Marketing, which is sometimes called distribution, includes all the business activities connected with the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers. Marketing consists of both physical activities such as transporting, storing and selling goods, and a series of decisions related to any part of the process of moving goods from the producer to the consumer.
Marketing operations include product planning, buying, storage, pricing, promotion, selling, credit, and marketing research. The ability to recognise future trends is as important as knowing the present conditions in marketing. Producers must know why consumers buy, where and for what purpose.
Through market research, the producer tries to predict what the customer will want and, through advertising, attempts to influence what the customer will buy. In most countries, manufacturers obviously spend a lot of money on advertising their goods. We cannot walk down the street, watch television or read a newspaper without being ‘attacked’ by advertisements. Doubtless, many people think that too much money is spent on advertising. “Wouldn’t it be better,” they say, “to spend all this advertising money on improving the product or service, or on projects to help poor people?”
Advertising, however, is essential for a manufacturer’s survival. It is vital to keep the name of the product in front of the public. Otherwise, sales will fall. Another manufacturer of the same kind of product may continue advertising and his name will be the one that people remember when they go shopping. And his sales will increase.
Some people will then almost certainly say, “But why should two or more companies produce the same things? Surely, it is more economical for each company to produce a different product. Then, there would be little or no need for any advertising.” But there is a sensible economic answer to this argument as well.
Competition between companies is vital because it helps to improve the quality of the product and to keep prices down. The result is a better and cheaper product for the public. Since competition is essential, advertising is vital.
Marketing is a process.