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Does Marketing Create or Satisfy Needs?

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First we must look at the types of goods or services that are commonly advertised and break those up into segments. The segments that we'll use will be: primary goods/services, and luxury goods/services. In my discussion of the primary segment I will cover some basic needs products such as foods (groceries, supermarkets), housing (real estate), and personal grooming (soaps, shaving, and tooth-paste). These are the goods that consumers are purchasing no matter what the state of economy is. The luxury segment will cover goods/services whose sales can be easily impacted by the economy. These include but are not limited to clothing retailers (brand name), electronics (computers, TVs, iPods, phones), personal pampering (salons, spas), and food service providers (restaurants, cafés, lounges). The purchase of these goods/services is heavily dependent on the economy, because the consumers usually pay for them with money left over from the purchase of the basic needs items. Now that the categories have been established we can look at how marketing affects the purchase of these goods.

Primary goods retailers like supermarkets and superstores usually already have a fairly loyal customer base and particular share of the local market. The goods that they are selling are in constant demand; it's just a matter of where the purchase will be made. The brands are pitted against each other in fierce price battles in a market where the customer's in-store experience is the most important marketing aspect. So advertising for them is usually limited to two main goals: maintenance of brand equity in the marketplace and swaying new customers into their stores. Since the customers are walking into the stores already having already made up their minds regarding the purchase, the only time that the decision as to where they're going to make the purchase can be influenced is through word of mouth or by an ad beforehand. (A note about word of mouth: the person who had spread the word of mouth had often him/herself initially been influenced by a marketing campaign) Without the brand equity ads the brand risks losing its current market share. In a busy and competitive marketplace customers need to be constantly reminded of the brand's existence. Not seeing advertisements may lead the least committed of consumers to assume that the brand as weaker in relation to competitors who are advertising and may therefore be swayed.



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