Marketing refers to the process of recognizing and satisfying human and social needs (Kotler and Keller, 2006). The approaches adopted with the aim of achieving successful marketing are referred to as marketing concepts. Nowadays, successful marketing calls for clear-cut and proven marketing concepts that are capable of achieving profitable and sustainable chains of production and distribution. In addition, the chosen concepts must address key customer issues and attempt to satisfy each and every customer regardless of their demographic, social, or political variations, i.e., marketing concepts should be tailored to meet specific customer needs.
Core Concepts of Marketing
Pursuant to Kotler and Keller (2006), the most prominent marketing concepts in use nowadays include but are not limited to a) needs, wants, and demands, b) target markets, positioning, and segmentation, c) value, and satisfaction, and d) marketing environment. The combined application of the above marketing concepts plays a huge role in ensuring the success of the entire marketing practice as well as forming a solid basis on which the marketing campaign is usually based.
Needs, Wants, and Demands
In marketing practice, “a human need is a state of felt deprivation” (Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders & Wong 1999 p. 10). A human wants denotes the form adopted by a human need as shaped by the immediate culture and individual personality (Kotler et al., 1999). Marketers must always identify the basic needs, wants, and demands of their target customers. They must also try to discern future necessities that may arise during the course of their marketing campaigns. In so doing, they not only create future selling potential but also increase the chances of customer retention.
An excellent marketer achieves this by visualizing themselves as customers, thus allowing them to approach marketing from a buyer’s point of view. The results achieved this way include detailed specifications of almost the exact needs and demands of potential customers and their possible alternatives. For example, proper identification of needs, wants and demands has played an immense role in aiding Coca-Cola’s global expansion today.
Target Markets, Positioning, and Segmentation
Marketing does not take place in a vacuum, and it is not haphazard. As a concept, target marketing seeks to establish an unexploited niche in the already existing market or establish a new one by identifying unsatisfied human needs, wants, and demands. Once a suitable niche has been established, the marketer proceeds to ‘position’ potential buyers. This is achieved by subdividing the identified market into segments (Kotler & Keller 2006). These segments provide marketers with tailored needs, thus assisting in the formulation of a product or service that meets a specific segment’s needs. Segments representing the greatest opportunity forms the target market (Kotler & Keller 2006).
Value and Satisfaction
The concept of value and satisfaction is influenced by the offering or brand put forth by the marketing firm or company. Potential buyers gauge the value of the offering differently. The term customer value is defined as “the difference between the values the customer gains from owning and using a product and the cost of obtaining the product” (Kotler et al., 1999 p. 11). If a customer feels that the value of the item or service being marketed is high, then they are more likely to be satisfied by it, hence chances of purchasing the offering are high. Kotler and Keller (2006) argue that the offering will only be successful if it delivers value and satisfaction to the customer.
A marketing environment refers to factors that affects a firm’s or a production company’s aptitude to achieve and retain a solid customer base. According to Kotler and Keller (2006), a marketing environment is made up of the task environment and the broad environment. The task environment represents “the immediate actors involved in producing, distributing, and promoting the offering” (Kotler & Keller 2006 p. 31) such as the company itself and the distributors.
The broad marketing environment is composed of fluid factors, i.e., demographic, physical, economic, technological, political-legal, and social cultural environments (Kotler & Keller 2006). Marketing environment plays an important role in influencing the course of a company’s marketing campaign, and thus requires careful planning, especially due to their fluidity.
Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Saunders, J., &Wong, V. (1999). Principles of Marketing (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2006). Marketing Management (12 ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.