Marketing is the delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit. It is a social and managerial process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with others.
To understand what customer value and satisfaction are we should understand the core marketing concepts, such as need, want, and demand.
Need is a state of felt deprivation. It includes basic physical needs for food, clothing, warmth, and safety; social needs for belonging and affection; and individual needs for knowledge and self-expression. Need is a basic part of the human makeup. Want is the form taken by a human need as shaped by culture and individual personality. Demands are human wants that are backed by buying power. People have almost unlimited wants but limited resources. Thus, they want to choose products that provide the most value and satisfaction for their money.
We understand a product as anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or a need. It includes physical objects, services, persons, places, organizations, and ideas. Likewise, the service is any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything.
When we learn the above mentioned concepts we can define the customer value as the difference between the values the customer gains from owning and using a product and the cost of obtaining the product. And consequently, customer satisfaction is the extent to which a product's perceived performance matches buyer's expectations. If the product's performance falls short of expectations, the buyer is dissatisfied. If the performance matches or exceeds expectations, the buyer is satisfied or delighted.
When we are involved in the process of creating, maintaining, and enhancing strong, value-laden relationships with customers and other stakeholders, we say that we are in relationship marketing.
We comprehend a market as the set of all actual and potential buyers of a product or service, and we manage the marketing through analysis, planning, implementation, and control of programs designed to create, build, and maintain beneficial exchanges with target buyers for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives. On the contrary, when we reduce demand temporarily or permanently with the aim not to destroy demand, but only to reduce or shift it, we use demarketing techniques.
What weight should be given to the interests of the organization, customers, and society? Very often these interests conflict. There are five alternative concepts under which organizations conduct their marketing activities.
Production concept is the philosophy that consumers will favor products that are available and highly affordable and that management should therefore focus on improving production and distribution efficiency.
Product concept implies that consumers will favor products that offer the most quality, performance, and features and that the organization should therefore devote its energy to making continuous product improvements
Selling concept states that consumers will not buy enough of the organization's products unless the organization undertakes large-scale selling and promotional efforts.
Marketing concept implies that the achievement of organizational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of the target markets and delivering the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors do.
Societal marketing concept is the idea that the organization should determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than do competitors in a way that maintains or improves the consumer's and society's well being.