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Marketing Debate: Does marketing create or satisfy needs - Essay Example

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One of the most popular definitions of marketing is the identification and satisfaction of human needs. According to the American Marketing Association, "Marketing 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 stake holders (Kotler 2006)." This definition creates an image for marketing as something which merely reflects the needs of customers and marketers are tasked merely to identify and respond to these various needs…
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Marketing Debate: Does marketing create or satisfy needs
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Marketing Debate: Does marketing create or satisfy needs One of the most popular definitions of marketing is the identification and satisfaction of human needs. According to the American Marketing Association, "Marketing 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 stake holders (Kotler 2006)." This definition creates an image for marketing as something which merely reflects the needs of customers and marketers are tasked merely to identify and respond to these various needs. However, there has been a heated debate about the real function and essence of marketing in the global society. Critics have argued that marketing goes beyond satisfying to "creating" consumer needs. This paper will take a position in this marketing debate by looking at the different arguments put forward by these opposing views.
The marketing critics which argues that marketing create consumer needs instead of just providing them recognizes the profit maximizing motives of business organizations. With huge revenues and profitability in mind, companies create products to capture the customers. Thus, companies create a wide array of product offerings which will consequently shape the needs and wants of the market. This can be illustrated by makers of personal computers (PC). The consumers' need of printer, hard disks and drives, and monitors where commenced by the invention of the personal computer. After the introduction of this product, consumers are bombarded with other commodities that they should need together with their PCs. Afterwards, manufacturers launched anti-virus and anti-spyware software to complement these products. And the list goes on and on. Thus, companies are able to create needs through the introduction of a simple product. It is argued that business organizations are constantly making products which will bring them more revenues and profit.
However, this paper argues that marketing is not the creation but the satisfaction of the market's needs. It recognizes that marketers have a great part in shaping customer's needs by offering innovative solutions to their problems. Nonetheless, it is still the customers that determine which among the various products they are bombarded with represent their real need through their demand backed by purchasing power. Real world company experiences reveal the power of customers in solely determining the success of manufacturers' products.
It is irrefutable that business organizations are now operating on what Kotler termed as a hypercompetitive environment. This arena is characterized by more intense rivalry between players and higher buyer leverage. This becomes a great challenge for companies to create products which suit the need of individuals and come up with strategies to capture their intended markets. Market researches are continuously conducted to determine the need of customers. Product research and development are also becoming the preoccupation of large companies. Failure to understand and address the needs of customers leads to huge losses for marketers. This illustrated by Robert McMath's New Product and Learning Center which showcases the great failure of marketers. Products offered by companies like Gerber food for adults, Ben-gay aspirin, R.J Reynolds Premier smokeless cigars and others failed to address the needs of the customer and were rejected by the market. This shows the huge power of customers in the marketplace. This is also a strong proof that though marketers bombard customers with products which they "should" to need, it is still the customers which has the final say.

Reference
Kotler, Philip. (2006). Marketing Management. Prentice Hall: New York Read More
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