The Marketing Process

Planning at the corporate, division, and business levels is an integral part of planning for the marketing process. To understand that process fully, we must first look at how a company defines its business.

The task of any business is to deliver value to the market at a profit. There are at least two views of the value-delivery process.18 The traditional view is that the firm makes something and then sells it (Figure 1-8). In this view, marketing takes place in the second half of the value-delivery process. The traditional view assumes that the company knows what to make and that the market will buy enough units to produce profits for the company.

Companies that subscribe to this traditional view have the best chance of succeeding in economies marked by goods shortages in which consumers are not fussy about quality, features, or style. But the traditional view of the business process will not work in more competitive economies in which people face abundant choices. The "mass market" is actually splintering into numerous micromarkets, each with its own wants, perceptions, preferences, and buying criteria. The smart competitor therefore must design the offer for well-defined target markets.

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Avoiding Credit Card Disaster

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