The objective of all business enterprises is to satisfy the needs and wants of the society. Marketing is, therefore, a basic function of all business firms. When a salesperson sells washing machines, a doctor treats a patient or a Government asks people to take their children for getting polio drops, each is marketing something to the targets. Traditionally, small firm owners did not give as much importance to marketing as to other functions such as accountancy, production and selling. Training programmes, enterprise development and the current thrust for competitiveness have now given high priority to promoting marketing awareness among small business owners, and marketing is now assuming its rightful place along with other business functions. Since early 1990s there has been a change in the thinking of businessman from product orientation to consumer orientation. Modern business concerns lay emphasis on ‘selling satisfaction’ and not merely on selling products. The activities have to be coordinated so as to develop the marketing mix, which provides maximum satisfaction to the customers. That is why marketing research and product planning occupy an important role in marketing. The other important functions of marketing include: buying and assembling, selling, standardisation, packing, storing, transportation, promotion, pricing and risk bearing. Thus, the scope of marketing is very wide and no more restricted to merely selling of products.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Explain the meaning and importance of ‘Marketing’. Define the marketing concept and explain its essential focus. Define the concept of market segmentation.
Define the term Marketing Research and discuss its importance for small firms. Describe marketing mix and analyse the significance of its elements. Explain the concept and significance and stages of product life cycle (PLC). Identify the problems faced by the small-scale entrepreneurs in marketing their products.
16.2 WHAT IS MARKETING?
Marketing may be narrowly defined as a process by which goods and services are exchanged and the values determined in terms of money prices. That means marketing includes all those activities carried on to transfer the goods from the manufacturers or producers to the consumers.
We shall be learning later in the lesson that marketing is more than a mere physical process of distributing goods and services. It is the process of discovering and translating consumer wants into products and services. It begins with the customer (by finding their needs) and ends with the customer (by satisfying their needs). The scope of marketing can be understood in terms of functions that an entrepreneur has to perform. These include the following:
a. Functions of exchange: which include buying and assembling and selling? b.Functions of physical supply: include transportation, storage and warehousing c. Functions of facilitation: Product Planning and Development, Marketing Research, Standardisation, Grading, Packaging, Branding, Sales Promotion, Financing 16.2.1 THE MARKETING CONCEPT
The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals consists in determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors1. Under marketing concept, the emphasis is on selling satisfaction and not merely on the selling a product. The objective of marketing is not the maximization of profitable sales volume, but profits through the satisfaction of customers. The consumer is the pivot point and all marketing activities operate around this central point. It is, therefore, essential that the entrepreneurs identify the customers, establish a rapport with them, identify their needs and deliver the goods and services that would meet their requirements.
The components of marketing concept are as under:
a. Satisfaction of Customers: In the...