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SATISFYING CONSUMER NEEDS
Marketing doesn't stop with the ideas obtained from discovering consumer needs. Since the organization obviously can't satisfy all consumer needs, it must concentrate its efforts on certain needs of a specific group of potential consumers. This is the target market, one or more specific groups of potential consumers toward which an organization directs its marketing program.
There are many possible ways to satisfy the needs of target customers. A product can have many different features and quality levels. Service levels can be adjusted. The package can be of various sizes, colours, or materials. The brand name and warranty can be changed. Various advertising media – newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards – may be used. A company’s own sales force or other sales specialists can be used. Different prices can be charged. Price discounts may be given, and so on. With so many possible variables, is there any way to organize all these decisions and simplify the selection of marketing mixes? The answer is yes.
Having selected the target market, the firm must take steps to satisfy the consumer’s needs. Someone in the organization's marketing department, often the marketing manager, must take action and develop a complete marketing program to reach consumers by pulling a combination of four levels, often called the four Ps.
• Product: a good, service, or idea to satisfy the consumer's needs.
• Price: what is exchanged for the product.
• Promotion: a means of communication between the seller and buyer.
• Place: a means of getting the product into the consumer's hands.
The four Ps are the elements of the marketing mix. These are the marketing manager's controllable factors, the marketing actions of product, price, promotion, and place that he or she can take to solve a marketing problem. The marketing mix elements are called controllable factors because they are under the control of the marketing department in an organization.
Two more questions are to be answered in this text. The first one is: What is marketed? Goods, services, and ideas are marketed. Goods are physical objects, such as toothpaste, cameras, or computers that satisfy consumer needs. Services are intangible items such as airline trips, financial advice, or telephone calls. The second is: Who buys and uses what is marketed? Both individuals and organizations buy and use goods and services that are marketed. Ultimate consumers are the people -- whether 80 years or 8 months old -- who use the goods and services purchased for a household. A household may consist of one person or ten. Organizational buyers are units such as manufacturers, retailers, or government agencies that buy goods and services for their own use or for resale.
1. Write a short summary of the text in Russian (10-12 sentences). Exchange the summaries with your partner and translate them into English.
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