Standard Marketing Marketing is one of the terms in academia that does not have one commonly agreed upon definition. Even after a better part of a century the debate continues. In a nutshell it consists of the social and managerial processes by which products (goods or services) and value are exchanged in order to fulfill the needs and wants of individuals or groups. Although many people seem to think that “marketing” and “advertising” are synonymous, they are not.
Advertising is simply one of the many processes that together constitute marketing Marketing, as suggested by the American Marketing Association, 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”.  Another definition, perhaps simpler and more universal, is this: “Marketing is the ongoing process of moving people closer to making a decision to purchase, use, follow… or conform to someone else’s products, services or values.
Simply, if it doesn’t facilitate a “sale” then it’s not marketing. “ Philip Kotler in his earlier books defines as: “Marketing is human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes”. Add to Kotler’s and Norris’ definitions, a response from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) . The association’s definition claims marketing to be the “management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably”. Thus, operative marketing involves the processes of market research, new product development, product life cycle management, pricing, channel management as well as promotion.
Marketing-“taking actions to define, create, grow, develop, maintain, defend and own markets”. An approach to business that seeks to identify, anticipate and satisfy customers needs. Al Ries and Jack Trout defined marketing as simply “war” between competitors, however this is clearly absurd – ‘Ali v Frazier’ is not marketing… however the publicity and hyping of the event for commercial purposes is. It was the era of the clean-cut figure in a smart suit, the glad hander salesman who could sell refrigerators to an Eskimo, capable of selling everything from used cars to Bibles.
It was sometime in the late Forties that attention came to rest upon a number of inter related elements of the marketing task that seemed to act together to influence the offtake of a product or service. Neil Borden of Harvard coined the phrase “the elements of the Marketing Mix,” depicting the manager of the function as not a specialist in selling, distribution, or advertising but rather a blender of ingredients in the right proportions to suit the market, its time and place. Later Marketing got separated from the notion of selling, including three distinct elements: customer orientation, i. . beginning with the customer; integrating the whole organization taking a long-term point of view; and linking with the primary goals of the business i. e. a combination of growth, market share and profitability. Indeed some writers (Peter Ducker, Regis McKenna) hold that Marketing and Business are synonymous. A later and less comprehensive formulation came to be known as the 4Ps – product, price, promotion and place. This has now become the universal standard as a teaching tool for any introductory course in the subject.
This was a vast improvement over the confusion between selling and marketing. It firmly put the former as a part, but only one among many that together explain the success or failure of a product in appealing to customers. Marketing thus became the overarching strategic theme, higher in level of abstraction than the mere act of obtaining the order. The significance of advertising in the establishment of an assured customer base really took off only after the widespread availability of mass media, especially after the 1950s.
This not only made competition more difficult but more expensive and affordable only by the large sector. Enter the era of brands and branding. The Brand Image and Personality school came next, mostly identified with the legendary David Ogilvy, who said the brand’s personality gave it “a first class ticket through life. ” The purpose of advertising was to convey the essence of this personality, beyond merely conveying the consumer benefits to the user – and do it in a charming and cultured way (“People don’t buy from clowns . . . ” “The consumer is not a moron.
She is your wife . . . “). Stephen King – Director, J. Walter Thompson, London – acknowledged as the practitioner’s guru of Branding, stressed the need for all the elements of a brand’s make up – from name, packaging, design elements to the creative expression of the advertising – to hang together. They must be not only mutually consistent, but also reinforcing the strengths of one another, to create a totality greater than the sum of its parts. Though brands have been around a long time the attention to building them happened only after the Sixties.
Some enlightened organizations were exceptions and the brand leadership of their famous names still stands, such as Marlboro, Lux, IBM, Gillette, Kodak, Johnson & Johnson and so on. Soon, however, the only distinguishing feature of brands became their distinctive flavour of advertising, particularly so in consumer products. After all what can you say about a car (mileage, power, styling, looks), detergent (washes whiter, brighter clothes, removes stains) soap (refreshes, fragrant) or toothpaste (sparkling teeth, healthy gums, fresh breath) that hasn’t been said before