stimulating sales. Branding and packaging were

developed as a way of saying something about the quality of the product. Salesforces were

introduced rather than relying solely on the merchants to find and develop new markets for their

products, while products themselves were developed to better satisfy customer needs.

Today there are many more producers and products than there are markets for them, which has

resulted in an imbalance where supply now exceeds demand. For modern business to achieve the

levels of demand it requires, it must not only concentrate on improving efficiency levels of production

but, more importantly, must also produce products the market wants to buy. This requires business to

place greater emphasis on marketing research to find out what buyers want, not what they simply

need, and to match its productive capacity and product lines to meet the anticipated wants. In effect,

the national and international situation has changed from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, and

failure to give buyers what they want will surely lead to failure.

Marketing Culture and Orientation 3

© Licensed to ABE

B. WHAT IS MARKETING?

As we have already noted, marketing has been around for thousands of years and has evolved from

simple bartering to the highly complex systems which are in use today.

Marketing as a discipline has its critics. These are the people who think of marketing as being a

“poison pack” which is responsible for all the evils in the world – mainly because of criticisms

relating to the effects of advertising.

However, marketing also has its devotees. Some people see marketing as a “magic wand”; they think

that when a company has problems all they need to do is to get in a Marketing Manager and all the

problems will disappear.

Neither of these viewpoints is correct. Marketing is now recognised almost as a science. It is seen as

a logical approach to business which involves the studying, and understanding, of relationships and

exchanges between buyers and sellers.

Various definitions of “marketing” have been proposed by practitioners of marketing:

“Marketing is a human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants” (Kotler).

“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and

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