In today’s world Marketing plays an important role, it became an integral part of any business. So, in order to become a successful businessman and make a company thriving one, simple marketing principles should be learnt. One thing must be understood: Marketing is not “telling and selling” any more. As management guru Peter Drucker states: “The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary”. Marketing is mainly dealing with people, company’s customers, so first of all relationships with customers should be built, and in order to do this, their wants and needs should be satisfied, and for this, needs and wants should be determined. It looks like a chain and it maybe so, because Marketing is an interaction with people. Marketers should understand their clients very well and try do get their trust and respect because if people are sure in something, they try not to change it. I think it will be right to state that if company is really focused on customers, on their needs and wants, like NASCAR, can prevent their wishes, this company is half succeeded. Maybe one of the most important issues is to save organization’s current customers and then attract new.
Marketing based on humans’ needs, wants and demands. One of the main designations is to meet peoples’ needs which might lead to shape their wants and demands. Now it is time when world is changing too fast and because of this sometimes it is very difficult to understand what do you really need and want. In this paper the differences between needs, wants and demands will be discussed in order to find out does marketing reflects our needs or does it shape our wants and demands? First of all I want to give the definitions of key terms. It is very important not only to know, but also to understand the differences between them. Of course, if people are asked: “Do you know what are needs, wants and demands?”, the answer will be : “Sure, I do”. However, when it is time to make a decision related with needs and wants, many people might be confused. For example, there are some common phrases that people use very often: “I need to take a vacation”, “I cannot live without chocolate!”, “This car was made for me!” and so on. That is why it is important to realize that needs, wants and demands are not the same.
So, what do needs mean? Since ancient times, as soon as life begins, there are certain conditions to keep it. And human needs are something people cannot live without, some basic requirements to survive, such as food, clothing, sleeping, shelter, warmth and others. There are natural things and Marketing has no influence to create them. Not only marketers interested in determining human needs, but also physiologists. There are different theories, but the most well-known is Maslow’s theory of personality. He identified five levels of basic needs. Until the previous level’s demands have been satisfied, the person does not feel the next level. There are five types of basic needs which were set up by Maslow:
1. Physiological Needs – there are needs for oxygen, food, water and body temperature.
2. Safety Needs – after physiological needs are satisfied, people need feel safety.
3. Needs of love, attention and belongingness. The third level is about feelings. In order to overcome loneliness, people need to feel love, affection and sense of belonging
4. Needs for Esteem – This includes self-esteem and the esteem person gets from others. People need it in order to be confident.
5. Needs for Self-Actualization. According to Maslow it means: “To be and to do that which the person was born to do.”
While human needs are something necessary, wants are the form of needs that depends on culture, personality, age, gender, society, location and other factors. It is within human nature to want. For instance, in our modern society one of the most common want is the Internet, people can survive without it, however the Internet is becoming an integral part of
modern life. Another example is: in America people wear jeans and T-shirts, in India they prefer wear sari.
Demands are the strong form of wants, it is like a structure. Human beings have so many wants, but not all of them can be satisfied, because people are limited in resources. So, when wants are backed by buying power they become demands. For example, you live in a flat, but you have enough money to buy a house and move, because you always have had this dream. Again, when you can make your dreams come true, then it is demands.
The question about does marketing reflect our needs or shape wants is still opened. Each coin has two sides – this is an axiom. I am going to consider the issue from both sides. The first is that marketing reflects customers’ needs and wants. We are all human beings and have some physiological needs such as sleeping, eating, drinking and so on. And these cannot be shaped by Marketing, however, the way in which these needs are satisfied can depends on marketing. Good marketers try to provide people not only with necessary products, but also with service because a treatment is very important. As Golden Rule states: “Treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation.” There is one interesting case I have read. It is about a woman who saved money for a long time to buy a new “Ford” company’s car. It was her birthday and she decided to make a present herself. She came to a car saloon by her old car and shop assistant saw it, so he decided that she cannot afford to buy a car from their saloon and for this reason he totally ignored her. But she really wanted to buy this car and asked if she can talk to a manager, but he has had a dinner and she did not want to spend an hour with the impolite shop assistant and decided to go for a walk during this hour. There was another car saloon “Mercury “across the street and she went there. In this time the shop assistant was very suave and when he knew that it was her birthday, he made her a present - a bouquet of roses. Even though this car was more expensive than Ford, she bought it. And this is true that people are ready to pay more, if they get very good service. There are no doubts that they will advise your service to their friends and relatives.
Nowadays marketers use different techniques to study customers’ behavior and market in order to increase the efficiency of marketing. Segmentation is one of them. It also has various criteria such as demographic, geographic, psycho graphic and behavioral. It is very important to consider the geographical advantages and disadvantages, number of inhabits, economic situation in this particular region and culture. In order to reach the consumers three typically Marketing channels are used: communication, distribution and service channels. Communication is important because company’s messages should be spread. It can be done through the Internet, TV, radio, banners; it is a kind of advertisement.
Distribution means the opportunity to distribute company’s products to the customers and the more convenient for customers, the better. It can be online booking or stores. Service channels are also important. For instance, you do not have cash and the store offers you to pay by credit card or there is a cash machine. People always want to have better conditions and marketing just offer them, which means that it is a reflection of our needs.
From the other hand, there a lot of situations when a particular company attract people’s attention by some kind of “bait” , offer something new, interesting, and a person start to feel that he/she really need it, while he/she does not. And it might be unprofitable for customers. I have a personal example with my Mom, she has bought a lot of things that does not actually need. As far as I remember, the last thing was a set of knives that cost 10000 tenge. She heard an advertisement that only during few days, two sets of this great knives can be bought for price of one! And what she did was, she called her friend and they bought it. And it still difficult for me to understand what for, because we already have had several sets of different types of knives, but she thought she needs it. There are a lot of studies conducted on topic “Marketing shapes consumer needs and wants” and many critics state that Marketing encourages people to spend more money for specific goods. They strongly belief that a good Marketing advertisement penetrates deeply in our mind and makes us think that we must buy it anyway. Just a simple example with mobile phones, can explain a lot. Over the past decades it became an integral part of our lives and nowadays mobile phone is a need, without doubts. And it became a need because of good Marketing strategy that is based on creating and developing attractive products and makes them desirable. Advertisement also is very important, that is why many companies try to attract celebrities, I mean to sign a contract with them and make them a “Face of the company”. “Avon” for example, has made their face a famous Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon, there are a lot of women who wants to look like she. And it can be concluded, that advertisement one of the way through which Marketing shapes our needs and wants. There is one phrase which impressed me: "Who cares what customers think - we haven't told them what to think" (Andy Grove). Does it mean that marketing is just a manipulation? I firmly believe that this person is not serious, because I believe in Golden Rule. However, he is right in the case that marketers are thinking for customers in order to find out their wants and needs. As it was mentioned, the main purpose of marketers is to understand human’s needs and satisfy them better if they want to save their company in today’s world with a high level of competition. To be competitive in this sphere, company should have reliable information and make some analyses.
To sum up all, in this paper the main basis of marketing definition are discussed. These are needs, wants and demands. Identifying and satisfying these basis play an important role in business that is related with working with people, and in our world this is almost each business, because products are created in order to be spread (sold or changed). The main purpose of this paper was try to find out does Marketing reflects our needs and wants or does it shape our needs and wants? This is the vexed question. As it was explained earlier, needs are something necessary, people cannot live without and cannot control. Wants are the form of needs that are shaped by culture, society, location, personal preference and other factors. And finally, demands are the form of wants that depends on ability to pay for wants. And from my point of view, what does Marketing do is exactly shapes our demands. However, if we will look at it in inverse order, we can notice that demands are the form of needs, and demands are shaped by marketing, so this controversial question about reflecting and shaping needs and wants, is still open.
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