Marketing as a Philosophy and Business Activities

Marketing can be explained and defined as a philosophy of business, and a set of business activities aimed to deliver goods and services to the end consumer. Marketing can be viewed as a key issue in corporate development and growth and a planned and goal-oriented management activity. As a result, coordinated and integrated marketing action becomes necessary to achieve predetermined objectives. This approach is termed the marketing philosophy or marketing concept.

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The corporate challenge has progressed from producing what is easiest to producing and marketing what consumers desire.

As a business philosophy, marketing can be seen as a viewpoint and as the core of a business aimed to satisfy consumer wants and needs. This explanation of marketing means a philosophy of business. Hence, customers and consumers become the core around which a business revolves, thus recognizing customer orientation to decision-making and problem-solving and the impact of marketing on other functional areas (Bearden et al. 2004). The marketing philosophy is broader than the marketing activities. Implementation of the marketing philosophy occurs through a company’s marshaling of its marketing capabilities. The marketing philosophy means that such issues as pricing, management, promotion, personal selling, credit, physical distribution, and other marketing activities should be integrated, coordinated, and directed at satisfying consumer wants. It also emphasizes that the success of the company is dependent on profitable sales, which in turn depend on consumer action. The marketing concept refers to a company’s management of its marketing resources, with particular emphasis on the organization of marketing activities (Kotler & Armstrong 2005). Perhaps the most important consequence of such a change is management’s new perspective for the existence of a business and for solving its problems. Marketing philosophy helps a company establish a paradigm of their relations with suppliers and customers (Bearden et al. 2004). Similar to marketing philosophy, marketing activities mean an orientation to the requirements of the marketplace and the matching of profitable market opportunities with business effort. It recognizes that marketing supplies the basis for developing integrated business systems, establishing business policies, and formulating programs through corporate-consumer matching. In this sense, there is an interlocking of the corporate-consumer domain. Businesses realize that they cannot appeal to all consumer wants and needs, even for limited markets. Thus they assess both corporate capabilities and aims and market opportunities to seek areas of profitable connection (Kotler & Armstrong 2005).

The main difference between business activities and marketing philosophy is that philosophy represents a core of the business, including values, traditions, unique corporate vision, and goals, while marketing activities are actual actions of the company and its business relations (Kotler & Armstrong 2005). Philosophy begins before goods are produced and continue after the consumer has purchased them. Marketing activities help consumers to solve problems in ways that are compatible with the profit, volume, and image objectives of the firm. Marketing activities recognize the management implications of adopting this view — for example, top-level responsibility for the marketing executive, reorganizing the marketing department, and integrating and coordinating marketing activities (Bearden et al. 2004).

Following Kotler & Armstrong (2005), In order to set strategic directions, companies take into account their past sales and past experience, competition and actions of competitors, market changes over the last years, and projected fluctuations. Economic forecasts are also important for setting strategic objections. Strategic directions cover the application of management techniques in the utilization of marketing resources. It is concerned with the responsibility for planning, organizing, actuating, and controlling marketing activities (Perreault et al. 2003). It achieves its aims by establishing marketing objectives, policies, plans, programs, and standards, allocating marketing resources, and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities. The managerial approach to marketing stresses the problem-solving and decision-making responsibility of marketing managers. This method emphasizes their ability to make decisions and solve marketing problems in a way that enhances the objectives of the whole corporation (Kotler & Armstrong 2005). The marketing manager is a specialist in managing markets and marketing resources; production, finance, and personnel executives are his corporate counterparts. In accepting change as a constant, marketing management recognizes that customers and consumers change; markets change continuously; and the products and services, the marketing methods, and even the very nature of a company must change to meet them. Companies, therefore, seek new profit opportunities suggested by them (Kotler & Keller 2005). They must plan innovations and purposely set out to capitalize on new approaches. Marketing is perceived as a means of adjusting to changes through altering such variables as products, services, prices, and channels of distribution to better meet changing environments. Marketing managers are concerned with growth, cultivation, and market trends and movements as part of the change process. Marketing forces generate not only changing pressures but also methods of controlling and directing business efforts to meet them (Hollensen, 2007). Change must be pursued on a planned basis through deliberate, coordinated efforts intended to improve marketing systems. Such effort utilizes the techniques and knowledge available. From the standpoint of the individual firm, the economy, society, and culture, marketing is an agent of change. Marketing managers assess opportunities for change, creating it in terms of products, supporting systems, and promotional programs (Perreault et al., 2003).

The strategic marketing process implies that a company should please a customer and meet his needs and wants. Marketing strategies should drive everything a company does. Marketing tools should reflect selected strategies and meet established goals. The main processes are:

  1. strategy development,
  2. selection of marketing tools and processes,
  3. customers’ management.

Several characteristics distinguish this approach from other conceptions of marketing (Hollensen, 2007). First, it is concerned with more than the transfer of title and movement of goods. It reflects an integrated and coordinated approach to the management of marketing activity and the development of total systems of business activities that recognize the market as the focal point of business. Essentially, the marketing philosophy is a way of thinking about the corporate activity; a frame of mind, an attitude. It recognizes the primacy of consumers and customers as they influence all business operations. It starts with the company’s chief executive, who must recognize that, lacking markets for the company’s products and lacking customer wants and needs, no business can exist. The concept may be implemented through such organizational techniques as holding planning sessions, making position audits, specifying future projects, establishing a market calendar, communicating with the sales force, providing identity for the marketing program developed, eliciting market research information, and furnishing effective sales tools (Kotler & Armstrong 2005). Successful marketing requires recognition and authority at the top decision-making level. Marketing programs must be carefully planned and based not merely on knowledge of internal corporate affairs, but also on knowledge of external environments. A homeostatic point of equilibrium between customer wants and needs is called for on the one hand, and corporate goals and resources on the other. Following Kotler & Armstrong (2005) marketing is regarded as more than another functional area of business, although it must operate in conjunction with other equally important functions. It is viewed as a fundamental method of managing the resources and activities of business and of making the consumers and customers the focal point for management action. As an integral part of business, marketing activities are concerned with setting goals, establishing policies and programs, and implementing business action for the entire firm. Bearden et al (2004) underline that the major tasks of business are to translate consumer wants and needs, actual and potential, into profitable products and services that the company is capable of producing; to cultivate markets to support these products; and to program the distribution activities necessary to reach the markets. Marketing strategies involve designing products or distribution systems that better satisfy customer wants and needs refers to the implementation of the marketing philosophy; the particular marketing organizational arrangements, or posture, adopted by a specific company in carrying out these changes refers to the marketing concept. Incorporate decision making, the central role of marketing is now emphasized (Hollensen, 2007).

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In sum, marketing activities, marketing philosophy and the strategic marketing process are interlinked and depended upon one another. All of these principles and activities do not function as a separate entity in the business, yet through actual and potential sales, they establish constraints within which the other activities must be performed. Moreover, the influence of marketing over other functions in the organization has spread. In short, the basic philosophy of operation for most companies has changed from a production orientation to a market orientation.

Bibliography

Bearden, W. O., Ingram, Th. N., LaForge, L.W. 2004, Marketing, Prentice-Hall.

Hollensen, S. 2007, Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.

Kotler, Ph., Armstrong, G. 2005, Principles of Marketing. Prentice-Hall; 11th edition.

Kotler, Ph, Keller, K. 2005, Marketing Management. Prentice-Hall.

Perreault, W.D., Cannon, J.P., McCarthy, E.J. 2003, Marketing: Principles and Perspectives. McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 4 edition.

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