Marketing is making a promise and delivering on that promise. It is the process used by businesses to create value for customers, building relationships with customers and capturing value.
You can see therefore that marketing is not an event. It is the process that begins with how the customer know about your product, relate with your brand, and how you manage that relationship to guarantee long term value.
The marketing process is in three steps. The first and second steps has to do with how you understand the customer, create value for the customer and build strong consumer relationships. The last step is you reaping the rewards of having a superior value in the form of sales, profits and loyalty.
For you to be able to create and capture customer value, you must as a matter of fact first understand the marketplace and the needs of customers. The underlying concept of marketing is that customers has needs – state of lack or pain points. These needs are inherent, a fundamental part of humans. These needs include physical needs, societal needs, and individual need.
Wants are human needs that has been shaped by personality and culture. An American needs food but he wants a hamburger with chips and coke. A customer needs a phone, but he wants an iphone. Society shapes wants, and are explained with things that bring the utmost satisfaction, and when such want is backed up by purchasing power, such want becomes a demand
Successful businesses go to a whole lot of trouble to learn and understand customers’ needs, wants and demand.
Market offerings are what fulfills customer needs and wants – products/services that satisfy the needs of the customer. The old traditional thinking says focus or pay more attention to the products that you offer than on benefits and experiences produced by the products. This is a myopic approach to marketing.
Focusing on this neglects the reason you are in business in the first place – to solve a problem or meet a need. You will have a problem when a new product comes along that meets the customer’s need better. The customer will have the same need but will want the new product.
An example of this can be found between RCA and Apple.
RCA created a very slick MP3 player in1999, the RCA LYRA RD2201A. It came with a 32MB CF card. RCA promoted it by talking about its technical specs and performance. The Lyra was considered to be a good product and sold well in the late ’90s.
APPLE IPOD “1,000 SONGS IN YOUR POCKET”
A few years later, Apple came out with their own version of the MP3 player, the iPod, which did the same thing. But instead of trying to emphasize how and why the iPod was better than the Lyra, Apple chose to focus on making an emotional connection with their buyer. Apple knew that emphasizing features and technical specs wouldn’t get people excited. But having 1,000 songs in your pocket? That got people excited.
Consumers have a lot of options that will satisfy their needs. Customer value and satisfaction are the foundation for developing and managing customer relations.
Customers have expectations of the value you offer based on your product offering, and they buy accordingly. You meet their expectations and they will repeat business. Where you do not, they will switch and discredit you to others.
Do It Yourself – Deep Dive