1 What does 'marketing' mean?
Before you start working through this course, take a moment to write down what you understand by the term ‘marketing’, either on the basis of your previous studies or the everyday use of the term.
Here is what one group of marketing experts has to say:
What does the term marketing mean? Marketing must be understood not in the old sense of making a sale – ‘selling’ – but in the new sense of satisfying customers’ needs. Many people mistakenly think of marketing only as selling and promotion. And no wonder, for every day we are bombarded with television commercials, newspaper ads, direct mail and sales calls. Someone is always trying to sell us something. It seems as if we cannot escape death, taxes or selling!
(Kotler et al., 1996, p. 6)
Next time you are at work and talking with colleagues, ask them what they think ‘marketing’ is. It is likely that many think of marketing as only about selling and promotion. Many people think that marketing is some form of selling or perhaps advertising. Some people even think that it involves getting the consumer to buy or use something they don't want.
In this course I am going to argue (as Kotler et al. do) that we need a much wider definition of marketing because the process of satisfying customers’ needs covers a much wider range of activities than those carried out by a marketing department.