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Marketing: A Social Perspective

2

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 by

Marketing pervades the whole gamut of human spheres.  It is here and there.
Marketing should not be seen as an activity confined to only organizations or “traditional” salespersons.  In fact, we are all “salespersons”.

The individual may see himself or herself as a lecturer, a doctor, an engineer, an architect, a nurse, a clerical officer, a web developer, or even a student in the society.  Yet, whatever callings we decide to be involved in, we must interact with people.  We must market the profession, product, idea, person and/or activity, and we must manage to maximize the use of our scarce productive resources.  Consequently, we are all in the business of marketing and management.

Without a doubt, it not so much the ability to own a business that makes us marketers or managers. When    an administrative personnel or official of any position –HOD, Library Attendant, Secretary, receptionist, and so on – interacts with fellow colleagues or the public s/he is involved in marketing.  Consciously or unconsciously you must have marketed your mannerisms, your competencies, your social orientation, your dressing modes (Your mode of dressing tells a lot about you), and so on. These inform the opinions people may have about you, as in, the HOD is approachable, the Library Attendant is amiable, the Receptionist is dependable, or just the opposite.  In the same vein, the kind of woman or man you decide to marry is also marketing.

Non-profit organizations are involved in marketing too. When Schools raise or lower their admission quotas, develop their infrastructures, update their curricula, and improve their product positioning among others, they are marketing.  When Churches propagate the good news, they are marketing an idea. 

The moral values parents teach their children constitute marketing.  As you are “voyaging” through this discourse, the present writer is also marketing – the social perspective of marketing.

From the foregoing you can see that marketing takes place daily in your lives.  But what is marketing? 

There are many definitions of marketing as there are authors and/or writers in the field. Each definition depends on the orientations of the varied authors and/or writers.  A proper definition of marketing, however, should not be confined to economic goods and services only.  Marketing is not just the selling of goods and services.  It is a social and managerial process as well.

Marketing is not exclusive to business enterprises.  Earlier descriptions based on this notion might have been adequate descriptions of marketing during the formative stage of the field of study or the practice.  Today, there is a paradigm shift—a shift in thinking and conceptualization of marketing.

A number of authors capture this idea succinctly.  Pride and his colleagues, for example, see marketing as consisting “of individual and organizational activities aimed at facilitating and expediting exchange within a set of dynamic environmental forces.”   In the same vein, Kotler and Armstrong define marketing as a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups satisfy their needs and wants through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others.  These are conceptualizations that should provoke your interest.

In line with the direction of this discourse, the commodity (or more correctly the product) can be a good, service, cause, doctrine, place or an idea.   That is, marketing can take place anytime an individual or organization strives to exchange something of value with another individual or organization.  It should be underscored that this exchange can occur “deliberately or otherwise,” and the consideration for the commodity can be economic or non-economic.  The following illustration will shed more light.

In addition to earlier illustrations at the outset of this article, you also participate in a form of marketing when you vote, donate to charities, prepare your resume, and when you attend conferences and give talks.  Similarly, when the Federal Ministry of Health warns that “Smoking is Dangerous to your Health….” It is marketing or propagating a cause.  States and governments too, use marketing to attract investors and tourists. 

In the foregoing, the exchange in which marketing is meant is in the offer of something of value.  And what is of value is in the minds of the beholders—the prospect and the marketer.  A marketer is someone who initiates an exchange process.  The other party is called a prospect. 

Now that marketing could be seen to place daily in our lives -- because we must interact with people irrespective of the career we decide to pursue.  What can you do to make lasting positive impressions? What can you do to make your self more marketable?

One way is to focus on the social aspect of marketing.  In other words, you should socialize first,  and promote thereafter. Marketers often make the mistake of putting the proposition/presentation first. When you socialize  first, you will have less or no challenge attracting a handful, perhaps even thousands of excited prospects, friends and followers that will be interested in your "product."

Another way is to accentuate your strengths, that is, to raise your profile and achieve visibility.  It sounds simple, isn’t?  Perhaps, yes, but requires some sustained efforts.  The process of marketing yourself is akin to the process of growing a garden.  Having a viable seed and fertile ground are not just enough! You must nurture the seedling until it becomes a successful plant. 

To market yourself successfully, you must work on your values.

In the meantime, get involved in social networks for an interactive edge.  Your presence on popular social networks/media gives you the benefit to engage prospects and turn them into brand evangelists. 

While social networking sites such as Friendster, Facebook, Netlog, MySpace, have distinctive USPs (unique selling points), others such as Awesomise.me, Twitter, Linkedln and Google + have prominent complementary features that tend to be most alluring.

This  affirms the imperativeness of social networks.  


If you liked this blog, feel free to connect with me on my popular social networking hang-outs  Facebook, Twitter, Google +. Welcome!




2 comments »

Sofia Sana said...

The moral values parents teach their children constitute marketing. As you are “voyaging” through this discourse, the present writer is also marketing – the social perspective of marketing.
Really enjoyed the read. Specifically liked
Must admit your views

social media platforms


Benjamin Atuma said...

Thank you for your kind words Sophia.

Actually, most values in adulthood are traceable to influences while growing up. Especially, from parents and peers.

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