The Essence of Marketing

Marketing is one of those things which I both appreciate and loathe. I consider marketing as old as mankind.

By the modern definitions marketing is the process in which a company creates and delivers value for customers. When the customers are satisfied the company receives value from the customers in return.

Marketing is in the economic sense all about the exchange of X for Y. Y is the product, a good or service for consumption and X can be many things, usually money. Because the product is additionally promoted as superior or different compared to the competition, the activity of advertising is involved.

Marketing seems to be about presentation and differentiation first. In simple terms, when the baker has baked a loaf of bread and puts it on display, he presents it. Then a customer walks in and is welcomed by the baker who says “Do you smell the fresh loaf of bread? This tasty bread is the freshest bread you can find.” The bread is fresh and smells fresh, thus is different and possibly better than non-fresh bread.

When I first read a proper marketing book I could not believe what I was reading. After years of exposure from magazines, books, other media, advertising and days on the market something seemed off. Contemporary marketing theory seemed to approach making and selling goods overly complicated. Providing a service and being friendly was called a relationship.

Thing is, marketing is even simpler than everything written above. Marketing is in the end about telling a potential customer “Choose our solution and you will be happy”. Promise and deliver a satisfying experience and people come back. The experience of happiness, satisfaction or enjoyment and whatever other positive word you can insert due to a purchase is what marketing is about.

Many companies have understood the importance of experience. These companies made experience their unique selling point. Think of AXE, Apple, Beats, Canon, Nikon, L’Oréal and Nintendo among others.

It all comes down to our senses and our environment. What a person experiences as pleasant, even if it is a necessity is what that person will buy. Thus we are what we consume…


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