The question commonly coming to the mind is what can be marketed. Is it a product or service or something else: what is a product?
A product is a ‘bundle of utilities’ or ‘source of satisfaction’, that can be used to satisfy human needs and wants. It is not confined to physical objects, such as motor cycle, biscuit, bulb and pencil but also refers to other things of value such as services, ideas, places, etc., that can be offered to the potential buyers for their use. In the marketing literature, anything that can be of value to the buyer can be termed as a ‘product’. It can be tangible, i.e., which can be felt, seen and touched physically such as a pencil, a cycle or an intangible such as services rendered by a doctor, hairdresser or a lawyer. Apart from the product, what can be marketed is a service or a person (say political parties persuading to vote for a particular candidate) or an idea (say Red Cross persuading to donate blood) or a place (say Kerala Tourism persuading people to visit Kerala for health tourism). Thus, anything that is of value to the other can be marketed. It can be a product or a service or a person or a place or an idea or an event or an organisation or experience or properties.
Who is a marketer?: Marketer refers to any person who takes more active part in the process of exchange. Normally it is the seller who is more active in the exchange process as he/ she analyses the needs of the potential buyers, develops a market offering and persuades the buyers to buy the product. However, there may be certain situations where the buyer may be taking more active role in the exchange process. Let us say in situations of rare supply, the buyer may be taking extra efforts in persuading the seller to sell the product to him/her. This may be happening in defence deals or take a situation where a country having installed a nuclear plant needs the supply of nuclear fuel or ‘Heavy Water’. It may need to convince the supplier of the products to supply the same to it, by promising that it will be used for peaceful purposes only. In this case, the buyer will be treated as the marketer. Thus, any body, who takes in defence deals or take a situation where a country having installed a nuclear plant needs the supply of nuclear fuel or ‘Heavy Water’. It may need to convince the supplier of the products to supply the same to it, by promising that it will be used for peaceful purposes only. In this case, the buyer will be treated as the marketer. Thus, any body, who takes more active role in the exchange process will be taken as the marketer.
Goods are physical items that can be seen, touched, owned and used in some physical manner. Examples of goods include food, furniture, cars, clothing, shoes, laptops, mobile phones, books, flowers, kitchen appliances, and so on. Probably the easiest way to think about goods is to consider the products that you can buy in a shop.
As mentioned above, in most developed economies, services the production of services constitutes the majority of GDP. Services are a little harder to understand as they are intangible – meaning that they cannot be touched or owned. Some common services are banking and insurance, medical and health, education, hotels, hospitality and restaurants, hairdressers, legal firms, accounting services, not for profit firms, and so on
Events can be marketed – probably the most famous ones are the large, global sporting events –like the Olympics, the World Cup, tennis and golf tournaments, boxing matches and so on. Events can also include the theater, concerts and various performance shows and other entertainment.
By combining several goods and services a company offers, it may create an outstanding experience for its customers. Marketers create, stage, and market experiences to increase the quality of their company’s image or brands thus increasing the number of positive associations in the minds of the buyers. Many firms within the holiday and tourism markets seek to deliver an experience. A good example here would be Disneyland, or an exotic cruise.
Each person can become a brand with the help of a celebrity marketer. Artists (musicians, actors, directors and so on) are those who come first in people’s mind when they think about marketing a person. But, you may also build a brand for a CEO, successful lawyers, doctors and many other professionals.
In order to attract tourists or companies to a certain place, people use marketing techniques to communicate its value. Therefore, we can surely talk about marketing for towns, cities and regions. In addition to this, every country has its own unique marketing approach and there are many tourism authorities for many regions throughout the world.
Recently there had been developed the idea of an information marketplace. This is why we can talk now about an industry focused on producing, packaging and distributing information. Like any other industry, it is marketing driven and requires effective strategies to market information.
Each and every offering, either a product or a service, is actually the platform for selling an idea. In addition to this, we notice that social marketing is focused on promoting ideas to benefit certain social actions and changes.