Lecture 1 - What is Marketing?
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Learning Objectives




The marketing concept


The four Ps of marketing

The nature of marketing



Learning Objectives

When you have completed this lecture and accompanying module, you should be able to:

  • define marketing and explain the core concepts that underpin marketing
  • explain the five different business philosophies that organisations use to direct their marketing efforts
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of a marketer
  • identify marketing oriented companies
  • explain the value of marketing principles in many industries and contexts
  • be aware of the career opportunities in marketing related fields.



The course has been designed to be studied in tandem with the following text:

  • Kotler, P., Brown, L., Adam, S. and Armstrong, G., Marketing, 5th edition, 2001, Prentice Hall

Most of the units in the course consists of three parts.  They are:

  • reading from the prescribed chapter in the text
  • studying the lecture which complements the chapter
  • working through the module in which the information in the chapter and lecture is applied.

There is no module accompanying lectures 1 and 8.

To begin this course, read chapter 1 from the prescribed text.

Chapter 1 provides the content and substance of Lecture 1.  We suggest that you make brief notes as you read, paying particular attention to the highlighted section of the textbook.  These notes should primarily record the main points on the topic, but may also contain questions that occur to you and points on which you may need clarification. 

Then read Part B of Lecture 1 (below).

In Part B, salient points have been extracted from the chapter as a guide for your learning and as a useful basis for later revision.





This lecture considers three questions.  They are:

  • what is marketing?
  • why do we need marketing?
  • how does marketing work?



Here is a useful definition:

    Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives.

    American Marketing Association

Another definition is that marketing is:

    getting the right goods and services to the right people at the right place at the right time at the right price and with the right communication and promotion.


How do you think of the following business concerns?  How does this relate to their various advertising practices?

What marketing involves

The marketing process can be split into three basic groups of actions.  They are:

  • finding out what customers want, followed by
  • planning and developing a product or service that will satisfy their wants, then
  • determining the best way to price, promote and distribute that product or service.

You can see, then, that marketing is a total system of business activities.

The nature of marketing

Marketing involves two complementary approaches that can be roughly described as art and science.














Defining a marketer

An effective marketer requires skills and traits which should include the following:

  • long term vision and planning
  • strategic ability
  • competitive spirit
  • intuition and experience
  • flexibility
  • leadership
  • attention to detail
  • the ability to be a team player.

The evolution of marketing


Philosophies of marketing

Let us turn to the philosophies underpinning three marketing orientations.  For each orientation, we will consider the focus, the means and the goal.

Production orientation:

  • the focus of production orientation is manufacturing
  • the means is the making of quality products
  • the goal is to produce all that is possible:
    • you can have any colour car you want, as long as it's black
    • make the best product you can and people will buy it.

Sales orientation:

  • the focus of sales orientation is the selling of existing products
  • the means is aggressive sales and promotion efforts
  • the goal is to maximise sales volume:
    • sell this inventory no matter what it takes
    • you don't like black?  I'll throw in a set of glassware.

Marketing orientation:

  • the focus of marketing orientation is actual and potential
  • the means is customer orientation, profit orientation integrated throughout the firm
  • the goal is to achieve profits through customer orientation:
    • maybe people don't want the 'best' product.  Find out what they do want
    • find out what the customers want before you make the product.

Evolution of the marketing concept

The evolving nature of the concept of marketing can be seen in the following diagram:



Production-oriented and marketing-oriented managers have different views of the market.

Production-oriented manager sees everyone as basically similar, and practises 'mass marketing'

Marketing-oriented manager sees everyone as different, and practises 'target marketing'


The marketing concept

The marketing concept is a philosophy which accepts that it must:

  • be customer oriented
  • to stress long-run profitability
  • integrate marketing with other corporate functions.

The social marketing concept

The societal marketing concept extends the marketing concept in that it expects organisations to:

  • act socially responsibly
  • consider the ethical consequences of their actions
  • consider the collective needs of society as well as customer desires and the organisation's profits.

This is illustrated in the following diagram:


Core marketing concepts

Core marketing concepts are illustrated in the following diagram:


The four Ps of marketing


The puzzle of the marketing mix

The facets of marketing mix fit together like the pieces of a puzzle adjusted and reassembled as the environment changes:



The total product
The total product includes not only the basic service or merchandise, but also the extras that go with it.



Place is all about getting the product to the right place at the right time, in the right form and at the right price. 

This involves logistics and distribution management:


Prices refers to the value consumers exchange for the benefits provided by a product or organisation:


The promotion mix


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