Marketing can mobilize attitudes and behavior around a common vision. It is a powerful medium for expression, creativity, and sharing across an increasingly global society. Marketing can be an agent of change in the diffusion of ideas and innovation. It can also be self-serving and manipulative, playing on human fears and insecurities to separate people from their money and from one another.
With all this in mind, what value does marketing provide?
Left: Lucky Strike ad, LIFE Magazine, 1936. Right: Ad promoting Product Red, a licensed brand that partners with companies like Nike, Apple Inc., Converse, and others to raise funds to eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa. Fifty percent of the profits generated by Red products is donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
Marketing remains an active, dynamic field because it serves useful purposes for organizations, individuals, and society.
Marketing Can Benefit Organizations
As explained earlier in this module, organizations use marketing to identify, satisfy, and retain customers. Marketing helps businesses know which problems to solve and which products, services, and experiences to offer. Effective marketing drives product improvements and determines the terms of profitable transactions. Marketing efforts help organizations build and sustain productive relationships with the people and groups they serve. Without effective marketing, companies become islands that retain no meaningful connection to their customers. When an organization loses its audience, eventually it ceases to exist.
Marketing Can Benefit People
Individuals are not just targets
of marketing; they can also be beneficiaries
. Marketing helps people navigate the world around them to find the things that address their wants and needs. Marketing is responsible for the creation of products that delight people, improve their productivity, and alter their quality of life. In recent years, marketing has contributed to the pervasive information now available to help people make advantageous consumer choices. Marketing reduces the friction and hassle around transactions. Imagine, without marketing you would never know that many of the products you need exist, let alone how to find them.
Marketing and Society
Because marketing is grounded in commercial, profit-seeking behaviors, some would argue that society is a net loser rather than a net winner when it comes to marketing influence. However, effective marketing helps create the conditions for healthy competition and market efficiency, where companies and consumers communicate and exchange mutual value.
Like virtually any tool, marketing can be used for noble purposes or nefarious ones. Regardless, it has a pervasive presence in the modern world. As you learn about marketing and begin to practice its principles, you will see more clearly how it influences your daily life. You will identify opportunities where marketing skills can help you become more effective at achieving your personal and professional goals. With a foundation in marketing, you will become a more informed consumer of the products, services, experiences and ideas you encounter throughout your life.
Check Your Understanding
Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in this outcome. This short quiz does not
count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.
Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.
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