As a first step, marketers need to understand customer needs and wants and the Marketplace within which they operate. We now examine five core customer and marketplace concepts: needs, wants, and demands; marketing offers (products, services, and experiences); value and satisfaction; exchanges and relationships; and markets.
Customer Needs, Wants and Demands
The most basic concept underlying marketing is that o human needs. Human needs are states of felt deprivation. They include basic physical needs for foods, clothing, warmth, and safety; social needs for belongings and affection; and individual needs for knowledge and self-expression. These needs were not created by marketers; they a basic part of the human makeup.
Wants are the form of human needs take as shaped by culture and individual personality. An american needs ood but wants Big Mac, rench fries, and a soft drink. A person in Mauritius needs food but wants a mango, rice, and beans. We are shaped by one's society and are described in terms of objects that will satisy needs. When backed by buying power, wants become demands. Given their wants and ressources, people demand products with benefits that add up to the most value and satisfaction.
Oustanding marketing companies go to great lengths to learn about and understand their customers' needs, wants and demands. They conduct customer research and analyze mountain of customer data. Their at all level - including top management - stay close to customers. For example, top executives rom Wal-mart spend two days each week visiting stores and mingling with customers. Harley-Dacidson's chairman and CEO regularly mounts his Harley and rides customers to get feedback and ideas.
At consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, top executives even visit with ordinary consumers in their homes and on shopping trips. "We read the data and look a the charts," says one P&G executive, "but to shop with customers and see how the woman is changing retailers to save 10 cents on a loaf of bread [so she can] spend it on things that are more important - that's important to us to keep front an center," says P&G CEO when the customer is boss, when you try to win the customer value equation, when you try to make the customer's lie better, then you're focused externally...and it's an absolutely huge difference.