Marketing is the process of companies and firms learning about their customers and competitors, therefore allowing them to provide the right products at the right price in the right place, promoted in the right way to allow their business to achieve its business objectives. It is important to understand that marketing is not purely just the process of advertising and selling. The Institute of Marketing gave the definition of marketing to be: ‘Marketing is the management process involved in identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumers requirements profitably.
‘ In the last forty years the importance of marketing in the UK has become a large part of business activities. The reasons for this is due to: Economic growth: Since the Second World War there has been an increase in the amount of disposable income for many consumers. This has therefore allowed for a growth in demand for products and services as well as a wider range of choice. Businesses saw this and developed a variety of products and services now available to the consumer. Businesses are aware of the growth in demand and the wide variety of tastes of consumers.
Successful marketing is vital for the firm to be able to secure its share of the market and improve their profit. Fashion: There have been many changes in fashion and in the tastes and lifestyles of most consumers over the last forty years. In recent years there has been an increase in the demand for low fat foods and fitness equipment. It is the job of marketing to anticipate and respond to the changes in fashion. It is also possible for the marketing done by a firm to influence the consumer, for example in the recent craze of ‘Pokemon’ for young children. Technology: The advance in technology in the last five years had been considerable.
Firms are constantly inventing, designing and launching new more advanced products. Due to the research in minimisation of electronic equipment it has allowed for things such as palm top computers and personal organizers to be feasible. It is important that businesses respond to changes in technology, a firms product can become outdated very quickly as technology is constantly advancing. It is important that the marketing and production department work together so they can work together to anticipate new opportunities. Competition: The number of similar products competing in the market is always increasing.
There has also been an increase in the number of foreign products for sale in the UK market. The increase in competition has meant that successful marketing is vital to maintain a firm’s market share. Due to the increase in competition from America and the Japanese it has been important for the UK to use more sophisticated marketing techniques, this has resulted in UK firms expenditure increasing over the last 20 years. Markets are continually changing, this is because consumer tastes are changing, the levels of competition a firm has to compete with is increasing and also advances in technology allow for cheaper manufacturing costs.
A product is something that is offered to the market. It is important that for businesses to do this successfully that they understand what a good is and what a service is and what it means to the consumers. Goods are things which can be seen, touched or taken away, also known as tangible assets. They are objects, such as souvenirs, exercise bikes or computer games. Services can not be touched but are skills or information which can be provided by trained people, such as sports coaches, travel agents and caterers are known as intangible asset.