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Does marketing create or satisfy needs?

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Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. Marketers are skilled at managing demand, and they operate in four different marketplace: customer, business, global, and nonprofit. Marketing is not done only by marketing department. Marketers should think like executives, and executives should think like marketers. Needs are the basic human requirements like food, water, air, shelter, etc… These needs become wants when they are directed to specific objects that satisfy the need, and demands are wants for specific products backed by an ability to pay. The marketing function is to search needs and then satisfy it, but the issue that some companies create needs, so we should not call it “marketing” because none of the marketing function is creating needs. The marketing philosopher Philip Kotler says” Marketers do not create needs, needs pre-exist marketers along with other societal factors, and influence wants. Marketers might promote idea that Mercedes would satisfy a person’s need for social status. They do no, however, create the need for social status”. But nowadays companies do more. They educate people and give them reason to buy their products and this is what people might call it “creation of needs” people purchase something when they need it, if they think they do not need the product they may not purchase it.

For example, how many people in Pakistan need I-pad? Or why do people really need to go to space? They don’t need it at all, but they go. Creation of need is not the function of marketing. Marketing is how the products create value to the customer and receive it by needs and wants. Marketing does both, it creates and satisfies needs of customers. Marketers must use the marketing development’s term to create needs. They must learn how to change in knowledge, behavior, attitudes, or creativity. Then, it helps customers to be motivated to learn and make a decision, helps the customers effectively handle the information and experience, or helps the customers understand the product application and influences the buying behavior. Marketing also satisfy needs. Marketing creates a transaction for exchanging the product for a value and thus create a satisfaction to the buyer’s needs. Marketing is based on identifying and satisfying customers’ needs profitability.

Marketing shapes consumer needs and wants versus marketing merely reflects the needs and wants of consumers Position that I take: Marketing shapes consumer needs and wants “Who cares what customers think — we haven’t told them what to think” (Andy Grove) I do think marketing shapes customers’ needs and wants. Consumers are often waggling about what they really need and want. If marketing merely reflects what consumers’ needs and wants, when consumers change their mind about what they want and how, retailers and manufactures jump to give them what they want, but the second, consumers changed their mind and want something different, can retailers and manufactures jump to switch their product line right away? Of course it is not true. Consumers are not as rational as professional to reveal their needs and wants accurately. Thus marketing shapes customers’ needs and wants. How do marketing shape customers’ needs and wants?

30 years ago, few people might feel that they need a cell phone. If marketers simply followed this information, cell phone will not be so popular now. But there is an opportunity that cell phone speed up people’s communication and then make their work more efficient. Marketing shapes consumers to realize this need and stimulates this market. Cell phone was designed to be a communication tool, but now cell phone was added all kinds of features, such as digital camera, internet, MP3 and MP4, etc. Do consumers really need all these features for their cell phone? But marketing did stimulate this need. First we should understand what are consumers’ needs and wants. Same as Mr. Ford said, before auto was invented, consumers’ needs were just some faster horses. Now during the economy recession, people are very cautious about spending their money. They need get rid of their 15 years old to get a new one. But fear kills their needs. Their needs become saving much money as much as they can to go through economy crisis. Should marketing just follow this reflection from consumers? Of course not. Thus the quality of a company’s marketing or how does a company shape consumers’ needs will be the biggest factor. Why companies are losing money on marketing? Marketing should stimulate customers’ need and persuade consumer to think that some un-needed are actually their needs. Then company can gain market share and survive in the economy battle.

Shifts in Marketing: Consider the broad shifts in marketing, do any themes emerge in them? Can you relate the shifts to the major societal forces? Which forces has contributed to which shift? The major themes that emerge in these broad shifts are technology, decentralisation, and empowerment. As companies face increased global competition, they are beginning to increase their attention to all aspects of marketing and are beginning to encompass marketing as a corporate goal and not just a departmental function. The marketplace isn’t what it used to be, it is dramatically different from what it was even 10 years ago. Today societal forces have created new marketing behaviors, opportunities, and challenges. Some of these forces: globalization, deregulation, industry convergence, retail transformation, disintermediation, consumer buying power, consumer information, consumer participation and resistance.

The major societal forces at work: two-income families, increased technology, fewer firms, increased consumer education and empowerment are forcing companies and marketers to shift their thinking about marketing and rethink their best business practices. These major societal forces create complex challenges for marketers, but they have also generated a new set of capabilities to help companies cope and respond. Marketers can use internet as a powerful information and sales channel, and they can collect fuller and richer info about markets, customers, and competitors. They can also facilitate and speed external communication among customers, and can reach consumers on the move with mobile marketing. Marketers can send ads, coupons, samples, and info to customers who have requested them or given the company permission to send them. Companies can make and sell individually differentiated goods, and improve purchasing, recruiting, training and internal and external communications. Companies are increasingly allowing customers to customize their products, such as with personalized messages on the front labels of Heinz ketchup bottles.

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