"The Aim Of Marketing Is To Know And Understand The Customer So Well That The Product Or Service Fits Him Or Her And Sells Itself." (Drucker) Produce Arguments For And Against This Statement.

924 words - 4 pages

In 1973, Peter Drucker stated "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him or her and sells itself." Considering that marketing is an exchange process between two parties which results in both customer and organizational satisfaction (Kolter & Keller 2006). It seems logical that, if a business is able to produce a product that is able to sell itself (i.e. does not require the assistance of a sales person) then marketing would be accomplished. That is, the customer acquires the product they are looking for, and the business gains its profits. However, Drucker further complicates the situation by saying this is achieved through "knowing and understand the customer well." This suggests that knowing and understanding customers needs is the only factor that matters.Modern day marketers embrace the concept of finding the right product for their customers (Kolter & Keller 2006). Thus by identifying and pleasing customer needs this will lead to satisfaction of current customers and the attraction of new customers (Wangenheim & Bayón 2007). For example, when Sony invented its Play Station, Gillette its Mach III razor, and Nintendo its Wii all three companies designed a product that customers desired so much they were inundated with orders before the products reached retailers (Kolter & Keller 2006).Furthermore, by dividing consumers into groups of people that share the same needs, businesses are able to concentrate their efforts contributing to marketing success (Kennedy 2000). In 2003 Starbucks and Pepsi found and exploited the gap in the market for ready-to-drink coffee products. This proved a successful venture for the businesses and they are now market leader in the industry. However, it was not as simple as identifying customers needs. Starbucks and Pepsi produced marketing campaigns that would enhance people's awareness of the ready-to-drink coffee and waited for the demand to catch up to the market opportunity. This example shows us that marketing is not always a reaction to customer needs, but is a more proactive process where people are educated and told what they need.Customer observation and feed back are also important in the evaluation of customer satisfaction. Woodside and Wilson (1994) found by getting their customers to compare competitors marketing mix strategies, they uncovered the way a customer perceives a supplier's product design quality, price, after-sale service determines their preference. Furthermore, satisfied customers lead to long term loyalty and retention which ultimately creates success and profit for businesses. For example, the lifetime value of a Cadillac owner is approximately $350,000. Thus, if a customer is lost early in the life cycle it would mean loses of hundreds and thousands of dollars for general motors (Best 2005).However, we live in a world filled with industrial rivalry and an ever changing macro environment. Hence, customer...

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