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Marketing Shapes Consumer Needs and Wants

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Marketing Shapes Consumer Needs and Wants

Paul Giroux

Liberty University

Strategic Marketing Management

BUSI 520-B02

May 29, 2011

Marketing Shapes Consumer Needs and Wants

Marketing influences consumers by raising consumer awareness. For example, senior citizens receive mail catalogs full of products with descriptions written to shape their perception of what they may need or want. Demand for the offering must be developed; marketing managers work to educate the consumer thus creating demand for the particular product. Kotler and Keller (2009) stated, "Responding only to the stated need may shortchange the customer."(p.13). A product may solve a problem they are experiencing, but of which they are not informed. People like to solve their own problems, especially in the case of senior citizens; engaging seniors as a target market allows a marketing manager the opportunity to specialize the advertising appeal. Example of this is an offering for a bathtub with a door opening for entry while standing up. It is not a necessity, but marketing develops product involvement and it sells because independent living appeals to this demographic. Marketing managers seek to address the 5 types of needs described by Kotler and Keller (2009, pp. 12-13).

Kotler and Keller describe the selling concept that consumers and businesses, if left alone, won't buy enough of the organization's products. Companies must keep the marketing machine churning, more stuff to more people thus making more money. Marketing needs to address the need of the buyer; a need it does not create but it shapes. Marketing plans need to be developed with vision for long-term and short-term. Short-term marketing example could include a special on a product that is new, overstocked, or just needs to be sold. The long-term benefit may be the resulting increase in sales, and new customers returning to purchase at regular prices.

Whole Foods Market operates a brilliant model of this planning by giving prepared samples of products to its customers. The ability to experience the product without paying for it regularly results in immediate purchase. Having the consumer experience the product in this way accomplishes much; the polite manner in which the offering is introduced has a friendly and favorable appeal. "WFM celebrates food like it is a theatrical production."(Moore 2005) They enjoy customer loyalty even though the consumers spend more for the same items than at other stores. The product is top quality and the selling technique, accompanied by friendly faces, sharpens appeal and drives an increased demand. WFM saves money by using inventory on hand, and



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