The meaning of marketing has nearly an infinite number of possible definitions. It involves psychology, statistics, art, logical and creative thinking. The one common denominator within all definitions of marketing is that it leads to an exchange between vendor and consumer. Marketing is used to sell almost every product in our culture, for example, cars, movies, food, furniture, clothes,
the list is endless. Specifically defining marketing involves identifying the meaning, the individual influence it makes on a personal and professional level in the microcosms of the population it effects. Marketing and its meaning clearly plays an extremely important role in our culture.
On a personal level, I perceive marketing as an attempt to stimulate my own identification. The idea is that products I use define if I am a good quality person, wife, mother, and woman. In my opinion, many organizations attempt to persuade the consumer, through identifying those human desires that will compel the buyer to purchase their product. I personally feel the goal of organizations is to convince shoppers that a happier, healthier, safer and more satisfying life involves the choice of buying and using the product they are selling.
The Greek word for market is agora, which means “gathering place”. In the Agora of ancient Greece, buyers and sellers bickered over the features, benefits and prices of the products being bought and sold there. “The first markets were places, not targets, demographics, seats, eyeballs or other abstractions. In the first markets, producers and consumers were a handshake apart—and so were all the other reciprocal market nouns: producer and consumer, vendor and customer, supply and demand. They were all embodied in seller and buyer.” (Searls, 2000). In business today, the term market also refers to personality, tastes, and the group of consumers that are interested in a material item or service known as the product. Industry terms that describe the level of narrowing of the market base include:
• Total Population
• Potential Market – total population who have interest in obtaining the product.
• Available Market – potential market who have a sufficient amount capital to buy the product.
• Qualified available market – available market who authorized to buy the product.
• Target market – qualified available market that the organization has chosen to serve.
• Penetrated market – target market who have bought the product.
(NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2002-2007).
We have recreated the agora through the internet, through mass media, through print and it has become global marketplace. The means in which products are sold at market may have evolved, diversified and become somewhat convoluted , and yet the core premise still exists. It is all embodied in seller versus buyer.
Success of products sold through marketing becomes evident when the product becoming popular, and becomes thought of as needed by the consumer. In an article in which a gentleman by the name of Bob Maxwell defines the difference in products and brands, additionally he addresses the meaning of marketing. Maxwell states, “Consumers exist in personal and professional networks where cultural signals are used to communicate status, beliefs, attitudes and values. The clothes worn, TV shows viewed, music listened to, restaurants visited and media personalities favored are just a few of the signals people use to express who they are. Product brands are important symbols in this expression.” (Maxwell, 2007). He further explains that according to research that it is human nature for people to look for dominating media magnets in order to reinforce their concept of self. He theorizes that by identifying the worth the patron relates to in a product; connections, outlooks, attitudes and philosophies, marketers will be more capable of developing inspired and motivating testaments of their product. The results of such knowledge would assist them to link their merchandise with an appropriate consumer base, increasing the success of profitability by selling the product.
My experience in the retail industry revealed valuable information in regards to marketing. We understood that part of the home improvement market was to show the consumer that they were not only able to not only afford the products, but that they were capable to do their own home improvements as well, but most importantly all the products to do whatever job could be purchased at the Home Depot. There are many people who would like to believe that they are talented enough to learn some skills to be able to repair and modify their home. This is one of the core strategies that Home Depot has based its whole marketing strategy behind. With that concept in mind, we designed and built a small display bathroom at the entrance of our store. The walls were included a window and were covered from top to bottom with crown molding, wallpaper, paint, chair rail and wainscot. We used a pedestal sink, and a spa tub. On the wall we hung a stylish in-stock mirror. The floor was tiled, and included base boards. In the window we installed a blind, and decorated it with a coordinated bath style curtain.
I then created a price menu, in which I based all the prices of the products used in the display on a 10’ x 8’ bathroom. As consumers walked in, they would stop and look over the bathroom, and began to imagine the possibilities. I was able to measure the success of marketing based on the increase in sales of those products used in the display. A report could be generated by requesting specific item numbers and dates of sales.
Another key to marketing success is to show value. In another attempt to get the attention of consumers I designed a display that took a multi-item product and broke it down indicating the value and the difference in price if the items were sold separately. Once again I was able to measure the success of the marketing by monitoring a detailed report specifically in regards to the increased sales of this product.
In retail, there is a saying, “Sales cures all.” Therefore anything that employees could do to increase sales would lend towards the profitability and success of the store. Home Depot, at one time, put a lot of capital into the marketing of their enterprise. The goal was to build the confidence and trust of the consumer. The success of Home Depot is well-known, and will almost certainly go down in history as iconic as Coca-Cola.
Successful organizations know the importance of not only marketing, but also marketing to the right populations. A great deal of money is spent identifying the triggers in which compel the populations within these markets to identify with and purchase their products. They are acutely aware of the impact of marketing in all the diverse applications, and its financial return to their increased profitability and ultimately their long-term success.
Chulick, Ben. (). Marketing. Marketing Plan, (), . Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.msu.edu/course/prr/473/oldstuff/Marketing.htm#Marketing database.
Maxwell Bob, (2007). iMedia Connection. How Your Product can Grow up to be a Brand. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/16196.asp
NetMBA Business Knowledge Center. (2002-2007). Marketing. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.netmba.com/marketing/market/definition/
Searls Doc, (2000). Linux Journal. The Real Meaning of Markets. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3793