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Most people don't know what the real definition of marketing is. In general, they mistake marketing as being synonymous with advertising, sales, or promotion.

Marketing is a highly evolved science of making a profit from transactions. It is, in fact, a very broad term. Whether you work for a business, a nonprofit organization, a services organization, or an organization that sells goods, the definition of marketing is the same: It's the process of identifying consumer wants or needs and then identifying ways of meeting those wants or needs at a profit to the marketer.

Marketing isn't just promoting and selling!
Why is it important to understand the definition of marketing? It's because we often think that all we have to do is promote a product and it will sell.

However, as what the definition of marketing points out, marketing involves first finding out what people need before figuring out how to get them to buy a product.

The 4Ps of Marketing!
In order to fully understand the definition of marketing, marketers often break down its definition into what is known as the "4 Ps of Marketing."

The 4Ps are:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • Price

It's the marketer's job to find or invent the product to be sold, plan ways to get it to a particular place (distribution or logistics), promote it to its target audience, and determine the price it should be sold at.

It's all because of the customers...
Why do marketers take the 4P approach? This is because marketing is based on the concept of customer retention. This concept states that customers who are happy with the product they receive will come back again and or tell their friends about the product. This is very important because estimates for most industries state that it costs at least five times as much to find new customers as it does to retain current customers.

...and making them happy!
How do we make customers happy? We start by finding a product that a group of people or businesses want or need. Then we find the most convenient way for them to receive the product. Next, we promote the product to them in a way that will make it look most attractive. We want them to feel good about their purchase.

We want to make sure too that we can sell the product at a price that will bring them satisfaction. How often have you bought something and later decided you paid too much or didn't really want it? Perhaps the most important thing in satisfying customers is reinforcing in their minds the idea that they made the right decision of purchasing our product.

How to make them feel good about their decision!
In the case of large or expensive product purchases, we can make customers feel good about their purchase by sending them a personal thank you note, letting them know what a good decision they made when they bought the product.

With smaller items, you can reinforce the purchase decision of customers with means such as continued advertising about the quality and good image of your product. Another thing to do is to reassure them by the providing good support for the product and a good return policy, if possible.

As you can see, if marketing is done properly, it will improve the lives of both the customer and the seller.

It is the marketer's goal to deliver something the customer wants or needs. If you sell things to people that they regret purchasing it will probably be the last thing you sell to people. So don't make your customers regret having bought from you!

Copyright © 2002 David Russ
David Russ has a BBA in marketing and is an expert on search engine positioning. He owns and maintains ScatterMall.com Shopping, a site that takes shopping and free resources scattered all over the world and make them available to you in only one place. Visit ScatterMall.com Shopping today.

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