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Essay by   •  July 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  339 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,562 Views

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Marketing has often been defined in terms of satisfying customers' needs and wants. Critics,

however, maintain that marketing does much more than that, marketing creates needs and wants

that did not exist before. According to these critics, marketers encourage consumers to spend more

money than they should on goods and services they really do not need.

Take a position: Marketing shapes consumer needs and wants versus marketing merely reflects the

needs and wants of consumers.

Suggested Response

Pro: With the vast amount of information available to marketers today and the emphasis on

relational marketing, marketers are in more of a position to suggest needs and wants to the public.

Certainly, not all consumers have all the needs and wants suggested by society today. However,

with the vast amount of exposure to these societal needs and wants via the media, a substantial

amount of consumers will, through mere exposure, decide that they "have" the same needs and

wants of others. Marketers by their efforts increase peer pressure, and group thinking, by showing

examples of what others may have that they do not. An individual's freedom to choose is

substantially weakened by constant and consistent exposure to a range of needs and wants of

others. Marketers should understand that when it comes to resisting the pressure to conform, that

individuals are and can be weak in their resolve. Marketers must take an ethical position to only

market to those consumers able to purchase their products.

Con: Marketing merely reflects societal needs and wants. The perception that marketers influence

consumers' purchasing decisions discounts an individual's freedom of choice and their individual

responsibility. With the advent of the Internet, consumers have greater freedom of choice and

more evaluative criteria than every before. Consumers can and do make more informed decisions

than previous generations. Marketers can be rightly accused of influencing wants, along with

societal factors such as power, influence, peer pressure, and social status. These



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