A marketer is someone who seeks a response—attention, a purchase, a vote, a donation—from another party, called the prospect. If two parties are seeking to sell something to each other, we call them both marketers.
Marketers are skilled at stimulating demand for their products, but that’s a limited view of what they do. Just as production and logistics professionals are responsible for supply management, marketers are responsible for demand management. They seek to influence the level, timing, and composition of demand to meet the organization’s objectives. Eight demand states are possible:
- Negative demand—Consumers dislike the product and may even pay to avoid it.
- Nonexistent demand—Consumers may be unaware of or uninterested in the product.
- Latent demand—Consumers may share a strong need that cannot be satisfied by an existing product.
- Declining demand—Consumers begin to buy the product less frequently or not at all.
- Irregular demand—Consumer purchases vary on a seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly basis.
- Full demand—Consumers are adequately buying all products put into the marketplace.
- Overfull demand—More consumers would like to buy the product than can be satisfied.
- Unwholesome demand—Consumers may be attracted to products that have undesirable social consequences.
In each case, marketers must identify the underlying cause(s) of the demand state and determine a plan of action to shift demand to a more desired state.
Traditionally, a “market” was a physical place where buyers and sellers gathered to buy and sell goods. Economists describe a market as a collection of buyers and sellers who transact over a particular product or product class (such as the housing market or the grain market).
Five basic markets and their connecting flows are shown in below diagram.
Manufacturers go to resource markets (raw material markets, labor markets, money markets), buy resources and turn them into goods and services, and sell finished products to intermediaries, who sell them to consumers. Consumers sell their labor and receive money with which they pay for goods and services. The government collects tax revenues to buy goods from resource, manufacturer, and intermediary markets and uses these goods and services to provide public services. Each nation’s economy, and the global economy, consists of interacting sets of markets linked through exchange processes.
Marketers use the term market to cover various groupings of customers. They view sellers as constituting the industry and buyers as constituting the market. They talk about need markets (the diet-seeking market), product markets (the shoe market), demographic markets (the youth market), and geographic markets (the Chinese market); or they extend the concept to cover voter markets, labor markets, and donor markets, for instance.
The below diagram shows the simple relationship between industry and market
Sellers and buyers are connected by four flows. Sellers send goods and services and communications such as ads and direct mail to the market; in return they receive money and information such as customer attitudes and sales data. The inner loop shows an exchange of money for goods and services; the outer loop shows an exchange of information.
Types of Consumer Markets
Companies selling mass consumer goods and services such as juices, cosmetics, athletic shoes, and air travel spend a great deal of time establishing a strong brand image by developing a superior product and packaging, ensuring its availability, and backing it with engaging communications and reliable service.
Companies selling business goods and services often face well-informed professional buyers skilled at evaluating competitive offerings. Business buyers buy goods to make or resell a product to others at a profit. Business marketers must demonstrate how their products will help achieve higher revenue or lower costs. Advertising can play a role, but the sales orce, the price, and the company’s reputation may play a greater one.
Companies in the global marketplace must decide which countries to enter; how to enter each (as an exporter, licenser, joint venture partner, contract manufacturer, or solo manufacturer); how to adapt product and service features to each country; how to price products in different countries; and how to design communications for different cultures. They face different requirements for buying and disposing of property; cultural, language, legal and political differences; and currency fluctuations. Yet, the payoff can be huge.
Nonprofit and Governmental Markets
Companies selling to nonprofit organizations with limited purchasing power such as churches, universities, charitable organizations, and government agencies need to price carefully. Lower selling prices affect the features and quality the seller can build into the offering. Much government purchasing calls for bids, and buyers often focus on practical solutions and favor the lowest bid in the absence of extenuating factors.
Marketing Management 14th Edition – Kotler and Keller