Essay on Marketing: Top 9 Essays on Marketing

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Essay on‘Marketing’. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Marketing’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Marketing

Term Paper Contents:

  • Essay on the Challenges and Opportunities of Marketing

Essay # 1. Introduction to Marketing:

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Marketing is everywhere. Everything from presenting yourself for a job interview to selling your products includes marketing. Main objective of any company is to gain profits which can be achieved only through marketing of the products. Marketing enables the companies to create demand and earn profits. If these two aspects are not taken care of, then the company will not survive in the market.

“Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers, and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.” – (American Marketing Association)

“Marketing is a social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.” – (Philip Kotler)

Thus it can be safely said that a company reaches its customer through marketing and communicates to them about the products and services offered by the company.

ADVERTISEMENTS: (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Essay # 2. Evolution of Marketing :

In earlier days, an organization was mainly concerned with production of goods. It used to believe on mass production and paid less or negligible attention on quality of the product and the customer’s demand.

After some time, the focus of organization shifted from production of the product to the sale of the product. The concept of marketing emerged gradually in 1970’s after the production and sales era. It took many years for organizations to realize that a customer is the key for making profits in the long run. The marketing concept is evolved through various stages.

These stages are explained below:

1. Production Era :

The production era began with the Industrial Revolution in the 17th century and continued till 1920s. Say’s law – Supply creates its own demand – was applicable in this era. The demand for products was more than the supply in the market; thus, it was a seller’s market. In the production era, the main aim of an organization was to manufacture products faster and at low prices. In this era, customers were concerned only about the availability of products and no importance was given to features and quality of products.

2. Sales Era :

The sales era came into existence in 1920s and continued till the mid of 1950s. This era was marked by the great depression of 1923. The depression proved that manufacturing products was not everything because the sale of the products was also important for organizations to earn profit.

Thus, the need for developing promotion and distribution strategies emerged to sell products. The organizations started advertising their products to increase their sales. Many organizations created specialized market research departments to collect and analyze the prevailing market data.

3. Marketing Era :

The sales era merely focused on selling the goods and ignored the consumers’ needs and demands. The year 1970 marked the advent of marketing era. In the marketing era, organizations realized the importance of customers and started designing the products as per customers’ needs.

Therefore, the marketing era led to the development of customer-centered activities over the production and selling activities. Organizations came up with different techniques, such as customer survey, to collect and analyze data for understanding the customer’s expectations, needs, and wants.

ADVERTISEMENTS: (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Essay # 3. Approaches to the Study of Marketing:

The meaning of marketing is different to different people. In common parlance, marketing is the process of selling something at a market place. To a salesman it means selling whereas to an advertising manager it means advertising. To some it means the study of individual commodities and their movement in the market place, to some others marketing means the study of institutions and persons who move their products or study of the economic contributions.

Thus, there are different approaches to the study of marketing:

1. Commodity Approach:

The commodity approach focuses a specific commodity and includes the sources and conditions of supply, nature and extent of demand, the distribution channels used and the functions, such as buying, selling, financing, advertising storage etc. various agencies perform. Prof. Paul Mazur defined as “the delivery of a standard of living to society. Prof. Malcolm McNair expanded the definition to “the creation and delivery of a standard of living”.

2. Institutional Approach:

The institutional approach focuses on the study of various middlemen and facilitating agencies.

3. Functional Approach:

The functional approach considers different kinds of functions recognized for their repetitive occurrences and necessarily performed to consummate market transactions. Converse, Huegy and Mitchell define marketing as the “business of buying and selling and as including those business activities involved in the flow of goods and services between producers and consumers.” American Marketing Association, perhaps, gives more factual or descriptive definition. It defined marketing as the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or user.

4. Managerial Approach:

The managerial approach concentrates on the decision making process involved in the performance of marketing functions at the level of a firm. Howard, Phelps and Westing and Lazo and Corbin are the pioneers of the managerial approach.

5. Societal Approach:

The societal approach consider the interactions between the various environmental factors (socio-logical, cultural, political, legal) and marketing decisions and their impact on the well- being of society. Kotler, Feldman and Gist, were the main proponents of the societal approach.

6. Systems Approach:

The systems’ approach is based on Von Bartalanffy’s general systems theory. He defined system as a “set of objects together with the relationships among them and their attributes”. This approach recognizes the inter-relations and inter-connections among the components of a marketing system in which products, services, money, and equipment and information flow from marketers to consumers that largely determine the survival and growth capacities of a firm.

7. Modern Concept:

The new managerial awareness and desire reflected in the consumer orientation for all all-out commitment to the market consideration and to connect all marketing operations to the consumer needs has given birth to a new operational concept. Felton views the marketing concept as “a corporate state of mind that insists on the integration and coordination of all marketing functions that, in turn, are welded with all other corporate functions, for the basic objective of producing maximum long-range corporate profits.

According to Kotler, the marketing concept is a customer orientation backed by integrated marketing aimed at generating customer satisfaction as the key to satisfying organizational goals. According to McNamara,” marketing concept is … a philosophy of business management, based upon a company- wide acceptance of the need for customer orientation, profit orientation, and recognition of the important role of marketing in communicating the needs of the market to all major corporate departments”.

Lazo and Cobin describe marketing concept as ” the recognition on the part of management that all business decisions of a firm must be made in the light of customer needs and wants; hence, that all marketing activities must be under one supervision and that all activities of a firm must be coordinated at the top, in the light of market requirements”. King has given one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the marketing concept. He defined it as, “a managerial philosophy concerned with the mobilization, utilization and control of total corporate effort for the purpose of helping consumers solve selected problems in ways compatible with planned enhancement of the profit position of the firm”.

These definitions suggest that marketing is only concerned with the movement of goods and services from the plant to the consumer. This is thus a production-oriented definition more appropriate for a sellers’ market and dangers in case of buyers’ market. In fact, marketing is related with the sophisticated strategy of attempting to offer what the consumer may want and at a profit.

ADVERTISEMENTS: (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Essay  # 4. Objectives of Marketing:

According to Peter F. Drucker, “Marketing means such a perfect understanding of the customer that the product fits him totally and sells itself. Marketing would result in a customer who is ready to buy all that, what should be needed then is to make the product available.”

Organization’s marketing strategies are designed in tune with various marketing objectives.

The objectives of marketing aim at:

1. Creating demand for the products by identifying the needs and wants of customers. The consumers get familiar with the usage of products through different promotional programs, such as advertising and personal selling. This helps in creating demand for the products by the customers.

2. Increasing the market share of the organization. The marketing efforts, such as promotion, create the product awareness in the market. The product awareness helps in capturing the reasonable share in the market by organization.

3. Building the goodwill of the organization in the market. Every organization tries to earn reputation in the market by providing quality goods to the customers. It builds its goodwill by popularizing products supported by advertising, reasonable prices, and high quality.

4. Increasing profits and achieving long-term goals through customer satisfaction. All the marketing activities revolve around the customer. These activities fulfill the organization’s long-term goal of profitability, growth, and stability by satisfying the customer’s demands. All the departments, such as production, finance, human resource, and marketing, coordinate with each other to fulfill the customer’s expectations keeping the maximization of profit as the focus.

Essay # 5. Marketing Process:

Marketing Process —– The marketing process is one that invol­ves the following chain of business activities:

1. Identification and study of the desires, needs, and requirements of the^ consumers;

2. Testing the validity of the consumers’ reaction in respect of product features, price, distribution outlets, new product concepts, and new product introduction;

3. Matching the consumers’ needs with the firm’s offerings and capa­bilities;

4. Creating effective marketing communications and programmes with emphasis on lower price, mass distribution channels and mass advertising to reach numerous market segments so that the consumers know about the product’s availability; and

5. Establishment of resource allocation procedures among the various marketing components like sales promotion, advertisement, distribution, product design, etc. 

Outline of functions in the Marketing Process : In order to place the goods in the hands of the consumers, an integrated group of activities is involved in marketing. Marketing functions cover all those activi­ties which are required for the journey of goods from the producer to the consumer. Goods require some preparations, undergo many operations and pass several hands before they reach the final consumer.

In consideration of the above factors, Clark has divided the modem marketing process into three broad categories as under:

(i) Concentration

(ii) Dispersion

(iii) Equalisation.

These are explained below.

1. Concentration – In a marketing process, concentration is that business activity in which the goods flow from many manufacturers/producers toward a central point or market. If we think of international trade, we find that the customers of a particular corporation or firm world reputation are scattered in different countries and even located thousands of miles, away, and the products are transhipped to points accessible to than. Similar scene is found even in the case of national trade. With the development of trade and commerce, the efforts in the direction of concentration acti­vity have to place more stress on the functions like collection, storage, transportation and inventory of goods in the central markets, and processing of customer’s orders. In addition, the aspects of financing and risk-bearing are also to be taken into consideration.

In India, the concentration activity is undertaken by the Governments at the Central and State levels. Food example, The Food Corporation of India undertakes this activity in case of grains, rice, sugar, etc.

2. Dispersion – In a marketing process, dispersion is that busi­ness activity in which the goods flow from the central locations to the final consumers. The wholesalers and retailers play a great role in this activity. This activity involves many other supporting activities like classification, gradation, storage and transportation of goods. The func­tional aspects of finance and risk-bearing need important considerations.

In India, the agencies like The State Trading Corporation of India, The Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India, and The Food Corpora­tion of India undertake this dispersion or distribution activity in respect of certain specified goods. Sane large scale manufacturing companies have, of late, undertaken this activity as a part of their marketing activities.

3. Equalisation – In a marketing process, equalisation refers to the adjustment of supply to demand on the basis of tint, quality, and quantity. This process helps to maintain the state of equilibrium between the forces of demand and supply. The primary responsibility of a business unit towards the consumers and customers is to make available the right products of right qualities at the right tine, in right quantity, at the right place and at the right price. The equalisation activity can serve these objectives.

Essay # 6. Integrated Marketing Communication Process:

Marketers operate is a very dynamic environment characterised by changing customer needs and wants, severe competition, changing process technology, advancements in information technology, government regulations, etc. That is why, they are adopting Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) involves integration of company’s various communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the company and its products and brands. Most of the companies communicate with target customers by using promotion tools like advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing. Through each of these tools, some message is transmitted to the target customers. IMC calls for careful blending of these promotional tools to ensure effective communication.

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) requires developing a total marketing communication strategy that recognises that all of a firm’s marketing activities (not just promotion) communicate with its customers. Everything a marketer does sends a message to the target market.

The EMC approach is an improvement over the traditional approach of treating various promotional activities as totally separate. It helps to develop the most suitable and effective method to contact customers and other stakeholders.

Often different tools play different roles in attracting, informing and persuading target customers. These tools are carefully coordinated under IMC so that they provide the same clear and consistent information about the company and its products/brands.

IMC leads to a total marketing communication strategy aimed at building strong customer relationships by showing how the company and its products can help customers solve their problems. It ties together all of the company’s messages and images.

The company’s television and print advertisements have the same message, look, and feel as its e-mail and personal selling communications. And its public relations materials project the same image as its Website or social network presence.

Communication Process:

Definition of Communication:

The term ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin word ‘communis’ which means common. That means if a person communicates with another, he establishes a common group of understanding. According to Newman, Summer and Warren, “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons”.

Communication does not mean merely sending or receiving message. It involves understanding also. It is, in fact, a bridge of meaning and understanding between two or more people. Thus, communication is a two- way process.

The salient features of communication are as follows:

(i) Communication involves at least two persons—one who sends the message and the second who receives the message.

(ii) Communication is a two-way traffic. The process of communication is not completed until the message has been understood by the receiver. Understanding is an essential part of communication, but it does not imply agreement.

(iii) The basic purpose of communication is to create an understanding in the mind of the receiver of information.

(iv) Communication may take several forms, e.g., order, instruction, report, suggestion grievance, observation, etc. The message may be conveyed through words spoken or written, or gestures.

Elements of Communication:

Communication is a process involving exchange of facts, viewpoints and ideas between persons placed in different positions in the organisation to achieve mutual understanding as shown in Fig. 11.5. The communication process starts when the sender or communicator has a message communicate to some other person known as receiver. It will be completed when the receiver gets the information and sends feedback to the communicator.  

The essential elements of communication are described below:

(i) Sender or Communicator:

The person who conveys the message is known as communicator or sender. By initiating the message, the communicator attempts to achieve understanding and change in the behaviour of the receiver. In case of marketing it is the marketer (sender) who starts the communication process.

(ii) Message:

It is the subject-matter of any communication. It may involve any fact, opinion or information. It must exist in the mind of the communicator if communication process is to be initiated. In marketing, the marketer’s message relates to product, price and place.

(iii) Encoding:

The sender of information organises his idea into a series of symbols (words, signs, etc.) which, he feels, will communicate to the intended receiver or receivers. This is called encoding of message. Communication may take place through physical gestures also.

(iv) Media or Communication Channel:

The communicator has to choose the channel for sending the information. Communication channels are the media through which the message passes. It may be either formal or informal. In marketing, media may be salespersons, advertisement and publicity.

(v) Receiver:

The person who receives the message is called receiver. The communication process is incomplete without the existence of receiver of the message. It is the receiver who receives and tries to understand the message. The receiver in case of marketing is the prospective or present customer.

(vi) Decoding:

After the appropriate channel or channels are selected, the message enters the decoding stage of the communication process. Decoding is done by the receiver. Once the message is received and examined, the stimulus is sent to the brain for interpreting, in order to assign some type of meaning to it. It is this processing stage that constitutes decoding. The receiver begins to interpret the symbols sent by the sender, translating the message to his own set of experiences in order to make the symbols meaningful.

(vii) Response:

Response refers to the set of reactions that the receiver has after being exposed to the message. In case of advertising, a response may mean developing a favourable attitude towards the product as a result of an advertising campaign. However, in many cases, measuring such responses is not easy.

(viii) Feedback:

Communication is completed when the communicator receives feedback information from the receiver. The feedback may reveal that the receiver has understood the message. It may also contain information about the action taken by the receiver on the basis of message sent by the communicator. Thus, feedback is the backbone of effective communication.

(ix) Noise:

Noise is a very common thing we observe in our day-to-day interaction with others. At times it affects adversely the effectiveness of communication. For example, if a person is talking over the phone to another and there is a noise around him, he will feel great difficulty in listening to the person at the other end of the phone. Even the noise can affect the voice of the sender of the message.

Hurdles or Difficulties in Marketing Communication:

There are four factors which might create hurdles or problems in communication between the marketer and the target customer.

These hurdles include noise, selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention as discussed below:

Noise is a sort of interfering sound in the communication process anywhere along the way from the sender to the receiver and vice versa. It can be sound of running bus, two persons talking close at hand or someone shouting around. Noise of any kind has the potential of creating disruption or barrier to effective communication. The sources of noise can be both internal and external. Noise within the office can be controlled, but it is very difficult to control the external noise.

Noise is one of the biggest obstacles in marketing communication. For example, a driver’s need to provide safety to the traffic sidetracks the role of billboards, banners, etc. during disturbed weather conditions —wind, dust storm, rain, etc. Similarly, too much advertisement exposure during the day of purchase of tyre for a car, would disturb the planned purchasing.

These constitute noise in the communication process. The level of noise may not allow a customer to receive the message as intended. The effectiveness of communication depends upon the level of congruity and compatibility between different elements of the communication.

(ii) Selective Attention:

A person may be exposed to hundreds or thousands of ads or brand communications in a day. Because a person cannot possibly attend to all of these, most stimuli will be screened out. This process is called selective attention. Because of this, the marketers have to work hard to attract consumer’s notice. Generally, people are more likely to notice stimuli that relate to a current need.

Thus, a person who is motivated to buy a car is most likely to notice car ads. The process of selective attention explains why advertisers make extra efforts to grab the audience’s attention through fear, music, or bold headlines.

(iii) Selective Distortion:

Selective distortion is the tendency to interpret information in a way that fit one’s perception. Consumers often distort information to be consistent with prior brand and product beliefs. Thus, the target audience will hear what fits into their belief systems.

As a result, receivers often add things to the message that are not there and do not notice other things that are there. The advertiser’s task is to strive for simplicity, clarity, interest and repetition to get the main points across.

(iv) Selective Retention:

People retain in their long-term memory only a small fraction of the messages that reach them. If the receiver’s initial attitude towards the brand is positive and he rehearses support arguments (that is, tells himself things such as the product is in fashion or that it is reasonably priced or that it delivers good value, etc.), the message is likely to be accepted and have high recall.

If the initial attitude towards the brand is negative and the person rehearses counter arguments (that is, tells himself that the product is highly overpriced or that the competing products offer more value to customers or that the brand is not doing well in the market, etc.) the message is likely to be rejected but to stay in long-term memory.

Thus, the advertiser’s task is two-fold here. He not only has to create an initial favourable attitude towards the brands but also through his ads communicate to the audience strong points about the brands so that the customers can rehearse the same and the brand is positively placed in the long-term memory of the customers.

Essay # 7. Role of Marketing in Economic Development :

In today’s era of globalization role of marketing is increasing to fulfill different needs and requirements of people. Due to increase in scale of production and expansions of markets, producers need support of marketing tools to distribute their goods and services to the real customer.

High competition in market and product diversification has increased the marketing activities like advertising, storage, sales promotion, salesmanship etc. Now high profits can be attained by high sales volume and good quality of products and services. Marketing has acquired an important place for the economic development of the whole country. It has also become a necessity for attaining the objective of social welfare and high quality of life.

The importance of marketing can be explained as under:

(a) Importance of Marketing to a Firm:

Marketing is considered to be the prime activity among all the business activities. Success of any business depends on success of marketing. Peter F. Drucker has rightly said that, “Marketing is the business.” Objective and goals of any organization can be achieved through efficient and effective marketing polices. The success of an enterprise depends to a large extent upon the success of its marketing activities.

The importance of marketing to the firm can be explained as under:

1. Marketing in Business Planning and Decision Making:

Marketing research is helpful in searching opportunities and potential in market. It is necessary for an organization to decide what can be sold before deciding that what can be produced. Unless and until these key decisions are taken, it is not practical to take the decisions regarding production, quality of product, type of product and quantity of production etc.

Marketing is very helpful in taking all such decisions therefore its plays an important role in business planning. Marketing provides valuable information regarding production policies, pricing policies, advertisement and sales promotion policies of competitors, so that a suitable policy may be formulated by the top management.

2. Increase in the Profits:

The main objective of every firm is to increase the profitability by successful operations of its activities. Maximization of profits can be possible only through the successful operations of its activities. Marketing department need the help of other departments as well for discharging its duties successfully, marketing department coordinate with other departments like finance, production, to fulfill the needs of customers and regular supply according to market demand.

3. Flow of Marketing Communication:

Integrated marketing communication makes it possible to flow marketing information to intermediaries, publics and customers. Marketing acts as a medium of communication between the society and the firm. Various information regarding trends, needs, attitudes, fashions, taste preferences etc., are collected by marketing department.

(b) Importance of Marketing to the Society:

1. To Uplift Standard of Living:

Ultimate objective of marketing is to produce goods and services for the society according to their needs and tastes at reasonable prices. Marketing discovers the needs and wants of the society, produces the goods and services according to their needs, creates demand for these goods and services encourages consumers to consume them and thus improves the standard of living of the society. By advertising utility and importance of products and services are communicated to the people.

2. To Decreases the Total Marketing Cost:

Next important responsibility of marketing is to control the cost of marketing. Distribution cost and production cost can be decreased by creation of high demand in market. Decrease in cost of production will have two impacts, firstly the high profitability of organization and secondly to increase in the market share of the firm.

3. Increase in the Employment Opportunities:

Marketing provides direct and indirect employment in society. Employment opportunities are directly related with the development of marketing. Successful operation of marketing activities requires the services of different enterprises and organizations such logistics, warehousing, transportation, retailing finance, etc.

4. In controlling Business Fluctuations:

Business fluctuations like recession and depression causes unemployment, and deflation. Marketing helps in protecting society against all these problems. Marketing helps in innovation and discovery of new markets for the goods, modifications and alterations in the quality of the product and development of alternative uses of the product. It reduces the cost of production and protects the business enterprise against the problem of recession.

5. Increase Per Capita Income:

Marketing operations create, maintain and increase the demand for goods and service. Marketing activities flow money from one part of economic system to other. By generation of new employment opportunities it helps to increases income of people.

(c) Importance of Marketing in Economic Development:

Marketing plays an important role in the development of a country. Most of developed countries like USA, Japan, and Germany are having strong marketing system, they are moving towards global marketing. Industrial growth and development need support of marketing, large scale of production requires new markets. In these countries, the production exceeds the demand it need marketing system to be much more effective so that the produced goods and services can be sold.

Marketing has a vital role to play in the development of an underdeveloped and developing economy. In developing economies the industrialization and urbanization is increasing at a faster rate and so the importance of marketing is also increasing as it is required for selling the produced goods and services. A rapid development of underdeveloped economy is possible only if the modern techniques of marketing are used in these countries marketing activities are increasing at a fast rate in developing countries.

Essay # 8. Importance of Marketing :

Role of Marketing in a Firm :

Efficient marketing management is a pre-requisite for the successful operation of any business enterprise. A business organisation is differentiated from other organisations by the fact that it produces and sells products.

The importance of marketing in modern business is discussed below:

Marketing is the beating heart of the business organisation. The chief executive of a business cannot plan, the production manager cannot produce, the purchase manager cannot purchase, and the financial controller cannot budget until the basic marketing decisions have been taken. Many departments in a business enterprise are essential for its growth, but marketing is still the sole revenue producing activity. Marketing function is rightly considered the most important function of management.

Marketing gives top priority to the needs of customers. Quality of goods, storage, display, advertisement, packaging, etc. are all directed towards the satisfaction of customer.

Marketing helps in the creation of place, time and possession utilities. Place utility is created by transporting the goods from the place of production to consumption centres. Time utility is created by storing the goods in warehouses until they are demanded by customers. Possession or ownership utility is created through sale of goods. The significance of marketing lies in the creation of these utilities to satisfy the needs of the customers and thereby earn profit. It a firm is able to satisfy its customers, it will have better chances of survival and growth even in the fast changing environment.

Marketing generates revenue for the business firm. Marketing is an important activity these days, particularly in the competitive economies. Marketing generates revenue for the business enterprises. No firm can survive in the long-run unless it is able to market its products. In fact, marketing has become the nerve-centre of all human activities.

Role of Marketing in the Economy :

Marketing plays a significant role in the growth and development of an economy. It acts as a catalyst in the economic development of a country by ensuring better utilisation of the scarce resources of the nation. Since a business firm generates revenues and earns profits by its marketing efforts, it will engage in better utilisation of resources of the nation to earn higher profits.

Marketing determines the needs of the customers and sets out the pattern of production of goods and services necessary to satisfy their needs. Marketing also helps to explore the export markets.

Marketing helps in improving the standards of living of people. It does so by offering a wide variety of goods and services with freedom of choice. Marketing treats the customer as the king around whom all business activities revolve. Besides product development, pricing, promotion, and physical distribution of products are carried out to satisfy the customer.

Marketing generates employment for people. A large number of people are employed by modern business houses to carry out the functions of marketing. Marketing also gives an impetus to further employment facilities. In order to ensure that the finished product reaches the customer, it passes through wholesalers and retailers and in order to perform numerous jobs, many people are employed.

On the whole, marketing leads to economic development of a nation. It increases the national income by bringing about rise in consumption, production and investment. It mobilises unknown and untapped resources and also facilitates full utilisation of production capacity and other assets. It helps in the integration of industry, agriculture and other sectors of the economy. It also contributes to the development of entrepreneurial and managerial talent in the country.

Essay # 9. Challenges and Opportunities of Marketing:

A large number of changes have taken place in the recent years which have influenced the field of marketing as discussed below:

1. Globalisation :

The term ‘globalisation’ means the process of integration of the world economy into one huge market through the removal of all trade barriers or restrictions among countries. In India, restrictions on imports and exports and inflow and outflow of capital and technology have been lifted by the Central Government so that Indian business may become globally competitive.

The broad features of globalisation are as follows:

(i) Free flow of goods and services across national frontiers through removal or reduction of trade barriers.

(ii) Free flow of capital across nations.

(iii) Free flow of technology across nations.

(iv) Free movement of human resources across nations.

(v) Global mechanism for the settlement of economic disputes.

The aim of globalisation is to look upon the world as a ‘global village’ which would allow free flow of goods, capital, technology and labour between different countries. Because of globalisation, there has been a tremendous impact on marketing strategies of business firms, particularly engaged in international marketing. They have to design product, price, promotion, place or distribution strategies to meet the challenges of global marketing.

2. Information Technology (IT) :

Information technology has enabled real-time access and sharing of digital information through digital networks, information database, and computer graphics. It has brought about many changes in the business landscape.

Electronic technology has facilitated purchase and sale of goods and services electronically. E-Commerce can be used not only to market product, but also to build better customer relationships. Thus, marketers are facing new challenges as regards booking of e-orders, e-deliveries of intangible products, receiving e-payments and Customer Relation Management (CRM).

3. Increased Leisure Time :

As a result of shorter working week, vacations, and labour-saving devices available for domestic use, most wage-earners now enjoy more leisure time. So there has grown a market for articles used for recreational purposes to enjoy the leisure time. In the developing countries also, cinema shows, holiday trips, sports and games have come into importance.

4. Changing Role of Women :

Throughout the world more and more women are taking up jobs and have gained economic independence to a large extent. They accept even challenging jobs. They also exert greater influence on buying decisions of their families. It may happen that husband buys a commodity according to the decision of the wife. This has necessitated special study of the buying motives of the working women.

5. Demand for Services :

Over the years, consumers’ demand for services is on the rise as in case of tour and travel, educational, medical, repair and maintenance services, etc. Due to growing complexity, business firms also need expert services like accounting, taxation, advertising, customer care, etc.

6. Increased Competition :

Business has become more competitive these days and this has brought about many changes in the field of marketing, e.g., product differentiation, competitive pricing, competitive advertising, customer support services, etc.

7. Social Emphasis :

Marketing is now concerned with the long-term health and happiness of consumers and well-being of society. Marketers in are getting involved in improving the quality of life of consumers and preventing or minimising the evil effects of environmental pollution on the society by practising green marketing.

Emerging Concepts in Marketing :

1. Social Marketing:

It refers to the design, implementation, and control of programs seeking to increase the acceptability of a social idea, cause, or practice among a target group. For instance, a recent publicity campaign for prohibition of smoking in Delhi explained the place where one can and can’t smoke in Delhi.

2. Relationship Marketing:

It is the process of creating, maintaining, and enhancing strong value-laden relationships with customers and other stakeholders. For example, British Airways offers special lounges with showers at many airports for frequent flyers. Thus, providing special benefits to valuable the customers to strengthen bonds will go a long way in building relationships.

To achieve relationship marketing, a marketer has to keep in touch with the regular customers, identify most loyal customers to provide additional services to them, design special recognition and reward schemes, and use them for building long-term relationships.

3. Direct Marketing:

It means marketing through various advertising media that interact directly with consumers, generally calling for the consumer to make a direct response. Direct marketing includes Catalogue Selling, Mail Order, Tele computing, Electronic Marketing, Selling, and TV Shopping.

4. Service Marketing:

It is applying the concepts, tools, and techniques, of marketing to services. Service is any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. Services may be financial, insurance, transportation, banking, savings, retailing, educational or utilities.

5. Non-Business Marketing:

Marketing is applied not only to business firms but also to non-business organisations. Voluntary institutions are adopting principles and practices of marketing to promote their ideologies, schemes and programs among the target groups.

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The overarching role of international marketing: Relevance and centrality in research and practice

  • Published: 18 May 2021
  • Volume 52 , pages 1429–1444, ( 2021 )

Cite this article

  • Saeed Samiee 1 ,
  • Constantine S. Katsikeas 2 &
  • G. Tomas M. Hult 3  

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Classic business literature asserts the central role of marketing as foundational to the existence of organizations, and further notes that marketing must permeate all areas of a business enterprise. Leveraging this premise, we examine marketing scholars’ contributions to the international business (IB) literature – specifically notable works in exporting and market entry. Despite the overarching role of marketing in business, our systematic examination of published works in JIBS identified only 11 marketing contributions among the top 100 most frequently cited publications. More recent Web of Science data for the most cited contributions since 2015 demonstrate a decline in the number of international marketing (IM) and IB-related contributions by marketing scholars. Our goal in this editorial is to re-emphasize marketing’s critical importance and centrality in IB research, especially with reference to its dominant role in such areas as exporting and market entry decisions, customer acquisition, and relationship management. This special issue is intended to highlight IM and to motivate more contributions by IM scholars, as well as to call for greater integration of marketing thought in IB research.

La littérature classique en management affirme le rôle central du marketing comme fondement de l'existence des organisations, et souligne en outre que le marketing doit imprégner tous les domaines d'une entreprise. Nous appuyant sur cette prémisse, nous examinons les contributions des chercheurs en marketing à la littérature du commerce international (IB – International Business ), plus spécifiquement, les travaux importants portés sur l’exportation et l’entrée sur les marchés. Malgré le rôle fondamental du marketing dans les affaires, notre examen systématique des travaux publiés dans la revue JIBS n'a identifié que 11 contributions liées au marketing parmi les 100 publications les plus fréquemment citées. Les données plus récentes sur le Web of Science liées aux contributions les plus citées depuis 2015 montrent une baisse du nombre de contributions relatives au marketing international (IM – International Marketing ) et au IB par les chercheurs en marketing. Dans cet éditorial, notre objectif est de souligner à nouveau l’importance critique et la centralité du marketing dans la recherche en IB, notamment par rapport à son rôle dominant dans les domaines tels que les décisions d’exportation et d’entrée sur les marchés, l’acquisition de clients et la gestion des relations. Ce numéro spécial a pour but de mettre en valeur le IM, de stimuler davantage de contributions de la part des chercheurs en IM, ainsi que d'appeler à une plus grande intégration de la pensée marketing dans la recherche en IB.

La literatura empresarial clásica reivindica el papel del marketing como primordial a la existencia de las organizaciones y además nota que el marketing debe permear todas las áreas de una empresa. Apalancándonos en esta premisa, examinamos las contribuciones de los académicos de marketing a la literatura de negocios internacionales – específicamente los trabajos más destacados sobre la exportación y la entrada del mercado. A pesar del papel global del marketing en los negocios, nuestro examen sistemático de los trabajos publicados en JIBS identificamos sólo 11 contribuciones de marketing entre las 100 publicaciones más citadas. Los datos más recientes de Web of Science de las contribuciones más citadas desde el 2015 demuestran una disminución en el numero de contribuciones relacionadas con marketing y negocios internacionales por parte de los estudiosos de marketing. Nuestra meta con este editorial es hacer hincapié a importancia fundamental del marketing y su centralidad en la investigación de negocios internacionales, especialmente con referencia a su papel dominante en áreas como la exportación y las decisiones de entrada al mercado, la adquisición de clientes y la gestión de relaciones. Esta edición especial busca resaltar el marketing internacional y motivar más contribuciones de académicos de marketing internacional, y también hacer un llamado a una mayor integración del pensamiento de marketing en la investigación de negocios internacionales.

A literatura clássica de negócios afirma o papel central do marketing como fundamental para a existência de organizações e, além disso, observa que o marketing deve permear todas as áreas de uma empresa. Aproveitando essa premissa, examinamos contribuições dos acadêmicos de marketing para a literatura de negócios internacionais (IB), especificamente trabalhos notáveis em exportação e entrada no mercado. Apesar do papel abrangente do marketing nos negócios, nosso exame sistemático de trabalhos publicados no JIBS identificou apenas 11 contribuições de marketing entre as 100 publicações mais citadas. Dados mais recentes da Web of Science para as contribuições mais citadas desde 2015 demonstram um declínio no número de contribuições de marketing internacional (IM) e relacionadas a IB por acadêmicos de marketing. Nosso objetivo neste editorial é reenfatizar a importância crítica e centralidade do marketing na pesquisa em IB, especialmente com referência ao seu papel dominante em áreas como exportação e decisões de entrada no mercado, aquisição de clientes e gerenciamento de relacionamento. Esta edição especial tem como objetivo destacar o IM e motivar mais contribuições de acadêmicos de IM, bem como pedir uma maior integração do pensamento de marketing na pesquisa de IB.

经典的商业文献断言市场营销对组织存在有着基础的中心的作用, 并进一步指出, 市场营销必须渗透到商业企业的所有领域。 利用这一前提, 我们研究了市场营销学者对国际商务 (IB) 文献的贡献, 特别是在出口和市场准入方面的著名作品。 尽管市场营销在商业中起着举足轻重的作用, 我们对JIBS发表的作品的系统检查发现, 在最常被引用的前100篇文章中只有11篇是市场营销的贡献。最新的Web of Science数据 (自2015年以来被引用最多的数据) 表明, 市场营销学者对国际市场营销 (IM) 和与IB相关的贡献数量有所下降。 我们这篇社论的目标是重新强调市场营销在IB研究中的至关重要性和中心地位, 尤其是参考市场营销在出口和进入市场决策、客户获取以及关系管理等领域的主导作用。 本期专刊旨在突出IM和激发IM学者做出更多的贡献, 并呼吁将市场营销思想与IB研究有更大的整合。

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INTRODUCTION

Marketing is the raison d’etre and the force that drives organizations. Among the many axioms advanced by Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, are that the purpose of a business is “to create customers”, and that an organization has only two functions: one role relates to marketing (i.e., innovation) and the other is marketing (Drucker, 1954 , p. 37; Trout, 2006 ; Webster, 2009 ). Drucker further observed that only innovation and marketing produce results (i.e., revenue streams); the rest are costs (Cohen, 2013 ). Product innovation is a key marketing strategy component and an important means of creating and keeping customers, and, hence, a central element of a successful competitive strategy. This marketing-based view is also shared by other management thought leaders. Ted Levitt ( 2006 , p. 129), for example, notes that “the entire corporation must be viewed as a customer-creating and customer-satisfying organism.”

The “marketing-based” position held by seasoned management opinion leaders underscores the “overarching” role and centrality of marketing as a philosophy that should drive virtually all organizations. In fact, McKenna ( 1991 ) takes this notion even further by claiming “…successful companies are becoming market driven, adapting their products to fit their customers’ strategies” (p. 66). Adopting market orientation and becoming a market-driven organization, in turn, require marketing to “permeate” all aspects of organizational decision-making, inclusive of international business activities, before a product is produced or externally sourced. Parenthetically, since marketing represents the interface of all businesses with their customers, it should be expected to play a central role in published academic works in business, including international business (IB) – the focus of attention in this editorial.

Many studies have examined research themes covered in IB journals. One such effort surveyed academic publications in the six leading IB-related journals, and identified and classified 112 articles with at least 20 citations each for the 1996–2006 period (Griffith, Cavusgil, & Xu, 2008 ). Collectively, with over 22% of the most-cited publications, marketing was identified as having the largest number of publications. 1 In keeping with business thought leaders’ position on the purpose of an enterprise, one would expect a higher proportion of (1) internationally oriented marketing topics and/or (2) published works on other topics, such as IB, that actively include marketing in some meaningful way. Surprisingly, much of the published research in IB excludes marketing considerations. As an example, in examining foreign market entry and expansion modes [e.g., foreign direct investment (FDI)], the ultimate goal – beyond the theoretical lens in use, efficiencies, drivers, order of market entry, and resultant models and theories – is to gain or create new customers and/or better serve current customers in markets worldwide. Such an approach constitutes a marketing-centric view of FDI.

The IB literature has demonstrated that firms engaging in FDI invest more in research and development (R&D) and innovation (e.g., Anand & Kogut, 1997 ); however, the IB literature is not explicit about why firms invest in innovation in the first place. 2 A marketing-centric view (e.g., Ellis, 2000 ; Knight & Cavusgil, 2004 ; Leonidou & Katsikeas, 1996 ) does not imply a necessity to include marketing in every (e.g., market entry) project. Rather, it consists of a researcher mindset that conceives of and fine-tunes research projects in light of the ultimate purpose of an organization (per Drucker, Levitt, and McKenna) when marketing is not an explicit aspect of the study. The business worldview from within the marketing discipline is that marketing permeates the entire organization (including innovation). IB scholars recognize the integrated nature of marketing across various firm activities in specific sectors (e.g., in the services industry per Rugman & Verbeke, 2008 , p. 409), however, creating and serving customers necessitate the broadening of this perspective across all industries, as predicated in marketing. Stated differently, framing marketing as a single value chain function, or adopting a strictly downstream view of it inhibits richer and more meaningful customer-centric, as well as increasingly more realistic conceptualizations of critical activities and decisions in IB (cf. Takeuchi & Porter, 1986 ). Among other downsides, the narrow conceptualization of marketing functions as downstream activities in the value chain undermines marketing’s true role and influence in shaping strategy formulation. Global strategy decisions envisioned and designed by the C-suite inherently involve a very significant level of marketing content, without which a sound global strategy is not possible.

Concurrently, Buckley ( 2002a ) voices concern that international marketing (IM) has neglected the proximal issue of globalization in studies of IM strategy. This concern is in line with the broader criticism that IM has also largely abandoned strategy issues (Kotabe, 2001 ). Indeed, the marketing discipline can be criticized for failing to fully embrace the influences of international and global dimensions across the many critical strategy pillars inherently thought of as marketing’s intellectual domain. An examination of research priorities published by the influential Marketing Science Institute (MSI) demonstrates the discipline’s relative inactive posture in IM/IB. In all, the 2020–2022 MSI Research Priorities report includes four internationally oriented topics among 126 research questions listed. 3 It is thus not too surprising that IM scholars have paid only scant attention to research opportunities at the intersection of IM strategy and globalization, which, in turn, has limited our understanding of the crucial role that marketing plays in establishing, developing, and sustaining effective business operations across markets worldwide. In parallel, we assert that investigations of globalization should also include marketing strategy considerations.

IM CONTRIBUTIONS TO JIBS

To develop a better understanding of the contributions of marketing scholarship to the IB literature and, more specifically, to the Journal of International Business Studies ( JIBS ), we examined all highly cited articles published in JIBS since the journal’s inception. We rank-ordered all articles by their total citation frequencies using the Web of Science (WOS) database. We identified 11 marketing articles on topics generally considered to belong to the marketing domain among the top 100 most-cited JIBS publications (Table 1 ). 4 We further observed that scholars with marketing ties have also made highly cited general IB contributions to the literature. Overall, it is evident that marketing scholars have made significant contributions in JIBS to the extant IM and IB knowledge. However, it is also apparent that the most highly cited IM publications in JIBS were published in the 1982–2002 period. This pattern raises a question about the relative impact of IM, as measured by WOS citation frequencies, in JIBS published works. We thus examined the most-cited JIBS publications since 2015 (Table 2 ). The data indicate that, in contrast to pre-2015, fewer marketing studies have been among the top 100 most-cited articles published in JIBS as of late. In addition, fewer contributions on broader IB topics are by authors with close marketing ties.

Despite the centrality and importance of marketing in business, the influence of IM scholars and IM publications in the broader IB discipline via the field’s leading journal has been on the decline. The marketing theme of this special issue of JIBS builds on business and management thought leaders’ (e.g., Drucker, Levitt) view regarding the purpose of a business enterprise; that is, we start with the premise of the critical importance of marketing to all facets of business and leverage broad-based agreement about the declining role of marketing in IB research as well as broader IB contributions by marketing scholars in JIBS . Our overarching objective in this issue is to motivate relevant and rigorous research that advances IM and, in turn, IB thought on an ongoing basis, beyond the confines of this special issue. If one subscribes to Drucker’s vision about the purpose of a business, then IM should be better integrated into and represented within IB publications, notably within JIBS , the leading and most highly cited journal in IB. To this end, our goals in this essay are to (1) highlight the role of IM within IB, (2) detail the many critical roles of marketing in today’s business enterprise, and (3) introduce the marketing contributions in this special issue.

THE ROLE OF IM WITHIN IB OVER TIME

Beyond Drucker’s view of the purpose of a business, IB at its core is inherently intertwined with marketing. For centuries, individuals and firms have sought to expand sales through exporting, which constitutes the most common foreign market entry and international expansion mode; for many firms, therefore, export marketing has defined IB. Indeed, all exporting is strictly rooted in marketing (see, for example, Anderson & Gatignon, 1986 ). 5 This view is implied in the broader perspective of export development, which emphasizes internal and external triggers to exporting (cf. Cavusgil & Nevin, 1980 ; Wiedersheim-Paul, Welch, & Olson, 1978 ), both of which are export marketing centered. Some scholars view all international market entry forms as essentially marketing driven (e.g., Douglas & Craig, 1989 ). Indeed, many early contributors to foreign market entry and the export development process are closely associated with the marketing discipline (e.g., Bilkey & Tesar, 1977 ; Cavusgil, 1980 ; Czinkota, & Johnston, 1981 ; Katsikeas, 1996 ; Samiee & Walters, 1991 ). Over time, some firms continue to reap the benefits of increased sales and profits via export marketing, whereas others, recognizing the broader and longer-term potential of global markets, have sought to establish different forms of engagement in markets abroad. For example, international leasing and licensing (i.e., limited-term rental contract of an asset) as means of foreign market entry or expansion constitute marketing activities, but they are often viewed as activities related to, for example, market expansion and operational strategy (e.g., Contractor, 1985 ; Ricks & Samiee, 1974 ). It may be that the role and critical importance of IM is widely recognized by IB scholars. However, making marketing’s presence more explicit in IB research can result in framing issues such that corresponding research findings will yield greater marketplace and marketing relevance, in line with Drucker’s and Levitt’s views on the purpose of business. In short, regardless of entry mode or a firm’s structural configuration, market expansion and increased sales via (in)direct marketing internationally is central to IB. Such a view highlights the centrality and critical role of IM activities, while emphasizing the significance of IM contributions to the broader IB field.

Interest in and focus on scholarly research in IM began to intensify during the 1980s, and empirical investigations of IM problems and challenges facing firms have received heightened research attention for decades. Initial scholarly research in IM was limited, though there is noteworthy work on export market entry triggers as well as motivations and explanations for internationalization decisions (Ford & Leonidou, 2013 ). Since this early research, IM scholars have amassed a growing, multifaceted, and well-developed body of knowledge. Despite these advances, however, the growing importance and relevance of IM remains underappreciated and understudied (Day, 1996 ). As an unfortunate outcome of this, IM topics in the top IB journals are sparse (cf. Griffith et al., 2008 ), and a current survey of several leading marketing and IB journals reveals a relative paucity of scholarly work on IM issues. 6 Given IM’s centrality to all enterprises, the primary purpose of this special issue is to reinforce IM’s broad-based importance, with a particular focus on IM in the broader IB context.

RESEARCH IN IM

A recent survey of the IM literature published in the top six IB/IM journals during the 1995–2015 period identified 1,722 published works (Leonidou, Katsikeas, Samiee, & Aykol, 2017 ). The knowledge structure on which this body of scholarly work indicates that many of the developments in IM thought are driven by 14 key knowledge nodes identified in Samiee and Chabowski ( 2012 ). 7 It is evident from the results of the investigation by Samiee and Chabowski ( 2012 ) that, in terms of knowledge base, IM has much in common with IB. A relatively high proportion (approximately 40%) of key sources used in IM research are also commonly cited in IB research, including Hofstede ( 1980 , 1991 , 2001 ), Porter ( 1980 , 1985 , 1990 ), Williamson ( 1975 , 1985 ), Buckley and Casson ( 1976 ), Bartlett and Ghoshal ( 1989 ), Nelson and Winter ( 1982 ), Penrose ( 1959 ), and Pfeffer and Salancik ( 1978 ). Of the 26 most influential works in IM, serving as foundational knowledge for the 2004–2008 period, the majority (18) were published in outlets not specifically designated as marketing-related (Samiee & Chabowski, 2012 ), thus demonstrating IM’s shared knowledge and close relationship to IB. Key IM knowledge nodes serving as the foundation of IM scholarship during this period appear in Table 3 .

IM research has evolved across numerous themes, with some areas receiving disproportionate scholarly attention over time (Leonidou et al., 2017 ). Foreign market entry and export marketing are among the oldest topics of interest for IM researchers, and these remain relevant and important. Collectively, origin-related research topics likely constitute the most popular IM theme among IM researchers and potentially the most researched area, with hundreds of publications (e.g., Kotabe, 2001 ; Papadopoulos, el Banna, Murphy, & Rojas-Méndez, 2011 ; Samiee & Chabowski, 2021 ). 8 Origin-related research – or more specifically, the country-of-origin line of research within IM – can be traced back broadly to Dichter ( 1962 ) and, more specifically, to Schooler ( 1965 ). Although the concept was applied strictly to customer product choice, it can and has been applied to other facets of IB (e.g., liability of foreignness). Beyond marketing, explicit recognition of business problems associated with nonlocal origins of firms began to emerge in the IB literature in the 1970s. For example, Buckley and Casson ( 1976 ) refer to the political problems of “foreignness,” and Boddewyn and Hansen ( 1977 , p. 550) note that “American companies were faced with handicaps due to their foreignness.” Although IB challenges related to nonlocal origins of products and firms seem intuitive, international marketers’ close proximity to markets and customers afforded them the opportunity to recognize the issue much earlier than appears to have been the case in the broader IB discipline. We highlight this issue to point to how IM and IB can and should leverage each other for a more comprehensive analysis and rapid advancement of the field.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES GOING FORWARD

Much of the intellectual capital in IM works has been devoted to various aspects of buyer behavior (Kotabe, 2001 ; Leonidou et al., 2017 ). This trend is not surprising given that, in general, a large majority of MSI research priorities ( 2020 ) are focused on customer-related issues (including three of the four internationally oriented themes out of the 126 research questions posed). Among international themes, one research question pertains to gaining global perspectives on prioritizing customer value at all touchpoints during the omnichannel customer experience; another theme seeks to understand whether customer behavior is the same or different in emerging markets; and a third issue addresses ways in which firms might integrate consumer-focused strategies globally. A sharp focus on the buyer and, more specifically, the consumer and his/her behavior highlights an ongoing emphasis on behavioral issues within marketing at the expense of advancing other equally salient issues in need of development. As a result, some important IM research areas are not receiving sufficient scholarly attention. To this end, 25 years ago, Day ( 1996 , p. 15) noted that “studies of cross-cultural differences in buyer behavior or the effect of country of origin do not suffice when the big issues needing answers are about global competitive interactions, global new product development and launch practices, sharing of market insights across borders, or the coordination and integration of multicountry operations.” An overemphasis on the buyer behavior aspects of IM, frequently via experiments, has indeed curbed scholarly efforts to advance IM and the exploration of “big issues”: for example, the short- and long-term effects of radical shifts in the external environment and competitive structures on various aspects of marketing strategy, notably, global supply chain management, innovation, and global product development activities, among others. In general, innovation can be related to and affect any facet of an enterprise’s operations (e.g., processes). The key innovation concern within marketing has centered on product breakthroughs and service delivery, as well as how firms can adapt to a changing landscape often marked by disruptive technological developments. Nevertheless, studies of global innovation or R&D can benefit from cross-fertilization, with significant advances in this area within marketing.

Despite the decades-long practice of international outsourcing by firms, few IM researchers have explored this critical area (e.g., Kotabe & Murray, 1990 ; Swamidass & Kotabe, 1993 ). As a result, scant research is available within this important area to shed light on IM practices [e.g., innovate vs. import (buy) new products; make vs. buy] that can facilitate enhanced IM performance. To this end, a fourth research priority identified by MSI ( 2020 ) is the global supply chain impact of the pandemic (p. 11). Sourcing considerations, such as exporting and importing, are by nature customer-centric and marketing-based. Nevertheless, much of the research in the area is conducted within other disciplines (Buckley, Doh, & Benischke, 2017 ). The importance of a focus on the bigger picture, including the organization, human capital, capabilities, innovation, and metrics, has been stressed in marketing (Moorman & Day, 2016 ). Behavioral components should continue to play important roles in advancing marketing (and IM); however, these topics need to be examined within the context of organizational priorities and not strictly limited to consumer-based studies.

Given the commonality of direct and indirect international involvement across firms and industries, a host of new and exciting challenges related to customers, suppliers, and relationship management are raised. Today’s global marketplace is characterized by disruptive external forces, intense competition from a multitude of foreign and indigenous companies, and heterogeneous customer behavior shaped by differences across a range of host-market conditions, notably culture. Technological advances create marketplace opportunities and novel business models and segments (e.g., social media, collaborative consumption/shared economy, product cocreation), while undermining long-established global brands, product/service markets, and business patterns and processes on a global scale. For example, local and international ride-hailing services such as Ola and Uber competing with long established global car rental firms; collaboratively developed HD DVD losing the industry-wide format war to the technologically more advanced Blu-ray by Sony shortly after its debut which, in turn, lost popularity as the market shifted to streaming services; photorefractive keratectomy developed in the U.S. essentially undermined the Russian-born radial keratectomy; and MP3/FLAC and streaming services largely replaced tangible music CDs developed through an R&D joint venture between Philips and Sony. Concurrently, new technologies are promoting new forms of interaction for businesses and customers that transcend national boundaries (e.g., social media; short message service-SMS; online reviews; using proprietary consumer data via artificial intelligence activated voice recognition to drive host-market demand, as is the case with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant). Concurrently, innovative breakthroughs and rapid dissemination of information have given rise to intellectual property theft on a global scale, undermining marketing strategies, global brands, and distribution network relationships and their management, while requiring all firms to canvass markets globally to identify potential abuses and to assert control over their intellectual property. 9

Although the Internet and information technology (IT) continue to have a significant influence on customers and businesses (e.g., exporters, importers, concept-testing, global marketing strategy planning), a citations-based review of the IM literature revealed that IT-related topics did not constitute a knowledge base in IM (Samiee & Chabowski, 2012 ). This finding was corroborated by Leonidou et al. ( 2017 ), who noted that less 4% of IM-related academic articles reviewed included various facets of Internet connectivity. In addition, a literature review of 29 academic journals addressing the Internet’s impact on relational approaches to foreign market entry identified only 94 published articles, constituting approximately 3% of all the articles reviewed (Watson, Weaven, Perkins, Sardana, & Palmatier, 2018 ). IT has transformed how firms enter and manage markets globally to varying degrees in ways that are often not self-evident. In addition, IT's ubiquity and intangible nature make its detection and true impact on IM difficult, thus leading to a growing knowledge gap. The paucity of IT-motivated IM research uncovered by these reviews demonstrate the need to incorporate various facets of IT in more IM projects, including initial online export/import information gathering, marketing research, market entry and development, and export customer acquisition by both manufacturers and channel intermediaries. Furthermore, a research focus on cross-border e-commerce, especially as a means of internationalizing the scope of smaller firms’ marketing, is underdeveloped. It is surprising that, while origin-related buyer behavior topics remain popular, almost no effort has been made to explore how origin affects choice in online and, in particular, international e-commerce contexts (e.g., Ulgado, 2002 ). Buckley ( 2002a ) rightfully identified e-commerce as a frontier in IM research nearly two decades ago. Firms allocate significant amounts of financial resources to adopt promising technologies to improve their marketing performance, yet little research has been devoted to assessing the performance impact of digital tools (e.g., customer relationship management software) in terms of establishing new cross-border relationships or maintaining existing ones. Although IM has generally ignored such impactful areas of research as the influence of the Internet in global marketing, the IB literature, and more specifically international management, has also been shortsighted with respect to its limited pursuit of pertinent Internet-related research topics (e.g., international human resource management, global strategy development, management of global collaborative ventures and partnerships) (Chabowski & Samiee, 2020 ).

Social media influence both the demand and the supply side of exchange. On the supply side, firms are engaging people by allowing them to participate in cocreation and product development processes. Enterprises are increasingly engaging the public in idea generation via social media (e.g., Dell IdeaStorm, LEGO World Builder), new product development, and start-up capital (e.g., Quirky, Kickstarter). The degree to which firms engage social media audiences internationally (including both global and local social media sites) for one or more aspects of cocreation, and the influence of such activity on multinational corporations’ competitiveness across markets, remain unexplored. Examining the extent to which customers from around the world participate in knowledge development processes and help firms improve their existing products and/or create innovative ones also remains a fertile research area (Bayus, 2013 ; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004 ).

Equally important research issues on the demand side also warrant research attention. For example, customers located in distant parts of the world use social media, but the impact of such engagement, and the positive or negative ripple effect it creates in or across social networks with respect to local and global brands, has received insufficient research attention (McAlexander, Schouten, & Koenig, 2002 ). Furthermore, the extent to which various customer segments rely on and ways in which they use social media across markets remain unexplored. This knowledge void, in turn, impacts the development of effective international cocreation strategies on the supply side. Relatedly, the global ubiquity of the Internet and social networks has made these media a major target for cybercriminals. Regular revelations of firm and customer data breaches are bound to have a consequential impact, not only on firm image and the customer engagement process, scope, and depth but also on demands for greater privacy and protection by customers and governments. Thus, IM research should explore the impact of, for example, cross-national privacy regulations on the efficacy of relationship development and management as well as online marketing processes.

Globalization has transformed the way business relationships are formed, managed, and evaluated, and customer engagement is likely to play a prominent role in business-to-business contexts. Business relationships are complex, interpersonal, and interdependent, and relationship marketing efforts can make a difference in promoting common goals and facilitating joint activities that create value for both partners; value that each company could not achieve outside the relationship or with other partners (Palmatier, 2008 ). In an international context, companies need to manage their cross-border relationships more skillfully to address geographic separation, cultural distance, administrative (e.g., currencies, legal jurisdictions) and economic (Katsikeas, Samiee, & Theodosiou, 2006 ; Leonidou, Samiee, Aykol, & Talias, 2014 ; Samiee, Chabowski, & Hult, 2015 ) differences between local and foreign markets, and increased levels of risk and uncertainty inherent in international operations (Johanson & Vahlne, 2009 ; Katsikeas, Skarmeas, & Bello, 2009 ). How does the international environment affect the activities, strategies, structures, and decision-making processes of companies with respect to their business relationships? How can companies manage their overseas business relationships as value-bearing assets? Are cross-border business relationships part of a value-creating network that delivers superior value to the end customer? What is the role of international relationship building and management in overcoming the liability of foreignness? Likewise, the roles of overseas business partners (e.g., distributors, suppliers) in knowledge development, innovation, and goal achievement are relevant and important areas that require research attention.

The fit between IM strategy and international relationships also deserves ongoing research attention. How can companies ensure that their different suppliers and partners abroad are well-aligned with their IM strategy? Strategy standardization offers significant economies of scale in value-adding activities (e.g., R&D, production, marketing), facilitates the development of a consistent corporate/brand image across countries, enhances coordination and control of international operations, and reduces operational and managerial complexity, whereas adaptation is based on the premise that variations between countries necessitate adjustment of the marketing strategy to the idiosyncrasies of each local market. The contingency approach suggests that the appropriateness of the selected IM strategy – typically positioned between the two standardization–adaptation extremes – should be evaluated based on its alignment, or fit, with dominant factors in the international environment, as fit facilitates enhanced performance outcomes (Katsikeas et al., 2006 ). Despite long-standing traditions in these areas, sensemaking in some overarching topics is needed. For example, the pursuit of a market orientation strategy demands sensitivity to local market conditions and IM strategy adaptation. Given the importance of market orientation for many firms, there is a need to better understand how market orientation influences IM strategy. On the one hand, market and customer orientation demand more localized or adapted IM strategies. On the other hand, a high degree of IM strategy standardization seemingly impedes a high degree of market orientation. How do firms reconcile their IM strategy and market orientation efforts? Moreover, how do customer relationships in particular and business relationships in general interact with the perennial issue of adaptation or standardization of IM strategy? Do overseas business relationships help the company determine which specific strategic elements are feasible or desirable to standardize or adapt? If so, under what conditions, and to what degree? To what extent is cocreation possible and appropriate under each IM strategy scenario?

In addition, the assessment of performance in international market operations is an issue that requires particular attention in the IM literature. The relevance and importance of IM resources, strategies, and actions is reflected in the extent to which these favorably influence firm performance outcomes achieved via international market operations and, in turn, contribute to organizational performance. However, there are a large number and wide diversity of IM performance measures employed in the literature, which makes the development of a coherent cumulative body of knowledge in the field particularly challenging (Katsikeas, Morgan, Leonidou, & Hult, 2016 ). Scant attention has been given in IM as to how performance should be conceptualized and operationalized, and studies commonly do not provide a definition or any justification for the assessment of performance that is adopted and for the specific measures used in the context of foreign market operations (Katsikeas, Leonidou, & Morgan, 2000 ; Leonidou, Katsikeas, & Samiee, 2002 ). Given that performance is inherently a multidimensional construct, it is essential that IM researchers be selective in choosing specific performance dimensions, and justify their choice on the basis of some theory-based logic, conceptual framing, and/or for pragmatic reasons. Performance assessment in international market operations should be in line with the theoretical perspective(s) adopted in the study. For example, empirical research grounded in the resource-based view and/or the dynamic capabilities perspective, which underpins much of the strategy-related and competitive advantage work in IM, requires a competitor-centered assessment of performance outcomes; that is, individual performance aspects and items need to be assessed in relation to competition in the foreign market targeted by the firm’s IM strategy (see Katsikeas et al., 2016 ).

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE

The call for papers for this special issue has been received with much enthusiasm, as demonstrated by the large number of submissions covering a wide range of IM topics. Accordingly, manuscripts accepted for inclusion in this issue represent the diversity of submissions, with each making a unique contribution to the IM body of knowledge. The first article focuses on the sharing economy (SE), which is a timely and important issue that influences business operations across industries worldwide. Kozlenkova, Lee, Xiang, and Palmatier’s meta-analytic effort examines the effects of value-based (i.e., utilitarian, social, hedonic, and sustainability value) and governance-based (i.e., trust) factors on SE participation and investigates their relative effectiveness under different global contingencies (i.e., economic/competitive, cultural, societal, technological, regulatory, and demographic factors). Based on 55 empirical articles, with 60 independent samples from 15 countries, representing 123 correlations across 26,377 customers during the 2009–2019 period, the findings suggest that hedonic value exerts the largest effect on SE participation, followed by trust and utilitarian value, while social value and sustainability have the smallest effects. The analysis reveals a complex pattern of global contingency effects that firms should consider when advancing their entry strategies, formulating governance mechanisms, and evaluating promising markets. Kozlenkova et al. integrate their key insights into three tenets, reflecting the most important and surprising findings. These tenets are grounded in the vitally important roles of inequality, the hierarchy of needs, and governance mechanisms that can serve as a platform for establishing an emerging perspective of global SE participation.

Marketing metrics represent another critically important topic that has received little research attention in IM or IB. Sound managerial decisions and marketing strategy are based on quantitative measures, including outcomes (Moorman & Day, 2016 ). In their contribution to this special issue, Mintz, Currim, Steenkamp, and de Jong focus on metric use in marketing decisions across 16 countries, using a cultural perspective. The authors leverage a rich dataset containing more than 4,300 marketing decisions in more than 1,600 firms across 16 countries. Respondents chose from 24 general metrics pertinent to marketing (12) and financial (12) decisions, plus 6 metrics specific to each of 10 marketing mix decisions. The findings indicate that, for all markets combined, an average of 9 metrics are used per marketing decision. With nearly 12 metrics per decision, South Korean managers use the highest number of metrics, while Japanese managers use the fewest, with approximately 4 metrics per marketing decision. China and India, each with approximately 11 metrics, are close to Korea and are heavy users of marketing metrics, whereas France and the United States, with nearly 6 and 7, respectively, are moderate users of metrics in decision-making. Importantly, satisfaction, awareness, and return on investment are the three most commonly used metrics across markets. In addition, the study finds that metric use is affected by both firm and country culture.

Business-to-business (B2B) electronic platforms (e-platforms) play a critical role in helping exporting firms reach, serve, and penetrate foreign markets. However, the IB literature is unclear about how and under what conditions firms can use B2B e-platforms to boost their export performance outcomes. Drawing on signaling theory, Jean, Kim, Zhou, and Cavusgil propose and empirically test a model that investigates how exporters’ e-platform use affects export sales performance by boosting foreign market contact (i.e., quotations from foreign buyers) and how the institutional environment and export growth strategies influence the e-platform use–foreign market contact link. Using survey and archival lagged data on a sample of 205 exporters that subscribe to Alibaba.com, the authors reveal that e-platform use enhances foreign buyer contact and, in turn, export sales performance. The findings also suggest that the positive impact of e-platform use among exporters is further boosted when they come from regions that have less-developed market intermediaries or under conditions of high institutional distance between the home and host countries. The study also demonstrates that the effect of e-platform use on a foreign buyer contact becomes weaker under conditions of high export market diversification or high product diversification.

Platform-based mobile payments have experienced significant growth worldwide in recent years, partly because they offer unique value for both customers and companies over other digital payment methods. Kumar, Nim, and Agarwal note, however, that patterns of such payment adoption grow differently across countries, with some emerging countries (e.g., China) outperforming developed ones. The authors propose a conceptual model of mobile payment adoption, and develop hypotheses using explanations from the literature on network effects and institutional theory. Based on data collected across 30 countries (17 developed and 13 emerging), the study confirms the existence of network effects and differential influences of perceived value, inertia, and cultural factors on the mobile payment adoption of innovators and imitators. The presence of significant heterogeneity both within and between countries regarding the adoption of mobile payments, which offers additional evidence of leapfrogging by emerging markets with regard to mass mobile payment use, has important implications for theory development and marketing management practice in IB.

Global brands and perceived brand globalness (PBG) research have received much scholarly attention in the IM literature (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 1999 ; Batra, Ramaswamy, Alden, Steenkamp, & Ramachander, 2000 ; Steenkamp et al., 2003 ). Contributing to this growing literature, Mandler, Bartsch, and Han tap the potential aversion to globalization among consumers and examine sentiments with respect to branding as the basis for corporate decisions regarding the appropriateness of global branding. The authors leverage signaling theory to conduct two studies that (1) assess brand credibility on the basis of consumer PBG and perceived brand localness (PBL) across two countries (Germany and South Korea), and (2) examine the role of three moderators (perceived country of origin, category social signaling value, and category cultural grounding). The findings demonstrate that both PBG and PBL are positively associated with brand credibility across markets; a split-sample test offers a contrast between globalized and globalizing markets, and demonstrates a relationship between brand credibility and PBL in Germany but not in South Korea, where brand credibility is associated with PBG. The study reports the impact of brand origin on brand credibility and demonstrates that effect of PBL on brand credibility does not vary with the brand’s origin in Germany, but the effect is stronger for domestic brands than for foreign brands in South Korea. The contrast between consumer perceptions in globalized and globalizing markets offers fruitful theoretical and managerial implications, while raising a series of consumer and IM strategy questions that have the potential to expand the boundaries of IM knowledge.

Origin-related research and animosity with reference to consumer perceptions, preferences, and choice have played major roles in the marketing literature (Klein, Ettenson, & Morris, 1998 ; Lu, Heslop, Thomas, & Kwan, 2016 ; Samiee, 1994 ; Verlegh & Steenkamp, 1999 ). In line with this stream of IM research, Westjohn, Magnusson, Peng, and Jung contrast animosity’s effect on product judgement versus willingness to buy. The first part of their contribution consists of a meta-analysis of 43 post–Klein et al. ( 1998 ) published works focusing on animosity, involving 18 nations, to address the inconsistencies reported in the literature. The authors follow this with an examination of the contextual role of culture on animosity effects using six experiments in the United States and China. They leverage three Hofstede dimensions (i.e., collectivism, long-term orientation, and power distance), measured at the individual level. The results indicate that collectivism and long-term orientation lessen the negative effects of animosity and support the position that animosity’s effect on willingness to buy is stronger than it is on product judgments. The findings offer useful insights for managers regarding, among others, consumers’ attitudes toward brands. Although the findings indicate that product judgements are not affected by animosity, the results indicate that product sales could be affected. In addition to demonstrating cross-cultural differences, the authors find that cultural values influence consumers’ willingness to buy.

The establishment, development, and management of cross-border interorganizational exchange relationships has received considerable research attention in the IB literature (e.g., Bello & Gilliland, 1997 ; Robson, Katsikeas, Schlegelmilch, & Pramböck, 2019 ; Skarmeas, Katsikeas, & Schlegelmilch, 2002 ). The starting point for Obadia and Robson’s study is the inconsistent findings in the literature regarding the effects of cooperation on performance in exporter–importer relationships. The authors argue that the relationship of cooperation with performance in IB associations has an inverted U shape; at high levels, the performance impact of cooperation weakens greatly and becomes negative. They also find that the importer’s specific investments mediate the link between cooperation and performance, which advances the idea that relational phenomena affect exporter performance only if they foster an importer’s productive behaviors. The study also points to the role of interdependence in moderating the inverted U-shaped relationship between cooperation and the importer’s specific investments. The findings reveal that a limited increase of interdependence enhances the impact of low to moderate levels of cooperation on the importer’s specific investments.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Overall, criticisms of IM scholarship (e.g., Buckley, 2002a ; Douglas & Craig, 1992 ; Kotabe, 2001 ) are generally well placed and to the point. Marketing and IM are pivotal to a firm’s existence and should play overarching roles in charting firms’ management and strategy. Yet IM has largely abandoned the “big picture” by focusing on microresearch and behavioral questions, notably, country-of-origin, and cross-cultural consumer behavior topics (Day, 1996 ; Kotabe, 2001 ; Leonidou et al., 2017 ).

Much work remains for IM scholars to advance the field by placing greater emphasis and effort on strategy-related topics and exploring macro-areas of business: for example, by bridging IM strategy with regard to market entry modes and globalization and addressing issues related to disruptive external change to global supply chains and e-commerce, among others. Indeed, Buckley’s ( 2002b ) position regarding the past successes of IB scholarship in exploring international market entry (the “big picture”) may seem premature if one agrees that marketing, a central concern of which is the customer and the idiosyncrasies associated with the demand-side, is largely absent from much of this success. The relative absence of “marketing” in much of the market entry literature is a call for IB and IM scholars to leverage this critical aspect of firms’ internationalization decisions. This view is consistent with Drucker’s position that “Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise” (Drucker, 1954 , pp. 38–39). Additionally, the fact that IB and IM are close in their fundamentals, and that the IM knowledge structure significantly taps into management scholarship (Buckley, 2002a ; Samiee & Chabowski, 2012 ), further validates marketing’s relevance and centrality in the broader international business thought. Consequently, the perceived proximity of these disciplines appears to be greater than one might expect. A major strength of IB has been its ability to embrace and integrate other business disciplines from which crucial research questions emerge (Peng, 2004 ). A more marketing- and customer-centric view of IB research is also in line with this position.

There appears to be ample research opportunity to adopt a marketing mindset in IB research and to explicitly introduce marketing considerations to achieve a marketing-based view of IB activities, most notably the macro-issues, including market entry mode choice, international expansion patterns, cross-border buyer–seller relationships, and strategic alliances. Although this special issue is primarily intended to inspire and broadly direct researchers’ focus on developing IM projects that fill key knowledge gaps in IM thought, in keeping with Drucker’s and Levitt’s positions regarding the marketing purpose of all enterprises, we very much hope that this work offers pathways for general IB scholars to embrace, leverage, and contribute to IM knowledge.

The proportion of marketing articles reported by Griffith et al. ( 2008 ) is likely inflated, as two of the six journals surveyed are dedicated entirely to international marketing topics.

This issue maybe exacerbated by the use of varying terminologies across disciplines; however, despite marketing’s centrality in business, “marketing” and “consumer” or “customer” are rare terms in much IB research (cf. Anand & Kogut, 1997 ; Hejazi, Tang, & Wang, 2020 ).

MSI is a non-profit organization led by academic researchers, in collaborations with industry, aiming to address marketing issues faced by firms. Although we do not observe an ongoing internationally related research momentum in its current list of priorities, MSI has periodically addressed selective IM-related topics.

We also calculated citation per year to account for the timing of the published works; however, as Tables 1 and 2 show, among the highly cited works, the most-cited set and the order of articles remain largely the same.

This includes intracorporate export transactions involving parts and semifinished products. International firms frequently require subsidiaries to effectively compete in quality, price, and service with other suppliers, effectively marketing themselves as the premier supplier to the internal customer. Even if intrafirm export sales were guaranteed, as is the case in some firms, the final assembled product must still compete with other firms in every respect. In other words, the marketing function of intracorporate export transactions is merely pushed to the firm assembling and selling the final product.

Several journals, led by Journal of International Marketing and International Marketing Review , are dedicated to publishing scholarly IM research.

This is based on the spatial configuration generated by multidimensional scaling for works published in 34 scholarly journals (2,709 articles) in the 2004–2008 period. Other analyses (factor analysis and clustering) produced slightly fewer knowledge groups.

Estimates of the number of publications in this IM domain vary. For example, Samiee and Chabowski ( 2021 ) identify more than 482 country-of-origin publications listed in the Web of Science database, whereas Lu et al. ( 2016 ) estimate that the number of country-of-origin-related publications exceed 600.

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Collins College of Business, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA

Saeed Samiee

Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

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Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

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Samiee, S., Katsikeas, C.S. & Hult, G.T.M. The overarching role of international marketing: Relevance and centrality in research and practice. J Int Bus Stud 52 , 1429–1444 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-021-00433-2

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The Role of Marketing in Business Essay

Introduction, the role of marketing, marketing strategies.

Marketing refers to the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service. It is basically the mechanism through which producers of commodities and service providers build up consumer interest in their goods and/or services.

Marketing comes up with an elaborate and systematic course of action that forms the base for sales methods, business communication and enterprise growth. It is an incorporated practice by way of which firms establish and develop solid client affiliations and build value for their commodity and service consumers and for themselves.

Marketing application was perceived as a creative trade in years gone by and it involved promotions, circulation and general trading. However, with the advancement of intellectual study in marketing, there is a wide scale use of other sciences like psychology, economics, mathematics, among others, which end up making marketing a science in itself.

Nevertheless, marketing is also interconnected to many of the imaginative arts. Marketing literature is normally proficient at recreating itself and its lexicon in relation to the prevailing times and the culture.

The whole process commences with marketing exploration and passes through market partitioning, commerce arrangement and implementation, finishing up with pre and after-sales promotional undertakings.

The main purpose of marketing is to identify the consumer of a product or service, to retain the client, and to gratify him or her. With the customer as the spotlight of any business, it is therefore appropriate to conclude that marketing is a key element of the running of such establishments. Over time, marketing developed to meet up the stasis in growing new marketplaces brought about by already developed client bases and overproduction of commodities and services.

Taking up and practicing of marketing schemes and strategies calls for business establishments to alter their emphasis from just production to the observed needs and wants of the commodity and/or service end users as the way of staying gainful.

Attaining organizational aspirations is usually dependent on establishing the needs and wants of the target clientele and working toward achieving them. Any business organization needs to satisfy the needs of its customers in a much better way than its competitors in the marketplace. This is what gives a distinction between good and bad marketing approaches.

Approaches used in the past are generally considered to be below par as compared to their contemporary counterparts. These approaches have had to change with time in line with consumer tastes. The earlier strategies were namely; the production approach, the commodity/service approach and the selling approach. In the production orientation, the profit driver(s) lay in the production processes.

An establishment laying emphasis on this orientation specialize focuses on generating as much as possible of a given commodity or a service(s). The company in question basically takes advantage of the economies of scale, ensuring that the least effective scale is hit. This approach is effective when a high demand for a commodity or service is in the offing and there is a certainty that customer likes do not swiftly alter.

The mainstay of the product approach is the commodity or service quality. An establishment using this approach assumes that so long as its commodity(s) and/or services are of acceptable quality then customers will always buy them.

Selling methods are the profit drivers in the selling approach. A firm employing this lays emphasis on the selling or promotion of a given commodity or service, minus establishing new customer wants or needs. As a result, this involves selling an already present commodity/service by use promotion skills. This orientation is not the best as it relies on likelihood that changes in customer likes and wants leading to a reduction in demand will not arise.

Good marketing has various approaches which include; relationship marketing which lays the spotlight on the consumer, business marketing which lays emphasis on an establishment or a firm and the social marketing approach that has its emphasis on the society. The mainstay of the relationship marketing orientation is establishing and maintaining good customer relations.

The entire association between suppliers and consumers is normally under focus here, with the intention being to provide the best possible consideration, consumer services and thus ensure client devotion.

In the business marketing orientation, establishment and maintenance of relationships between firms or companies is the main profit driver. In such a set up, marketing occurs between organizations. The commodity or service focus is on industrial goods or services rather than end user products.

The profit driver for social marketing is normally the gain for the society at large. The approach has the same attributes as the marketing approach but has an additional provision that there will be no detrimental activities to society in the commodity itself and all other processes involved in getting the product to the end user.

Good marketing needs to focus on the customer or the end user of a commodity or service. With this, a lasting relation between the producer/marketer and the client will be created. With the advancement of technology, marketing needs to be taken to an even higher level by use of the worldwide web through internet marketing, commonly referred to as e-marketing. More precise target on an audience is easy to achieve in such cases.

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How To Ace Your Business Studies Essay

how-to-ace-your-business-studies-essay

Business Studies students, this one’s for you ! By now, you’ve probably recognised that Business Studies is a rewarding subject, providing you with a greater understanding of how the economy functions and gaining base-level business knowledge. As part of your Business Studies exam, you will be asked to write an essay. Your Business Studies essay is an opportunity to contextualise your business knowledge in the real world. Your examiner will want you to demonstrate your knowledge about contemporary business theories, as well as analytical skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. 

Today we will share with you how to ace your Business Studies essay. We will provide practical essay-writing tips and specific keywords to look out for when reading the essay question. By following our guidelines, you will be able to write a Business Studies essay that is well-structured, compelling and insightful. 

Before we begin, we highly recommend practicing! As part of your exam preparation, practice writing essays. Use the example essay questions provided at the end of this post, follow the prompts, so you understand the requirements. You will begin to feel more comfortable and confident, and ultimately set yourself up for success before you even begin writing your Business Studies exams!

Understand the question

The first step to writing a captivating Business Studies essay is to pause, carefully read the question and take time to understand what you are being asked. We recommend underlining the verbs in the question to fully grasp how to proceed. Examine the exact wording so you can work out the approach you need to take.  

Here are some verbs to look out for:

There are two types of essay questions you could be asked:

  • Case study - This is where you are asked to write an essay on a business or situation. 
  • Discussion - This is where you will be required to discuss a specific topic. You will need to review key arguments and provide reasons for and against each one. 

Make an essay outline

An essay outline will enable you to create a more organised essay, include a range of points and avoid repetition. You will also be able to evaluate the question more thoroughly and provide a well-thought-out argument. 

Begin by listing, brainstorming or mind-mapping all your thoughts. This is called a ‘brain dump’ and will allow you to clear your mind of all the essay-related thoughts whirling around in your brain. By getting all your thoughts on paper, you will be able to start crafting a compelling Business Studies essay in a more structured manner.

Create your essay plan

The next step to writing an engaging Business Studies essay is to construct your essay plan. This will help you to organise your main arguments and ideas so you can present them in a logical sequence when you begin writing. Glance at your list, brainstorm or mind-map and select the points you wish to include in your essay. Write out your key points that you wish to include in your introduction, main body and conclusion. During this process, you will spark off new ideas and begin to digest and analyse the information you have gathered. 

Write your essay

Introduction.

Begin your Business Studies essay by outlining your understanding of the essay question and commenting on how you plan to address it. This is where you present your thesis statement of claim which will determine the contents and direction of your essay. Define the objectives of the essay and set out exactly what you are reaching a conclusion for. This is a good place to include definitions of business terms if you wish to do so. 

Main body and discussion

Use the main body of your essay to provide a detailed analysis of the topic. Make sure you have critically examined different viewpoints to provide a robust debate, covering reasons for and against the presented argument. In case study essays, this is where you provide evidence to support the arguments or main points you raise. 

A well-written essay includes a conclusion that has been reached by logical reasoning. Use this space to concisely pull together the main points in your discussion, explicitly stating your viewpoint as the final result. You should not mention any new arguments in your conclusion, as this is the space where your existing thoughts culminate. 

Essay writing tips

There are two key elements to standing out when writing an essay: paragraphs and connective phrases. 

Here’s how to use both:

  • Paragraphs are useful because they signal to your examiner that you are moving onto a new point. This will also encourage you to avoid repetition! Each paragraph forms a building block, which forms part of your entire essay. 
  • Connective phrases will keep you focused on the question. Phrases like “this means that” or “this will impact the business” introduce your analysis, and phrases like “this is of crucial importance because” or “other factors to consider are” introduce the evaluation. 

Bonus: Don’t focus solely on knowledge at the expense of your evaluation and analysis. Your examiner is looking for proof that you understand the topic at hand and are able to expertly evaluate and analyse the content, not just what you know. 

Edit and proofread

Always check your essay for spelling, stylistic errors, grammar and punctuation mistakes before completing the task. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you edit and proofread your essay:

  • Have I answered the essay question?
  • Is my essay presented in a logical order?
  • Is the content accurate and relevant?
  • Have I supported my main points with arguments and examples?
  • Is my language clear and concise?
  • Is my spelling and punctuation correct?

Example questions

Here are five essay questions extracted from actual Business Studies exams. You can use these to practice writing Business Studies essays as you prepare for your exams. 

Describe the principles of ethical and professional behaviours. Evaluate the issues that pose challenges to the business environment in terms of ethical and professional behaviour and comment on its application in the business enterprise.

The human resources manager is responsible for compiling the job description and job specification. Suitable candidates can be recruited internally using various recruitment sources. The interviewees should be familiar with their role during the interview. Businesses must ensure that the employment contract complies with the legal requirements of the employment. 

Write an essay on the human resources function in which you include the following human resources activities:

  • Outline the differences between job description and job specification. 
  • Discuss the impact of internal recruitment on a business. 
  • E xplain the role of the interviewee during the interview. 
  • Advise businesses on the legal requirements of the employment contract. 

The National Credit Act (NCA), 2005 (Act 34 of 2005) provides a framework to regulate the credit market. It protects the rights of consumers and provides guidelines on how businesses should comply with this Act. Businesses may face penalties for not complying with the National Credit Act. 

Write an essay on the National Credit Act in which you include the following aspects:

  • Outline the rights of consumers in terms of the National Credit Act. 
  • Discuss the impact of the NCA on businesses. 
  • Explain ways in which businesses could comply with the NCA. 
  • Advise businesses on the penalties they may face for non-compliance to the Act. 

Investing in fixed deposit provides investors the opportunity to decide whether they want to receive simple interest or compound interest. Investors must also consider various types of shares before making investment decisions. Some invest in companies that are listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).

Write an essay on investment securities in which you include the following aspects:

  • Outline the differences between simple interest and compound interest. 
  • Explain the advantage of a fixed deposit as a form of investment. 
  • Discuss any three types of shares. 
  • Advise businesses on the functions of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). 

Jake wants to target a new BEco Bottle at sports people and needs to increase production. He is considering two options to achieve this:

  • Outsource production of the sports bottle to India. 
  • Use hire purchase to buy the new equipment to manufacture the sports bottle in his existing factory. 

Analyse the effect of each of these two options for the business. 

Evaluate which of these two options will have the bigger impact on the future success of the sports bottle.

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What Is Marketing? Definition, Strategies & Best Practices

Kristy Snyder

Updated: Nov 6, 2023, 11:00am

What Is Marketing? Definition, Strategies & Best Practices

Table of Contents

Marketing definition, how marketing works for small businesses, marketing strategies, benefits of marketing, marketing best practices, bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

As a small business, you need a way to attract and lure customers to your products and services. Enter marketing.

What is marketing? It’s the process of creating and delivering value-based arguments for your offerings. If you’re not sure where to start with a marketing plan for your business, we’re here to help. Use this guide on marketing strategies and best practices to help convert consumers into customers.

Marketing encompasses every part of a plan to turn a prospective consumer into a happy and satisfied customer. It includes everything from market research to advertising. The goal of marketing is to convince a person that your product is worth investing in, establish brand loyalty and increase overall sales.

As you probably already know, this is no easy task. That’s why marketers need to spend time learning more about potential customers. This lets them discover which marketing strategies might be most effective in breaking through a crowded sea of marketing ploys.

According to studies , nearly 90% of small businesses invest in marketing. Marketing is an excellent tool for increasing awareness of your products as well as establishing yourself as a reliable and reputable brand in your chosen niche.

If you want to jump on the marketing train with your small business, a good first step is to consider the four Ps of marketing . These include:

  • Product. What are you offering? It can be a physical product, digital item, service, event or experience. Curate the key features of your product and define what makes it unique in your market.
  • Price. What are you charging for your product? Calculate this by determining your net cost of goods and then adding on an additional amount to meet your desired profit margin.
  • Place. Where do you sell your goods? For example, you may have a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce platform. Where you sell determines where and how you market your product.
  • Promotion. How do you get the word out about your products? This is usually a mix of various marketing strategies, including paid advertising, content marketing, social media marketing and more.

With these four principles in mind, you will find it easier to decide on a solid marketing strategy.

There is a huge variety of marketing strategies available to small businesses. Generally, most businesses use a mix of traditional and digital marketing tools to help reach as many people as possible. Take a look at some of these popular ideas to see if any would work for your budding company.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an incredibly popular approach, with 90% of companies ranking it as important to their overall success. And we can see why, as companies earn $42 for every dollar they spend on email marketing.

Email marketing involves collecting interested consumers’ emails and then sending them informative updates about your products and company. Some email campaigns function as lead nurturing tools that build interest in your products over time, while others can include promotions, seasonal deals or even newsletter updates.

Want to learn more about email marketing, but not sure how to get started? Check out our list of the best email marketing software to compare our favorite tools for developing email campaigns.

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Direct Mail

If you’re wary of relying too heavily on digital marketing, consider direct mail. It involves sending promotional materials such as postcards, brochures or flyers to potential customers you’ve identified through market research. For example, they might live in your store’s neighborhood, or they might have abandoned their shopping cart on your website.

Direct mail is one of the most profitable forms of traditional marketing, with a 29% return on investment. It’s particularly fruitful if you want to market to the Baby Boomer generation, as 31% prefer direct mail over other marketing channels.

  • Social Media Marketing

Research estimates that 92% of businesses use social media for marketing. Social media marketing is so popular because, for the most part, it’s free to create an account and post content about your brand. And best of all, each social media channel can help you tailor to a specific audience.

For example, Facebook is excellent for targeting the Baby Boomer generation, while YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are all better for reaching younger users. You can use a mix of photos, videos, links and long-form content to engage and delight your followers.

  • Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating blogs, white papers, videos, infographics and other forms of media to attract customers. It often goes hand in hand with SEO marketing , which attempts to optimize pages so that they rank higher in search results.

Currently, about 82% of marketing teams use content marketing as part of their strategy, with 40% ranking it as an important part of their overall marketing approach. With the right content, you can boost audience retention, land higher conversion rates and establish your authority in your space.

Any time you pay to have your content shared with users, it’s considered a paid ad. Paid advertisements can come in a lot of different forms.

For example, you may pay a podcast to do an ad read about your company at the end of the show. Or, you might use pay-per-click advertising to get search engines such as Google to display your website at the top of relevant search results.

Paid advertising has a lot of purposes, but 33% of marketers use it to boost brand awareness. When paid ads are done right, you can reach relevant audiences who are more likely to benefit from your products.

By now, we’ve showcased some of the benefits of marketing. But here’s a more thorough list of just how investing in marketing can help your small business:

  • Increases your sales. It’s hard to say exactly how much marketing will improve your sales. But putting your products in front of your target audience is very likely to boost your purchase rate.
  • Curates a stellar reputation. If your company becomes known for having excellent customer service (not to mention a dash of cunning) on social media, it can help unaware consumers see your brand as more reputable.
  • Builds brand awareness. It takes five to seven impressions for someone to remember a brand. Getting your brand in front of people via advertising can help your company stay front of mind when it’s time to make a purchase.
  • Helps you educate customers. In a lot of cases, customers don’t know they need your product or service because they’re in the dark about certain facts or issues. Using marketing as a tool to educate helps customers learn more about how your product can help improve their lives.
  • Gives you room to grow. The more your brand gets out there and the more customers you get, the bigger your business will become. If all goes well, you might graduate from small business to big business.

After you’ve chosen your marketing strategy, you’re almost ready to get started with your first campaign. But before you dive in head first, consider some of these marketing best practices. They’ll help you stay on track and avoid crucial mistakes as you work to spread the word about your company.

  • Define your goals. Before you start any campaign, think about what you want to get out of it. Increased sales? More page views? More email newsletter sign-ups? Establishing a goal helps you better measure the efficacy and ROI of your campaign—and it’ll help you know what you can improve on next time.
  • Define and study your target demographics. Think about who would benefit most from your products. You might even be able to gather this data from your existing sales database. It may help to create a customer profile for each segment of your target audience and use that when crafting content for your campaigns.
  • Plan out your campaign. Always create a guideline to follow throughout the campaign and make sure you have all of the assets you’ll need ready to go.
  • Start soft, then follow up. This delves into inbound marketing , which is an approach where you create curated content for the user rather than generic ads catering to the general public. Lure in potential customers with interesting content that’s not necessarily sales-y. Then, as the consumer progresses through the funnel, get more aggressive with your calls to action.
  • Offer a discount or coupon. Discounts can count toward your marketing budget, and they offer peace of mind to consumers who are on the fence.
  • Analyze to see what’s working. Services such as Google Analytics or HubSpot can help you track page views and interactions with landing pages and ads. Crunch the numbers to see which parts of your campaign were most effective, and use this data for future marketing.

Marketing is a complex and in-depth tool you can use to promote your business. When done right, you can benefit from increased sales, improved reputation and brand awareness and better customer retention rates. Of course, there are many strategies to choose from, so we recommend combining at least a few approaches to see the best results.

What is the best definition of marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is your company’s approach to turning consumers into customers. Your strategy will include your brand’s value proposition as well as your brand messaging. You’ll also need to narrow down your target demographic, decide on distribution channels and create content for the campaign.

What are the four Cs of marketing?

The four Cs of marketing include customer, cost, convenience and communication. First, you need to think about the customer’s wants and needs. Second, consider cost to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment. Finally, convenience is about making it easy for customers to buy your product, and communication refers to sharing the right information about your product.

How is marketing different from sales?

Marketing caters more to building brand awareness—in other words, getting your company’s name out there in a sea of competitors. Sales, on the other hand, is about completing a deal and turning the interested consumers a marketing team has gathered into customers.

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Kristy Snyder is a freelance writer and editor with 12 years of experience, currently contributing to the Forbes Advisor Small Business vertical. She uses her experience managing her own successful small business to write articles about software, small business tools, loans, credit cards and online banking. Kristy's work also appears in Newsweek and Fortune, focusing on personal finance.

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CAPS Business Studies 11

Caps bs 11 term 3 week 3 – 6 marketing function, topic – marketing function.

The aspects of the marketing function: marketing activities; product policy; pricing policy; distribution; marketing communication; foreign marketing.

• Marketing activities (e.g. product policy, pricing policies, marketing distribution, marketing communication) — Marketing: locating the consumer, standardisation and grading, storage, transport, financing, risk-bearing, and buying & selling — Product policy: product development, design, packaging and trademarks — Distribution policy: channels of distribution, intermediaries, direct and indirect distribution — Communication policy: sales promotion, advertising, publicity and personal selling — Pricing policy: importance of pricing, pricing techniques, price determination, factors influencing pricing, price adjustments • Marketing in the formal and informal sectors. • Use of technology for marketing (electronic marketing, etc.) • Foreign marketing: imports and exports. • Alignment of foreign marketing and the production function (e.g. systems, planning, safety, quality and costing)

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Marketing Strategies

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  • Market segmentation, product/service differentiation and positioning
  • Pricing strategies – skimming, penetration, loss leaders, price points
  • Price and quality interaction
  • Elements of the promotion mix – advertising, personal selling and relationship marketing, sales promotions, publicity and public relations
  • The communication process – opinion leaders, word of mouth
  • Distribution channels
  • Channel choice – intensive, selective, exclusive
  • Physical distribution issues – transport, warehousing, inventory
  • People, processes and physical evidence
  • E-marketing
  • Global branding
  • Standardisation
  • Customisation
  • Global pricing
  • Competitive positioning

Extract from Business Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2010 Board of Studies NSW.

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  2. Unit 10: An Introduction to Marketing Research

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  3. Business studies marketing notes

    business studies marketing function essay

  4. Introduction to Marketing Research

    business studies marketing function essay

  5. Marketing Plans Essay 20/20

    business studies marketing function essay

  6. Seven Functions of Marketing

    business studies marketing function essay

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  1. Grade 11 Business Studies Marketing Function

  2. What Are The 8 Business Functions? A Simple Explanation

  3. Grade 11 Business Studies

  4. Marketing functions

  5. Class 12th

  6. Grade 11 Business Studies Marketing Function

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  1. A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Business Studies Essay with Examples

    A-Level business studies essays often require real-world examples to demonstrate understanding of concepts and theories. If your essay topic is about corporate social responsibility (CSR), for instance, you could cite companies known for their CSR efforts, like Patagonia or Ben & Jerry's. 5. Be Critical.

  2. The Role Of Marketing In Business Marketing Essay

    1.3 How Marketing is used to Achieve Business Objectives. The purpose of the business organisation is to achieve the profit, growth and survival. These are common goals of every business organisation. But, the major function of business to create the market demand and achieve market share by the influence of the marketing activities.

  3. 1582619679 grade 11 business studies the marketing function

    The Marketing Function. Term 3 Grade 11. Business Studies. 4 Ps of Marketing Market Research. The purpose of market research is to examine the market associated with a particular good or service to determine how the audience will receive it.

  4. Essay on Marketing: Top 9 Essays on Marketing

    5. Societal Approach: The societal approach consider the interactions between the various environmental factors (socio-logical, cultural, political, legal) and marketing decisions and their impact on the well- being of society. Kotler, Feldman and Gist, were the main proponents of the societal approach. 6.

  5. PDF Business Studies Grade 11 Term Two Chapter Eleven Marketing Activities

    GDE BUSINESS STUDIES GRADE 11 NOTES CHAPTER 11 5 • Some companies hand out gifts and samples with company branding on them. • It is information about a business published by an independent third party such as a newspapers or television station. • Ensures that the public know about the business, its social programmes,

  6. Topic 1 grade 11 marketing function

    TOPIC: MARKETING FUNCTION (MARKETING ACTIVITIES & PRODUCT) 1. Define Marketing. (2) 2. Explain the role of the marketing function (6) 3. Identify marketing activities represented by EACH scenario below: 3 Nthabi makes sure that the bags she sells are of the same quality and size. 3 .2 Flo uses cold storage facilities to keep her yoghurt fresh.

  7. The Importance of Marketing

    The importance of marketing can be summed up in the words of the world famous economist Peter Drucker. He has said that "Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs ...

  8. The overarching role of international marketing: Relevance and

    Marketing is the raison d'etre and the force that drives organizations. Among the many axioms advanced by Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, are that the purpose of a business is "to create customers", and that an organization has only two functions: one role relates to marketing (i.e., innovation) and the other is marketing (Drucker, 1954, p. 37; Trout, 2006; Webster, 2009).

  9. The Role of Marketing in Business

    The main purpose of marketing is to identify the consumer of a product or service, to retain the client, and to gratify him or her. With the customer as the spotlight of any business, it is therefore appropriate to conclude that marketing is a key element of the running of such establishments. Over time, marketing developed to meet up the ...

  10. How To Ace Your Business Studies Essay

    Create your essay plan. The next step to writing an engaging Business Studies essay is to construct your essay plan. This will help you to organise your main arguments and ideas so you can present them in a logical sequence when you begin writing. Glance at your list, brainstorm or mind-map and select the points you wish to include in your essay.

  11. The impact of the Marketing/Sales relationship and effect on Business

    I. The impact of the Marketing/Sales relationship and effect on Business performance. Christopher R. Steger. Saint Leo University. MBA 525. Dr. Diane Monahan. June 16, 2019. Graduate Studies in ...

  12. PDF TOPIC: THE MARKETING FUNCTION INTRODUCTION

    Marketing involves market research to find out what consumers want. Marketing should take note of the trends in the market and changes in consumer preferences. Marketing is responsible for determining the price of the product and marketing the final product to the consumers. Marketing bridges the gap, connecting the business with the consumer.

  13. What Is Marketing? Definition, Strategies & Best Practices

    Marketing encompasses every part of a plan to turn a prospective consumer into a happy and satisfied customer. It includes everything from market research to advertising. The goal of marketing is ...

  14. PDF Marketing as an engine of business growth: a cross-functional perspective

    tomer insights more broadly into business functions, integrating business strategies with brand strategies and integrating marketing and go-to-market execution. The common theme is integration. To achieve this goal of driving growth, marketing cannot be left to the marketers alone. There is a need to integrate

  15. CAPS BS 11 TERM 3 WEEK 3

    • Marketing in the formal and informal sectors. • Use of technology for marketing (electronic marketing, etc.) • Foreign marketing: imports and exports. • Alignment of foreign marketing and the production function (e.g. systems, planning, safety, quality and costing)

  16. Marketing

    Products - goods and/or services. Branding. Packaging. Price including pricing methods - cost, market, competition-based. Pricing strategies - skimming, penetration, loss leaders, price points. Price and quality interaction. Promotion. Elements of the promotion mix - advertising, personal selling and relationship marketing, sales ...

  17. Business Studies Essay Examples

    Browse essays about Business Studies and find inspiration. Learn by example and become a better writer with Kibin's suite of essay help services. Essay Examples

  18. Gr. 11 T2 W2 Business Studies Marketing

    Gr. 11 T2 W2 Business Studies Marketing. Free. Download. Type: pdf. Size: 1MB. Share this content. This lesson is linked to the interactive weekly lesson during school closure for the week 20-24 April 2020.

  19. PDF Business Studies Grade 11 Term Two Chapter Nine Business Operations

    GDE BUSINESS STUDIES GRADE 11 NOTES CHAPTER 9 3 1.1 Definition of marketing Marketing is used to deliver value to the customers and satisfying their needs. The aim is to link the business products and services with the customer needs and wants. Marketing also aims to get the right product or service to the right customer at the

  20. Business Studies Marketing Essay with multiple choice and short

    Good for review of marketing unit in the Year 12 portion of the course. Can also aid in the year 11 portion as much of the information is the same and ... o Supply of labour for all core business functions o Training to skill employees Outputs distribution: ... Business Studies Marketing Essay with multiple choice and short response questions ...

  21. Business Studies Marketing Strategies Free Essay Example

    Business Studies Marketing Strategies. Categories: Advertising Business Marketing Research. Download. Essay, Pages 11 (2519 words) Views. 371. Marketing includes identifying unmet needs; producing products and services to meet those needs: and pricing, distribution, and promoting those products and services to produce a profit. The process of ...

  22. Business studies hsc marketing report

    Business Studies Marketing Notes; World Order Essay for legal studies - tp; ... The marketing function can gather necessary information about which specific aspect of the product is below standard. Marketing analyses the primary data and makes conclusions about where Quick Fit Cycles must improve, which may then be passed onto operations ...

  23. 2021 BSTD Grade 10 Business Functions WEEK 3-4

    Production function Marketing function 2 The purpose of the eight business functions The eight business functions work together to achieve the business goal. Each function carries out specific tasks which are closely linked in order to achieve the same goal. Roles and tasks may change depending on the size/type/stage of growth of the