■ What are the tasks of marketing?
■ What are the major concepts and tools of marketing?
■ What orientations do companies exhibit in the marketplace?
■ How are companies and marketers responding to the new challenges?
Change is occurring at an accelerating rate; today is not like yesterday, and tomorrow will be different from today. Continuing today's strategy is risky; so is turning to a new strategy. Therefore, tomorrow's successful companies will have to heed three certainties:
^ Global forces will continue to affect everyone's business and personal life. ^ Technology will continue to advance and amaze us.
^ There will be a continuing push toward deregulation of the economic sector.
These three developments—globalization, technological advances, and deregulation—spell endless opportunities. But what is marketing and what does it have to do with these issues?
Marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs. One of the shortest definitions of marketing is "meeting needs profitably." Whether the marketer is Procter & Gamble, which notices that people feel overweight and want tasty but less fatty food and invents Olestra; or CarMax, which notes that people want more certainty when they buy a used automobile and invents a new system for selling used cars; or IKEA, which notices that people want good furniture at a substantially lower price and creates knock-down furniture—all illustrate a drive to turn a private or social need into a profitable business opportunity through marketing.
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