"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him or her and sells itself. " (Trucker) Produce arguments for and against this statement. By changing In 1973, Peter Trucker stated "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him or her and sells itself. " Considering that marketing is an exchange process between two parties which results in both customer and organizational satisfaction (Jolter & Keller 2006).
It seems logical that, if a business is able to produce a product that is able to sell itself I. E. Does not require the assistance of a sales person) then marketing would be accomplished. That is, the customer acquires the product they are looking for, and the business gains its profits. However, Trucker further complicates the situation by saying this is achieved through "knowing and understand the customer well. " This suggests that knowing and understanding customers needs is the only factor that matters.
Modern day marketers embrace the concept of finding the right product for their customers (Jolter & Keller 2006). Thus by identifying and pleasing customer needs his will lead to satisfaction of current customers and the attraction of new customers (Hemingway & Bayonne 2007). For example, when Sony invented its Play Station, Gillette its Mach Ill razor, and Nintendo its WI all three companies designed a product that customers desired so much they were inundated with orders before the products reached retailers (Jolter & Keller 2006).
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Furthermore, by dividing consumers into groups of people that share the same needs, businesses are able to concentrate their efforts contributing to marketing success (Kennedy 2000). In 2003 Cataracts and Pepsi found and exploited the gap in he market for ready-to-drink coffee products. This proved a successful venture for the businesses and they are now market leader in the industry. However, it was not as simple as identifying customers needs. Cataracts and Pepsi produced marketing campaigns that would enhance people's awareness of the ready-to-drink coffee and waited for the demand to catch up to the market opportunity.
This example shows us that marketing is not always a reaction to customer needs, but is a more proactive process where people are educated and told what they need. Customer observation and feed back are also important in the evaluation of customer distraction. Woodside and Wilson (1994) found by getting their customers to compare competitors marketing mix strategies, they uncovered the way a customer their preference. Furthermore, satisfied customers lead to long term loyalty and retention which ultimately creates success and profit for businesses.
For example, the lifetime value of a Cadillac owner is approximately $350,000. Thus, if a customer is lost early in the life cycle it would mean loses of hundreds and thousands of dollars for general motors (Best 2005). However, we live in a world filled with industrial rivalry and an ever changing macro environment. Hence, customer satisfaction alone will not achieve market success. When a business takes a 'marketing orientation' approach, not only does it analyses its customers, but it also takes into account competitors, and inter departmental dynamics (Kohl' & Gasworks 1990).
Understanding the competitor plays a crucial role in the success of a marketing campaign (Ho & Choc 1997). It allows for the assessment of a business strength and weaknesses in comparison with other companies in the same industry, and the need for improved marketing efforts. Be it through product innovation and differentiation or increase advertising and promotion. For example, if we look at the gaming industry in the last decade. Sage, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have used each others as spring boards to create new and better products for their customers.
Furthermore, the long term effectiveness of a marketing strategy has been shown to closely relate to a company's actions and not consumer response or competitor response (Appeals 2004). Thus, it is also important to note that whilst knowledge and understanding customers and competitors is essential, it is the way in which the information is used which leads to success. In conclusion, the statement by Trucker is correct to a certain degree. Ultimately if a product or service is able to sell itself then marketing is no longer required, hence the goal/marketing has been achieved.
However, the process of planning a successful marketing strategy involves more than Just knowing and understanding customer need. It also requires analysis of competitors and careful execution of a marketing strategy base on the knowledge gained.
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