Where and how does marketing succeed? Does success lie only in rising sales graphs? Or is it in retaining the customer? Well the answer is neither. Marketing succeeds in understanding what the customer really wants. Earlier marketing was believed to be a tall claim, or a bundle of false promises. People used to run away at the very sight of a salesman, or they used to get angry. Here is how one person interpreted marketing as a organization-wide function, when multinationals were squeezing consumers (Late 1980s-Early 1990s)
The truth is that marketing has moved from being a trap, where customers unaware of the product(s) could easily confused or conned by sales staff hungry for their incentives. Over the years, the customer has only become more aware, of the products, and also aware of what he wants.
Irrespective of education, income class, and other demographic classifications, the penetration of advertising through different forms, and media, has kept the customer, informed of what is happening in the market, irrespective of whether the product/communication is sought by him or not. Thanks to advancement in internet, technology, and the birth of social media, the customer is not just informed now, but he is interactive too.
Now when it is becoming a very consumer centric market, how does marketing succeed? The mind of the customer is as cluttered as the market is with competitors' products. The media is cluttered with ads from different advertisers. How does marketing ensure that the journey through the funnel is fruitful at the end?
The need of the hour is 'need-based' products and services. Such need based products will give the marketer an unassailable faith in the marketability. This means identifying a need-gap(or creating one) in the market, and acting to fill the said gap. A shift from product focus to customer focus, will necessarily have to be met by changes in planning, and strategy.
This probably will be "the" way to look at marketing for entrepreneurs, especially in this age, where almost every industry is 'seemingly-saturated' in terms of competition.