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Does Marketing Create or Satisfy Consumer Needs? Comment on the “Dark Side” of Marketing

Does marketing create or satisfy consumer needs? Comment on the “dark side” of marketing I believe marketing does both by first trying to satisfy the consumer’s needs and then second use the knowledge gained from their customers to introduce new products or services that will provide the best benefits for their consumers. “Marketing has helped introduce and gain acceptance of new products that have eased or enriched people’s lives. It can inspire enhancements in existing products as marketers innovate to improve their position in the marketplace. ” (Kotler and Keller, 2012, pg. 4)

Marketers must constantly keep up to date with customer needs and the marketplace due to increasing competition. Marketers have to not only satisfy consumers but they also need to satisfy the objectives of their companies which are mainly to increase profits and capture a larger market share. In order to both satisfy consumer and owners, marketers are continually trying to introduce new or enhanced products into the marketplace. New offerings are made often in order to beat out competitors. “More than ever, marketers need to understand and adapt to the latest marketplace developments.

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At greatest risk are firms that fail to carefully monitor their customers and competitors, continuously improve their value offerings and marketing strategies, or satisfy their employees, stockholders, suppliers, and channel partners in the process. ” (Kotler and Keller, 2012, pg. 4) In my opinion, the creation of consumer needs stems from socio-economic conditions more than marketing abilities. If people have the financial means, they can purchase whatever they want so there will always be demand. On the flipside, if people do not have the financial means, they will be limited in what they can purchase.

Marketing plays a role in providing choices to satisfy people’s needs. As an example, in this current day people are crazy over mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, android phones and tablets. Twenty years ago, people did not have cellular phones nor did they need them, they could use all the public pay phones instead. It was only after cell phones were made available that people realized they did want them and then later need them. Today, more and more people need mobile devices in order to conduct business or stay in touch with their loved ones.

If people have the means, they will buy the latest and greatest tech gadget, no matter what the price may be. Marketing gives people the choice of which gadget consumers they can buy. Capitalism at its best, supply and demand. However, there has been criticism that marketing has led people to purchase goods or services that were either not needed or more expensive. Abraham Maslow believed that people have basic needs and are motivated to full fill those needs before moving on to other needs. For instance, one of the basic needs people have is eating. Marketing does not make a person hungry, it is more human nature.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a product or service is made by the consumer. I believe that pressures from society as well as marketing tactics may influence a consumer’s decision making. However the responsibility solely rests on the consumer; they can easily choose to buy, buy something else, or not to buy at all. What is the greater benefit, having more choices or not having choices at all? I personally enjoy having more choices. “Marketers do not create needs: Needs preexist marketers. Marketers, along with other societal factors, influence wants.

They might promote the idea that a Mercedes would satisfy a person’s need for social status. They do not, however, create the need for social status. ” (Kotler and Keller, 2012, pg. 10) Cite examples of companies that have compromised their ethics/values for increased sales and profits. I just did a paper on Enron and Sarbanes-Oxley so I am going to cite Enron as my first example. Enron compromised their ethics and values as well as the confidence of investors by conducting accounting fraud with the sole goal to deceive people into believing the company was profitable.

The CFO at the time purposely hid losses in other partnerships in order to keep the bottom line attractive, thus keeping the value of Enron stock share high. (Beatty,J. , 2002) Tobacco companies are another good example where tobacco companies threw ethics and values out the window in order to sustain sales and profits despite knowing the health dangers smoking caused. (Bartz, D. 2009) Fast food restaurants are another good example particularly in the U. S. where recent reports show that obesity has increased. In the past five years, America has gotten into a health kick.

The documentary, “Super Size Me” shed light on how eating fast food at McDonald’s was not healthy and had some comparing fast food deceit to the tobacco health deceit. As a result, many fast food chains (including McDonalds) started providing healthier alternatives. There is also new health law that requires fast food chains to report the calorie information on their menus. (Rosenbloom, S. 2010) References Bartz, D. (2009, May) U. S. appeals court agrees tobacco companies lied, Reuters – Retrieved from http://www. reuters. om/article/2009/05/22/us-court-tobacco-idUSTRE54L44820090522 Beatty, J. (2002, March) – The Enron Ponzi Scheme – The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www. theatlantic. com/magazine/archive/2002/03/the-enron-ponzi-scheme/3156/ Kotler, P. , Keller, K. L. (2012). Marketing Management, 14th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishing. Rosenbloom, S. (2010, March) Calorie Data to Be Posted at Most Chains, The New York Times – Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/2010/03/24/business/24menu. html

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