In the traditional sense, the term ‘market’ refers to the place where buyers and sellers gather to enter into transactions involving the exchange of goods and services. It is in this sense that this term is being used in day to day language, even today.
The other ways in which this term is being used is in the context of a product market (cotton market, gold or share market), geographic market (national and international market), type of buyers (consumer market and industrial market) and the quantity of goods transacted (retail market and wholesale market). But in a modern marketing sense, the term market has a broader meaning. It refers to a set of actual and potential buyers of a product or service. For example, when a fashion designer designs a new dress and offers it for exchange, all the people who are willing to buy and offer some value for it can be stated to be the market for that dress. Similarly, the market for fans or bicycles or electric bulbs or shampoos refers to all the actual and potential buyers for these products.
The term marketing has been described by different people in different ways. Some people believe that marketing is the same thing as ‘shopping’. Whenever they go out shopping for certain products or services, they describe it as marketing. There are some other people who confuse marketing with ‘selling’ and feel that marketing activity starts after a product or service has been produced. Some people describe it to mean ‘merchandising’ or designing a product. All these descriptions may be partly correct but marketing is a much broader concept, which is discussed as follows: Traditionally marketing has been described in terms of its functions or activities. In this respect, marketing has been referred to like the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers. We know that most manufacturing firms do not produce goods for their own consumption but for the consumption or use by others. Therefore, to move the goods and services from producers to consumers, “Business is not financial science, it’s about trading, buying and selling. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it.” — Anta Roddick “Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately, it takes time to master.” — Philip Kotler’s number of activities such as product designing or merchandising, packaging, warehousing, transportation, branding, selling, advertising, and pricing is required. All these activities are referred to as marketing activities. Thus, ‘merchandising’, ‘selling’ and ‘shopping’ are all part of a large number of activities undertaken by a firm, which are collectively called marketing. It may be noted here that marketing is not merely a post-production activity. It includes many activities that are performed even before goods are actually produced and continue even after the goods have been sold. For example, activities such as identification of customer needs, collection of information for developing the product, designing suitable product package and giving it a brand name are performed before the commencement of the actual production. Similarly, many follow up activities are required for maintaining good customer relations for procuring repeat sale. In modern times, the emphasis is placed on describing marketing as a social process. It is a process whereby people exchange goods and services for money or for something of value to them. Taking the social perspective, Phillip Kolter has defined marketing as, “a social process by which individual groups obtain what they need and want through creating offerings and freely exchanging products and services of value with others”. Thus, marketing is a social process wherein people interact with others, in order to persuade them to act in a particular way, say to purchase a product or a service, rather than forcing them to do so.
A careful analysis of the definition shows the following important features of marketing:
The market actually refers to a set up where potential buyers and sellers can meet to exchange goods or services. It is basically a medium that facilitates these transactions in an economy. It allows for the exchange of goods, services, information under the protection of the law and generally in exchange for consideration.
Traditionally a market is a physical location or place, like a bazaar or a shopping mall. The kind of market it is will depend on a lot of factors. Some of the ways in which we can characterize markets are,
Marketing is a very wide term. It includes all the activities involved right from the production of the goods, until their consumption. Every activity in between, like designing, pricing, promotion, distribution, transportation, warehousing etc are activities of marketing.
Marketing is often taken to be a post-production activity, which is incorrect. Some activities of marketing start even before the production begins. One of its main aims is to satisfy customer needs, which requires understanding of these needs. And the product design will follow the leads of this study.
In modern terms, economists such as Philip Kotler have termed marketing as a “social process”. Here the wants and needs of the consumer are heard, and accordingly, products and services are offered to them. People interact with each other to exchange goods and services they require in exchange for money. There is no force or coercion, people will choose these products.
Important Features of Marketing:
Some major differences between market and marketing is as follows:
In this comparison Market is the narrower concept
Marketing is a much wider concept than market
Market is the point of interaction between buyers and sellers
Marketing is the social process by which human needs are identified and eventually satisfied
Market is a set-up, or a place, or a point of interaction
Marketing is a process involving roughly 12 activities
Market can be of many types based on the goods traded, quantity traded, geographical location etc
Marketing philosophy is generally uniform for any type of goods or services.