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From a historical point of view, the term marketing or (German) sales economy refers to the corporate division whose task (function) is to market products and services (offer for sale in such a way that buyers perceive this offer as desirable); From a business point of view, this term has been describing the concept of holistic , market-oriented corporate management to satisfy the needs and expectations of customers and other interest groups ( stakeholders ) since the beginning of the twenty-first century . The understanding of marketing is thus developing from an operational technique for influencing the purchase decision ( marketing mix instruments) to a management concept that includes other functions such as procurement, production, administration and personnel.

Marketing as a corporate function

Figure: Marketing related to the other corporate functions

In business administration , marketing is part of the overall entrepreneurial process. This begins with the planning of a concept, which is followed by the purchase of raw materials and preliminary products ( preliminary work ), continues with production (creation of goods or services) and ends with the marketing (marketing or sales ) of the operational services created. There are also supporting processes such as innovation , financing , administration or human resources management . The sub-processes are also referred to as operational or entrepreneurial functions . Management functions are required to ensure that all processes function as smoothly as possible . This includes planning (including goal setting), organization , leadership and control (success and progress monitoring ) with regard to goal setting. The marketing process itself can be represented as a marketing plan : (1) Recognizing opportunities through market, customer and competition analysis including market research , (2) Establishing goals that ensure that the invested funds flow back, (3) Selecting suitable strategies for Achievement of goals, (4) implementation of the strategy with the marketing mix and finally (5) success control of the entire process and all decisions made. The topic of marketing gained great importance in science and in practice with the change from the war-related shortage economy (demand is greater than supply) to the so-called affluent society (supply is greater than demand) since the mid-1950s. This trend was accompanied by increased competition for customers and was intensified by the two oil crises of the 1970s. For example, the first marketing chair ( Heribert Meffert ) was founded in Germany in 1969 . Since then, marketing has been a key success factor for the long-term “survivability” of companies in competition (dominance of the marketing function). The graphic opposite is intended to illustrate the relationship between marketing and the other corporate functions.

Variety of Marketing Definitions

Target group specific marketing in front of a butcher shop in Marburg

Marketing is defined differently depending on the perspective. When determining the marketing term, Christian Homburg and Harley Krohmer combine the three central historical marketing definitions into an integrative marketing definition:

Activity-based definition

An activity-oriented marketing definition understands marketing essentially as a bundle of market-oriented company activities. More generally, in this context marketing can be seen as a process of planning and implementing the concept, price management, advertising activities and the distribution of ideas, goods and services, with the aim of achieving an exchange that satisfies the wishes of individuals and organizations, describe. The activity-oriented definition emerged in the 1970s and was very much shaped by the development and emphasis on the marketing mix.

Relationship-based definition

The relationship-oriented marketing definition focuses on the objective of marketing to build, maintain and strengthen customer relationships through mutual exchange and the fulfillment of promises (and thus the building of trust). However, the relationship-oriented definition in no way replaces the activity-oriented definition, but works in addition to it. It was created in the late 1980s in connection with relationship marketing, which at that time replaced the focus on individual transactions with the customer in favor of the focus on sustainable relationships with the customer.

Leadership-oriented definition

The management-oriented marketing definition sees marketing as "consciously market-oriented management of the entire company [or as] market-oriented decision-making behavior in the company" ( Meffert, 2000 ). In this definition, the company's internal framework conditions, which significantly shape the orientation of the company's activities on the market, are particularly important; thus this definition includes the concept of the marketing mix, aspects of market implementation, the idea of ​​market-oriented corporate management and relationship marketing , which explains why this definition is seen as a supplement to the first two. The leadership-oriented definition was developed in the 1980s, after which it did not gain scientific penetration until the 1990s.

Integrative marketing definition

The integrative marketing definition by Homburg / Krohmer sees marketing as a concept that essentially has two facets, one internal to the company and one external to the company:

  • The company-external facet sees marketing as the conception and implementation of market-related activities of a provider with regard to (potential) consumers of its products. In this context, such market-related activities include both the systematic acquisition of information about market conditions and the design of the marketing mix.
  • For the company's internal facet, on the other hand, marketing consists of creating the conditions in the company for carrying out market-related activities. This includes in particular the management of the company according to the main idea of ​​market orientation.

Both starting points of marketing aim at the optimal design of customer relationships in terms of the company's goals.

Alternative marketing definitions and their development process

Philip Kotler , American economist and professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, defines marketing as follows:

"Marketing is a process in the economic and social fabric by which individuals and groups satisfy their needs and desires by creating, offering and exchanging products and other things of value with one another."

A definition that goes beyond the functional perspective includes customer and market-oriented corporate management to achieve corporate goals .

"Marketing is the conceptual, consciously market-oriented corporate management that aligns all corporate activities to the needs of current and potential customers in order to achieve corporate goals."

In more recent publications, for example, marketing is understood as the management of comparative competitive advantages using marketing instruments.

In 2004 the American Marketing Association (AMA) started to modernize its 20 year old definition and to switch from the postulate of a unidirectional doctorate to the dialogue-oriented term of customer relationship management . With regard to the newly highlighted consumer focus, not only the interests of the company, but the interests of all stakeholders were focused as the goal of the marketing process. This means that the general approach advocated by the capital goods providers is included in the general doctrine . Marketing is seen as an "organizing function and process bundle to create, communicate and provide value for customers and customer relationships in a way that the organization and its stakeholders benefit from it". A more recent definition of the AMA from October 2007 reads: “ Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Many marketing scholars see marketing as an essentially entrepreneurial mindset. According to this, "Marketing can be seen as an expression of a market-oriented entrepreneurial style of thinking that is characterized by a creative, systematic and sometimes aggressive note."

In the vision of the German Marketing Association, marketing is understood "as a market-oriented corporate management that aligns all relevant corporate activities to the wishes and needs of stakeholders ."

Active marketing is particularly important in buyer's markets , i. H. Markets with a clear surplus of supply , with the condition of supply to demand in contrast to the orientation towards purely internal company goals and conditions such as production capacities, are becoming more important.

The specifics of the trade accordingly has Schenk for the retail marketing markets approach Four developed a beyond mere customer focus: "For the commercial marketing are the dealerships subjects own marketing strategies and tactics, not only in the orientation towards markets, but to all four markets of the trading company (sales market, procurement market, competitive market, internal market). "

Outside of the corporate world, non-profit organizations (“ non-profit marketing ”) now also use marketing techniques . Ultimately, an exact definition or delimitation of the marketing term for business administration does not seem necessary as long as there is a basic consensus on the most important tasks of marketing in literature and practice.

Historical development

The term "marketing" was first used in US universities between 1905 and 1920. In Germany, Ludwig Erhard organized the first marketing seminar in Germany in 1935 on behalf of the Nuremberg Commercial College, as a scientific assistant to Wilhelm Vershofen. At that time known as the “ Marketing Course”, this was a cornerstone for the NAA e. V. (Nuremberg Academy for Marketing) and the GfK e. V. From these later the NAA GmbH and the Society for Consumer Research emerged .

An exception is the study by Stackelbergs from 1939: In contrast to the price theory prevailing at the time , which assumed price and quantity as the sole action parameters of companies, he considered quality variations and sales policies for the first time . Marketing was born in Germany with the invention of baking powder in 1893 by Oetker. Through mass advertising , private customers were offered a product for the first time that made their work easier - but which they had not known until then that they needed it at all. As further development progressed through the invention of new product variants, the success of the offer extends into the present. At the university level, marketing developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s through the establishment of the first institute for marketing by Heribert Meffert at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster ( Westphalia ).

The introduction of today's marketing term was accompanied by the change in sales markets, away from the seller's market , in which the seller can largely determine prices and conditions due to the lack of goods and services, towards a buyer's market in which the multitude of competitors gives more and more customers a choice enables them to even accept the offer.

Manfred Bruhn describes the following developmental stages in marketing, especially for Germany:

  • Production orientation in the 1950s (pure production; due to enormous demand in the post-war period)
  • Sales orientation in the 1960s (from production to distribution)
  • Market orientation in the 1970s (market segmentation; specialization on individual needs)
  • Competitive orientation in the 1980s (emphasis on unique selling points )
  • Environment orientation in the 1990s (reaction to ecological, political, technological or social changes)
  • Dialogue orientation from 2000 (interactive orientation of communication through the Internet, e-mails)
  • Network orientation from 2010 (Web 2.0, social networks, word-of-mouth)

Jean-Paul Thommen and Ann-Kristin Achleitner make a similar classification for the (worldwide) historical development:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Market orientation
  • Production orientation
  • Environmental orientation
  • Sales orientation

Academic classification and sub-areas of marketing

Academically, marketing is to be located in the area of special business administration , whereby the marketing sub-area marketing management z. B. is also referred to as a paragraph at the University of Hamburg and is part of general business administration .

  • Marketing management (marketing management) or sales as part of the ABWL
  • Sales management
  • Social Networks and Marketing Communication
  • Psychological theories in marketing
  • Empirical Research Methods / Applied Empirical Research Methods
  • E-business
  • Media management

Interdisciplinarity takes place especially in combination with (sub-disciplines from) psychology, media studies and mathematics.

Marketing mix

The marketing mix is considered to be the simplest and most effective combination of “tools” or “instruments” for the practical implementation of marketing plans in companies or non-profit organizations . These facts explain the great popularity of the marketing mix in theory and in practice. In 1964, Neil Borden proposed twelve instruments. Jerome McCarthy then combined these into four groups, the famous four Ps. There are:

  • Product (product policy)
  • Price (pricing policy)
  • PhD (communication policy)
  • Place (distribution or sales policy)

The most important task of product policy is to design the specific product features such as quality, service, level of technology (usually called “technology” in marketing), design and reliability in such a way that these appear attractive in the subjective perception of the target group . To do this, the pricing policy needs to find out what price customers are willing to pay for these product features. These two instruments of the marketing mix are about the most attractive price-performance ratio in the eyes of customers compared to the competition. The pricing policy also includes the design of the delivery and payment conditions (discounts, bonuses, discounts, price reductions, etc.). The most important task of communication policy is to inform customers about what is on offer and to influence their purchase decision . This takes place within the framework of the so-called communication mix . This is to be designed in such a way that it achieves the desired effect (information and conviction) at the lowest possible cost. In the distribution policy it comes to the efficient organization of all activities on the way a product or service from the provider to the customer or user. A distinction is made between logistic (transport and warehousing) and acquisition-based (acquisition and retention of customers) distribution. According to the current understanding of marketing, one no longer speaks of distribution but of sales policy . The primary task of sales policy is the efficient design of the sales strategy and the sales process, including the selection and qualification of personnel to promote sales skills .

Marketing concept

In view of the rapid social and cultural change, a marketing concept based on Philip Kotler should provide an answer to the question of which philosophy a company's marketing should follow. According to Kotler, the management's marketing concept emerged in the 1950s. According to this, the company's success depends primarily on market and customer orientation. The historical periods of price and product orientation that preceded it were primarily about the low-cost mass production of low-priced products, which in a shortage economy where demand is greater than supply, practically sold by themselves. In contrast, in a so-called affluent society (supply is greater than demand):

"The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals is being more effective than competitors in creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value to your chosen target markets."

"The marketing concept assumes that the key to achieving corporate goals is to be more effective than the competition in creating, delivering and communicating superior customer value in the selected target markets."

- Philip Kotler

And that is only possible through a holistic approach in which all corporate functions are geared towards the goal of market and customer orientation (holistic marketing concept). The further development of a marketing concept leads to relationship marketing , the primary goal of which is to build branding through long-term, stable customer relationships.

Dual leadership concept

There are different views as to where the marketing division is to be seen in an operational structure. The so-called dual leadership concept shows that marketing has two basic functions:

  1. in addition to other functions such as purchasing and production on a hierarchical level,
  2. in company management

Marketing is not just one of many branches of the company. Marketing as market-oriented corporate management is of greater importance in the age of globalization .

There are several interpretations of the term marketing. Marketing can thus be understood as an equal line authority that includes the planning, coordination and control of all corporate activities aimed at the sales markets.

Marketing can also be interpreted as a corporate philosophy. Marketing includes the consciously market-oriented management of the entire company. This interpretation extends the market orientation to all persons and functions that influence the success of a company in the sales market.

The simultaneous consideration of both interpretations, i.e. H. Marketing as an equal line authority and as a corporate philosophy is also referred to as a "dual management concept".

Marketing topics at a glance

Common addition to important neighboring functions

Marketing orientations

A fundamental distinction between the related to the distribution of benefits generated sales marketing and procurement marketing, which specifically deals with the directed to the supplier or suppliers activities.

Retail marketing as an independent branch of research is dedicated to the peculiarities of retail companies , which (according to Schenk ) typically design four markets - sales, procurement, competitive and internal markets . Correspondingly, for trading companies, the originally industrial concept of market-oriented corporate management is replaced by the concept of corporate management based on four markets.

The diverse marketing directions include a .:

In addition, there are special orientations that are not directly assigned to the classic marketing orientations, as they cannot be directly assigned to the creation and marketing of services:

Newer research directions

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Marketing  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Marketing  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Meffert develops this definition from 15 different proposals as a synthesis. H. Meffert et al. a .: Marketing . 10th edition, Wiesbaden 2008, p. 10 ff.
  2. ^ H. Schierenbeck: Fundamentals of business administration . 17th edition. Munich 2008, p. 231 ff.
  3. ^ W. Pelz: Strategic and Operative Marketing . Norderstedt 2004, p. 3 ff.
  4. ^ Peter Runia, Frank Wahl, Olaf Geyer, Christian Thewißen: Marketing . Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2005, p. 4.
  5. See Nieschlag, Dichtl, Hörschgen (1985); quoted by Peter Winkelmann.
  6. About us . German Marketing Association; accessed December 12, 2008; quoted from Franz-Rudolf Esch.
  7. Hans-Otto Schenk: Market economics of trade . Wiesbaden 1991, p. 201.
  8. ^ Rainer Olbrich: Marketing: An introduction to market-oriented corporate management . 2nd Edition. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3-540-23577-9 , p. 12.
  9. Manfred Bruhn: Integrated corporate and brand communication: strategic planning and operational implementation . 5th edition. Schäffer Pöschel, ISBN 978-3-7910-2878-1 , pp. 5–7.
  10. ^ Jean-Paul Thommen, Ann-Kristin Achleitner: General business administration . 6th edition. Gabler, Wiesbaden 2009, pp. 131-132.
  11. BP Shapiro: Rejuvenatin the marketing mix . In: Harvard Business Review , September-October 1985, p. 4
  12. ^ W. Pelz: Strategic and Operative Marketing, A Guide to Creating a Professional Marketing Plan . Norderstedt 2004, p. 80 ff.
  13. ^ C. Homburg, H. Krohmer: Marketingmanagement . 3. Edition. Wiesbaden 2009, p. 829.
  14. ^ P. Kotler, K. Keller: Marketing Management . 13th edition. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River 2009, p. 415 f. and 556 f.
  15. a b c P. Kotler, KL Keller: Marketing Management . 13th edition. Upper Saddle NJ 2009, p. 18 f.
  16. Herbert Gross: The chances are changing . Düsseldorf / Vienna 1976.
  17. Hans-Otto Schenk: Market economics of trade . Wiesbaden 1991, pp. 199-210.