American Marketing Association

Competition plays a significant role in contributing to the success of any enterprise; markets, which these businesses serve, have to be addressed as a means to successfully position the company’s products and services and have the consumers start purchasing them. In order for organizations to have an understanding of what goes on in the market and what the market’s demands are, firms have to embrace the many facets of marketing including its management, strategies and research.
Defining Marketing and the Marketing Process A basic principle behind marketing is that it is a means for the organization to understand its customers which also creates the channel in order for the customer to understand these companies, its products and services; the company also furthers this understanding when it comes to the environment of the marketplace (Iacobuccid, 2001; Kotler & Armstrong, 2008).
The American Marketing Association has defined marketing “as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives” (as cited in Hills, 1994, p. 6). Based on this definition, it can be observed that it tackles more the operational aspect of marketing in which it is defined as a process. Marketing, apparently, involves certain approaches as can be seen in the many functions within an organization such as, for example, the integration of marketing in the general planning process.

The marketing process pertains to a series of systemic steps in order to effectively establish the many marketing activities and functions of the company. The following are the steps of the marketing process (NetMBA, 2007): • Situation analysis – the process starts with an analysis of the firm, its situation and conditions. This assesses the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the factors involved in order for the company to best serve the interests of its customers.
At this point of the process, the organization conducts many analyses as a means to understand its own capabilities and at the same time, the environment it is operating in. Hence, the company utilizes tools such as the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), the PEST analysis (political, economic, social, and technological) and the 5Cs (company, customers, collaborators and climate). A marketing plan is drafted at the beginning of the process.

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