Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.
Marketing's four elements of product, place, price and promotion are the core of a company's marketing plan.
The ultimate goal of a marketer is to have an exchange successfully occur. There must be at least two parties, and each party must have something of value to offer the other. The parties must be capable of delivering value and be able to accept the offer. Finally, each party must want to deal with the other party.
Companies will adapt a philosophy based on their strengths, the market conditions and companies strategies to create an organizational marketing process. Production orientation is when a company focuses on their internal strengths and not what benefits the customer. Sales orientation is when a company decides to use aggressive sales techniques to push their product at their customers. When a firm adapts a marketing orientation philosophy, then they are targeting satisfying their customer's needs as their ultimate goal. Lastly, societal marketing orientation is marketing orientation plus the added interest of satisfying society's interests.
The main differences between a sales-oriented company and a marketing-oriented company have to do with their overall view of the marketplace. A sales-oriented company is very internally focused and looks to sell products that the company is successful at making. A marketing-oriented firm is externally focused on the consumer's wants and needs. Customer value is the relationship between benefits and the sacrifice needed to obtain those benefits. There are basic rules of providing customer value. The rules are that the company must offer corporate-wide commitment, give the buyers facts about the product or service, avoid unrealistic pricing, earn consumer trust and offer products that perform. Customer satisfaction occurs when the good or service has met the customer's needs and expectations. Finally, relationship marketing is a strategy that focuses on keeping and improving relationships with current customers.
Ethics refers to the moral principles or values that generally govern the conduct of an individual or a group. Business ethics determine companies' everyday conduct. Laws define the boundaries of what is legal and are usually easier to determine. Morals are the rules people develop as a result of cultural norms and values. Ethics can be taught in business by providing training to employees to develop a personal set of ethical conduct.
There are three levels of ethical development. They are preconventional which is very self-centered and only driven by rewards or punishment. Conventional, concerned with breaking a law and how it could be viewed by outsiders. And postconventional, internal pressure to behave correctly and follow a moral path is the central theme. The ways companies can manage ethics in their employees is to offer training and employee guidelines.
Corporate social responsibility is a business's concern for society's welfare. This means that marketing managers are interested in long-term corporate interests and also society's health. There are two main ideas within social responsibility, and they are sustainability and stakeholder theory. Sustainability is more concerned with developing a product or service to help solve a need that will benefit society and incur profits. Stakeholder theory is more about taking care of all of the different stakeholders and expecting that this will bring about social responsibility.
Cause-related marketing is the team marketing efforts of a for-profit and a non-profit business, eg customer buy a product then company donate.
2. Competitive Advantage
Companies must go through a number of steps to create an effective marketing plan and strategy. They first must conduct a S.W.O.T.