In our daily life, it is easy to see that tradesmen sell simple and tangible goods such as soap and shampoo, as well as luxury product such as LV handbags. Where there is a transaction, there is a marketing. Many people think of marketing only as selling and advertising, while selling and advertising are only the tip of the marketing iceberg. In general, working in services such as hairdressing, airlines, hospitality, or even education can also be considered as a marketing. Since marketing is an essential part of our life, more and more people is likely to know its function. Within organisations, marketing is important in building customers relationship as well as creating product awareness.
This essay will provide the definition of marketing and explore why marketing is an important function within organisations; then it will describe the major marketing activities of an organisation.
The core concept of marketing is communicating the value of a product or service to customers. There are many alternative definitions of marketing given by different experts. Virtually, each particular explanation of the marketing reflects respective concerns of individual authors, while most have certain basic features in common. Kotler and Armstrong (2010) consider that Marketing is managing profitable customer relationship. This seems to be the simplest definition of marketing. The American Marketing Association (2004) as cited in Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, & Durkan (2011), “an organisational function and a set of processes of creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organisation and its stakeholder”(p. 247). In consideration of the function, it is argued that marketing is the management function which focuses on customer relationships by delivering superior value and keep the organisation’s ongoing relationships with customers (Webster, 1992). All these definition above demonstrate the goal of marketing which is to attract new customers by promising superior value, and to keep and grow current customers by delivering satisfaction.
Marketing today is very much focused upon business relationships, especially in the competitive markets. Historically, companies manufacture products that would be promoted to customers. However, as markets have become more competitive, marketing companies seek to attract customer by building strong relationships so that customers can retained, this is the basis for relationship marketing. Ketler and Armstrong (2010) maintain the importance of customer relationship has led to an interest in relationship marketing, proactively creating, developing and maintaining committed, interactive and profitable exchanges with selected customers. A customer loyalty programme is a marketing practice designed to build and keep a loyal customer-company relationship by offering rewards to its customers in return for their business with the company (Bolton, 2000 as cited in Ha, & Stoel, 2008). Ha and Stoel (2008) suggest “A successful loyalty programme produces benefits for customers such as economic, psychological, and social rewards and for the company such as customer attitudinal and behavioural loyalty, due to the interpersonal and relationship based nature of the retail business, building a strong customer connection is a particularly critical issue by marketing “(p. 216). However, it seems that not every customer wants a relationship with an organisation. For example, people who buy something on impulse typically has neither the time nor the interest to form the relationship with companies. Thus, organisation needs to apply appropriate levels of customer relationship management in different circumstances.