Executive Summary

All marketers need to be aware of the effect of globalization, technology, and deregulation. Rather than try to satisfy everyone, marketers start with market segmentation and develop a market offering that is positioned in the minds of the target market. To satisfy the target market's needs, wants, and demands, marketers create a product, one of the 10 types of entities (goods, services, experiences, events, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas). Marketers must search hard for the core need they are trying to satisfy, remembering that their products will be successful only if they deliver value (the ratio of benefits and costs) to customers.

Every marketing exchange requires at least two parties—both with something valued by the other party, both capable of communication and delivery, both free to accept or reject the offer, and both finding it appropriate or desirable to deal with the other. One agreement to exchange constitutes a transaction, part of the larger idea of relationship marketing. Through relationship marketing, organizations aim to build enduring, mutually satisfying bonds with customers and other key parties to earn and retain their long-term business. Reaching out to a target market entails communica tion channels, distribution channels, and selling channels. The supply chain, which stretches from raw materials to the final products for final buyers, represents a value delivery system. Marketers can capture more of the supply chain value by acquiring competitors or expanding upstream or downstream.

In the marketing environment, marketers face brand, industry, form, and generic competition. The marketing environment can be divided into the task environment (the immediate actors in producing, distributing, and promoting the product offering) and the broad environment (forces in the demographic, economic, natural, technological, political-legal, and social-cultural environment). To succeed, marketers must pay close attention to the trends and developments in these environments and make timely adjustments to their marketing strategies. Within these environments, marketers apply the marketing mix—the set of marketing tools used to pursue marketing objectives in the target market. The marketing mix consists of the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.

Companies can adopt one of five orientations toward the marketplace. The production concept assumes that consumers want widely available, affordable products; the product concept assumes that consumers want products with the most quality, performance, or innovative features; the selling concept assumes that customers will not buy enough products without an aggressive selling and promotion effort; the marketing concept assumes the firm must be better than competitors in creating, delivering, and communicating customer value to its chosen target markets; and the societal marketing concept assumes that the firm must satisfy customers more effectively and efficiently than competitors while still preserving the consumer's and the society's well-being. Keeping this concept in mind, smart companies will add "higher order" image attributes to supplement both rational and emotional benefits.

The combination of technology, globalization, and deregulation is influencing customers, brand manufacturers, and store-based retailers in a variety of ways. Responding to the changes and new demands brought on by these forces has caused many companies to make adjustments. In turn, savvy marketers must also alter their marketing activities, tools, and approaches to keep pace with the changes they will face today and tomorrow.

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