Marketing MADNESS 2 • What is marketing?

Since I was a little, I have always known that I wanted to be a career women. My dream was to be a business women who could travel business class around the world wearing formal and sophisticated suits and dresses. Maybe it was because of all the cantonese TV-series that I have watched growing up, seeing all those people working at the office. Many people dislike the taught of having a office job, working from 9 to 5, but for me, it is my dream to be a professional in the business and working in a office, gives me that professionalism. During high school, I knew marketing was the field that I want to have my dream career in.

Having studied marketing for over 4 years, almost 5 now, I could call myself a marketer once graduated. In my first Marketing MADNESS, I have showed you a campaign that I really liked and wanted to share with you. However, to further continue this series, I am assuming that you might know a little bit about marketing, hence I won't be covering the principles. Rather, I would like to talk more in-depth topics about marketing, which is also my own interest in questioning and forming my own opinion.

So to begin with, what is marketing? This is a question that is asked a lot and if I have to give my formal "student" answer, than it is about all the management steps in analysis, planning, implementation and control for exchanging products or services in a specific industry, targeting a certain market.

To be more academic, the American Marketing Association (AMA) defined marketing as the following:

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

If you don't already know, there is difference between customers and consumers.
Customer is when an individual or an organisation is purchasing a product or service.
Consumer is when an individual or an organisation is consuming a product or service.
So, a consumer can be a customer, but a customer isn't always a consumer. There is a difference.

With that being said, marketing is more than only selling and purchasing. It is definitely not rocket science, but from the definition above, marketing it about creating value for customers or consumers. Consumers who buy products, aren't just buying products, they buy the solution to a problem, a benefit. There are 4 different benefits:

  1. Functional benefits
  2. Emotional benefits
  3. Moral benefits 
  4. Self-expressive benefits 

For each benefit an example is provided below:

  1. Functional benefits are when an individual buys a smartphone for the product attributes:  to be able to make calls and send messages. 
  2. Emotional benefits are when an individual buys a Volvo car, because he trusts Volvo cars are known for their safety. 
  3. Moral benefits are when an individual buys body care from The Body Shop, because she supports the values of the brand that she finds relevant: to support local and national communities, fair trade, against animal testing and are pro human rights. 
  4. Self-expressive benefits are when an individual buys a Armani Suit, because he feels like with a luxury and expensive suit, he gets status, respect and professionalism. 

Marketing is considered as one of the top priority in any business or organisation. Every company can scream: "We are the best. Choose us. Buy us!" But how does product A differs from product B? What makes Samsung the number 1 leader of the mobile market in the UK with 32% market share (Mintel, 2016)? Let me be straight: there is no one clear answer, because there are many elements that are involved, which I will talk more about these in further Marketing MADNESS posts.

Marketing is seen as very broad and it can therefore be specialised in: marketing communications, market research, branding, corporate marketing, global marketing, product marketing, customer-relationship management (CRM), public relations (PR), marketing consultant, marketing analyst, online/digital marketing, project management, sales management and so on.

This field has always fascinated me and in particular in consumer behaviour, product/consumer marketing and branding. My ambition is to develop further my career in these areas. Also, I'm writing my Master's dissertation about brand attachment. Hopefully you are looking forward to more Marketing MADNESS! :)

Mintel (2016) Executive Summary Mobile Phones UK, April 2016. Available at