Does Marketing Create Needs Or Needs Create Marketing?

A recent debate

Tina S
Tina S
Jan 27, 2010
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Does marketing create needs or needs create marketing? Today this topic is going to a debate to all.

'Marketing purely reflects the needs and wants of customers.’
We all need food, shelter, cloths, education and so on.

Needs vary depending on situation, custom, country, people, norms and values. For example the people of United States can prefer hamburger or French fries for their lunch but the people of Bangladesh can prefer rice and carry for their lunch. Wants are shaped by our culture.

Customers always want quality products which satisfy their needs properly. Customers are looking best combination of service, price, quality and availability.

Well, I am going to plant myself firmly on the fence here, at least for the moment. I can see both sides of the argument. As a consumer I feel that sometimes I am being told that I want, or at least should want, certain things:

1.Foot wear commercials seem a promise to me who provides swiftness, smoothness and fit for foot that I may want.

2.Oil food commercials always suggest a picture that they are very concern about my health, heart and digestive system which I like.

3.Bank/Insurance commercials
provide a picture where they are always beside people with their security policy that promotion I may like sometimes.

All of these point me to a want, or need, that I may have not realized I had.

Marketers must therefore continually be creating and developing attractive products and then in turn devising a brilliant marketing strategy to win the consumer over to buy their product over other competing products.

Companies strive to retain their customer base by delivering value and satisfaction from their products and this is formulated in consumers' minds as a combination of service, quality and price. Some consumers would not mind paying a higher price for an item or service if they received very good service.

Marketing, however, is not synonymous with Advertising.
It is a communication process; in effect, almost an educational process for both the consumer and the organization.

My 'need', or want, to be a better athlete comes from within me. Nike is merely exploiting that desire.
Some products don’t need advertising. People are searching those products because they need.
Marketing has relied on four marketing skills and tools and they are the sales force, advertising, sales promotion and marketing research, they must also use brand building, customer relations, telemarketing and others to make their product selling become reality.

Companies must also function ethically and honestly to serve the consumer in the best possible manner.

Regarding the second argument 'Marketing creates consumer needs and wants.'

After seeing some television commercials and advertisements both on the Internet and on newspapers I have concluded that some companies construct their ads to create a need in the consumer's mind even if originally they were not interested in the product. Some words and phrases are commonly used in advertising.
The word 'free' is the most common denominator I found in the ads, free is used in combinations such as free home trial, free inspection, buy one get one free, free installation, free estimates, free parking, free demonstration and free consultation, such as 20% free, buy one and get one free, free home service, free home trial etc.

Some terms like “money back guaranty”, “no payment before service” help dissipate any doubts that the consumer may have and prompt them on to make the purchase. "Because the goal is to get customers' attention, persuade and create demand, market segmentation has historically been based on variables that correlate to creating demand: geography, age, gender, income, education, occupation and other traditional demographics, as well as psychographics around personality, lifestyle, values and attitudes. It works because these attributes are helpful for defining how to effectively speak to different groups of people."

Some commercials are forced towards the younger consumers and turned out to be a huge marketing success. Companies also take advantage of world events or changes in the economy to come out with new products.
A good example of the huge market share of cell phone companies in Bangladesh. They use attractive slogans, low call rates (sometimes free), favorite celebrities to attract young people. Today five grade’s student has cell phone with good features. But some of them don’t need a cell phone. Here marketers create needs forcefully. Today people can’t imagine a single day without phone but cell phone is introduced in 1993 in Bangladesh then how our elder generation passed their days!
Some cosmetics commercials are creating needs among customers.Think about Fairness cream’s commercials where girls can get jobs, get high positions in society or get married because of these creams. These things actually have no basis, all are created by marketers to capture market share.
However advertising is not the only force that drives the consumer. Most companies do a lot of research before releasing an advertisement in getting a feel of what the consumers really desire. There is a constant interaction with the public in studying what is in mode at the time and also what brands people want to be associated with. This tactic is basically mainly a tweak or an enhancement of the previous model or version in order to create the perception of a totally new product which in turn creates more demand for the product.

Good example of software and books. Software companies always offer new version and people have to upgrade this. And also books come with various editions with the reader’s opinion and needs.

Advertising should their tasks simply, logically and determine that there is a desire for the image that their product represents. Like Bata, Cocacola, Nick.

Tina Sudeshna Sikder

Author's note: Ref: James Stephenson, an IT and Business Consultant
Keywords: marketing,needs,wants,customers,advertising,commercials,marketers,company,skills,citycell,Bangladesh,software,1993,money,demographic,product,brands,market share,segmentation,fairness,consumers.

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