Marketing Philosophy

The marketing philosophy has been described by numerous authors, in literally hundreds of textbooks. Some of the more classic definitions are "marketing is the performance of activities that seek to accomplish an organization's objectives by anticipating customer or client needs and directing a flow of need-satisfying goods and services from producer to customer or client" (1) and "marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others" (2). In 1985, the American Marketing Association approved this definition: "Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distributing of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives." (3). A simpler definition that captures the essence of marketing is as follows: "Marketing is the anticipation, understanding, and satisfaction of customer needs while realizing the organization's objectives." The key to all of these definitions is that marketing involves activities that begin with assessing what the consumer needs and wants and translates that into food products that can be sold for a profit. Food marketers believe that the most profitable way to sell products is to offer the consumer the products that they value the most. Food marketers understand that what they make in the factories may not be the same thing consumers are buying at the checkout line. Although not involved in the food industry, Charles Revson, of Revlon Cosmetics, summed up this concept as follows: "In the factories we make cosmetics, at the counters we sell hope." McDonald's makes hamburgers but its customers are buying quick and convenient appetite satisfaction. Food marketers must understand and focus on what consumers want to buy and not simply what food marketers make. But producing the right product is not enough. Food marketers are also concerned with moving that product to the point of consumption (distribution) and making sure that intermediate (wholesalers and retailers) as well as final (consumers) buyers know all the differential benefits derived from product usage. This differential advantage represents the primary basis for persuading intermediate and final buyers to purchase and use a particular food product.

The tools available for persuasion include advertising, personal selling, consumer, and trade promotions.

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