There has been a heated debate on whether the role of the modern day marketer is to identify available market gaps and satisfy them or they are out to create new needs they can profitably satisfy. The concern has been on the ethics regarding creating goods that are not required by consumers and then striving to ensure that certain segments see the need to acquire such goods. Having seen the new good as a necessity, consumers may go to great lengths to satisfy the need. Those who cannot acquire the product then feel unsatisfied, poor or worthless. Marketing seeks to identify needs that already exist and strive to fill them cheaply and profitably.
Advertising is always intent at making consumers aware of the availability of a certain offering. The use of models in advertising only makes the offering more pleasant compared to that of the consumers. Advertising also creates a competitive advantage (Cant, 2006). Coca-Cola recently launched the Coke Zero product. Coke Zero was manufactured to meet the need of male consumers who would have sought to benefit from the Coke Diet product without the name which has mostly been identified to the female consumers. The need had existed, namely to take a healthy drink with low calorie count. The Coca-Cola Company identified this market and sought to satisfy it by creating the new product.
Companies often use a consumer based manufacturing method. The company identifies a need that exists and then seeks to fill it. If the product does not meet all the needs of the consumer, it is improved periodically to meet those needs (Karunakaran, 2008). A good example is the marketing strategy of the Apple Computers Company. The company launches new products once a year. This makes it possible for consumers to get served with better products. One approach that makes this method feasible is by ensuring that the customer service department is well prepared to handle the needs of consumers. Customer service then makes recommendations to the rest of the company with regard to the most sought out services. The company then creates improved products to satisfy the new consumer needs
Finally, the marketing mix which is mainly based on consumer needs is employed by many companies. Companies that use these needs then ensure that the needs of the consumers are put at the forefront of production (Anderson, Volker, & Philips, 2008). The idea is to create products that satisfy specific consumer segments and then target them with products that are more superior on the basis of cost or quality. This way, consumers are more likely to adopt the products of the more superior company even at a higher cost.
The idea that companies seek to influence consumer choices is mistaken. It is based on the belief that advertising creates new markets that do not exist. Contrary to this, companies only strive to fill existing market gaps (Kotler, & Keller, 2012). A company that would attempt to go against the grain in this regard will be performing an uphill task and is likely going to meet a fail.
In conclusion, the
entire marketing process only seeks to identify existing consumer needs and
seek to fill them. Consumers do this by ensuring that consumers’ needs are
identified through the changing trends and meeting them. Producers also seek to
meet such needs by creating customer service channels with consumer
satisfaction in mind. The concept of influencing consumer needs is a mistaken
Anderson, S., Volker, J., & Philips, M. (2008). The forensic marketing case study methods. Advanced Management Journal, 73(1), 4–9, 44. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.
Cant, M. (2006). Marketing management (1st ed.). Cape Town, South Africa: Juta.
Karunakaran, K. (2008). Marketing management (1st ed.). Mumbai [India]: Himalaya Pub. House.
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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