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Marketing is the strategic mix of activities that look to accomplish organizational goals by performing tasks based on customer needs in an effort to promote new products or services that in turn grow the organizations business. Marketing will always be instrumental in organizational success. A company must depend on a solid marketing plan to support sales, production, innovation, and future growth. “Marketing should begin with potential customer needs – not with the production process,” (Perreault, Ph.D., Cannon, Ph.D., & McCarthy, Ph.D., 2011, p. 7). Marketing based on this theory is customer focused – aimed at getting to know and understand the customer’s needs. Building a relationship with customers and developing the ability to anticipate their needs before competitors supports an efficient marketing model. Ford Motor Company is a good example of an organization changing direction and focus to support its customer needs by providing attractive vehicles for over 100 years. Ford has worked diligently in conjunction with changes in the economy and technology to ensure it offered its customers and potential customers options comparable to “the times” (Perreault, Ph.D., Cannon, Ph.D., & McCarthy, Ph.D., 2011).

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This type of constant refocus on customer needs and the external factors on what may affect customer decision-making continues to make Ford Motor Company successful today. Starbucks is another organization that seems to place customer satisfaction as a primary goal. Providing free WIFI in all of the coffeehouses or the reloadable reward card for frequent shoppers just to name a few amenities is totally customer focused. By doing this, the customer needs drive the marketing plans of the organization through supporting services and products that aim to promote customer satisfaction and convenience. Another consideration that one must give to marketing is the larger role these types of activities play in the macro environment. Marketing is the vehicle used to sell and promote services and goods through research and external advertising. Intended to meet the needs of supply and demand for consumers; consisting of the development of a product/service, a price determination, areas of distribution, and a promotional strategy to sell the product or service to support the objectives of a society. The broader definition of marketing focuses on getting products and services to the larger society not a specific customer-base that only is looking for the “nice to have” products or services. Marketing many times is also focused on society’s general welfare such as health care, laws, and general societal expectancies. Political campaigns through elections or proposal of Acts are good examples of marketing that focuses on the larger society and not a small consumer contingent on an item wanted for purchase in a store. Campaigns appeal to a specific constituent – targeted toward viewpoints, perspectives, morals, needs, social cause. Large amounts of money are spent on political campaigning and advertisements to promote one perspective over another, slander of the opponent or offending cause. (Kotler & Keller, 2012). Catchy slogans and analysis of potential voter’s desires and social concerns fuels candidates bidding for office popularity – positive or negative. Social media has become a large resource in recent years for candidates to obtain votes of younger generations and pass along information at expedited speeds.

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The promotion of recycling is another program supported by a diverse group of organizations – government, businesses, and private individuals that has sparked popularity through subtle marketing campaigns over the last few decades. Each of these entities market and promote recycling in their own ways whether for environmental concerns or to promote business sustainability and recycled products. Recycling efforts have increased greatly; communicating the need and importance of recycling comes to our society in many different forms but each attempt at marketing the information is not necessarily for financial growth but more importantly toward balanced environment. Marketing plays such a large role in everything we do as business owners, consumers, and a society. It would be hard to imagine a world without some form of marketing. It is almost impossible to perform any type of activity in which a person is attempting to garner interest for an idea or to sell an item without performing marketing activities. The difference in the strategies and utilization of the four P’s in marketing; product, price, place, and promotion are more likely to determine the success of how well an item is received by the intended audience regardless of size and financial resources.

References
Kotler, P., & Keller, K.L. (2012). Marketing Management (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River , NJ: Prentice Hall.
Perreault, Ph.D., W. D., Cannon, Ph.D., J. P., & McCarthy, Ph.D., E. J. (2011). Basic Marketing. A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach (18th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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