Understanding The Marketing Process

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By James Byrd, MBA

Our basic survival requirements such as air, food, water, clothing, and shelter are consumer needs. When focused on a particular object or objective such as the desire for a slice of pizza, the needs will transform into wants which will, in this case, satisfy the basic need, lack of food, (Kotler and Keller, 2012, p. 31). This example is the same as a real need. As presented by (McShane, and Von Glinow, 2003), needs are deficiencies that energize or trigger behaviors to satisfy those needs, this will lead one to want to reduce or meet those needs. And again, these are just the primary needs of the consumer which reflect the physiological needs, such as thirst, hunger, clothing, and of course shelter. The secondary needs are such that they are acquired needs much like a sense of belonging, status and self-esteem fulfillments. We are talking needs vs. wants. The basic needs must be met first in order to build on-ward towards the wants which are somewhat status symbols which are premium products.

Now let’s take another look at the pizza example again, in India it is a known fact that most citizens there are somewhat leery when it comes to eating meat. One might get away with offering cheese pizzas to the general public there, or better yet, the vegetable topping pizza would be up to the idea of the task environment. Which will include the actors/marketers engaged in producing, distributing and promoting the offerings reflective of the demographics, and, in this case, we are talking social-cultural environment, (Kotler and Keller, 2012, p. 33). With this, we see a prime example of target marketing, positioning, and segmentation of a product offering. It is a strategic decisional process.

Remember, a consumer’s needs are somewhat different from their extravagant wants. Consumer needs are those which one might yearn to fulfill a basic need such as nutritional food as opposed to that of junk food, or that of water vs. alcoholic drinks.

In essences, it can be said that marketers do not create needs, needs generate markets and opportunities. Societal factors influence wants, thereby causing marketers to funnel their resources into that apparent direction, that of effective demand fulfillment. Again, the marketing concept is a customer-centered needs-based process geared towards the sense-and-respond philosophy. The product should meet the basic requirements of the feedback of the customer.


Kotler, P., Keller, K.L. (2012) Marketing Management (14th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Hall.

Boundless. “Customer Wants and Needs.” Boundless Marketing. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 19 Jan. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/introduction-to-marketing-1/introduction-to-marketing-18/customer-wants-and-needs-107-4453/

Consumer behaviour.. (n.d.) >The Free Library. (2014). Retrieved Jan 19 2016 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Consumer+behaviour.-a0148138197

McShane, S., Von Glinow, M. A. (2003). Organizational Behavior: Emerging Realities for the Workplace Revolution. (2ed.). New York, NY: McGrow-Hill


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