Introduction to Marketing: Meaning of Marketing, Objectives and Traditional Concept of Marketing

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The business houses who produce the goods and services have to ensure that these are to be sold, and so they have to make the consumers/users aware of their products and place them at points convenient to the consumers. This involves a number of activities such as product planning, pricing, promotion, use of middlemen (wholesalers, retailer etc.) for sale, warehousing, transportation etc. All these activities taken together are termed as Marketing. In this lesson, we will learn about the concept of marketing, its importance, objectives and functions.

Meaning of Marketing

The businessman produces goods and services for our use. These are not necessarily produced at the places where they are consumed or used. Even in villages, now-a-days you find the products manufactured all over India and in other countries. This implies that the manufacturers must be making efforts to ensure that their products are in demand and reach the ultimate consumers all over the globe. So, when you go to the market to buy a readymade shirt you find that there are several options available to you in terms of quality of cloth used, design, colour, price etc. and you can buy what suits you most. This also implies that the manufactures assess the needs of the consumers, their tastes and preferences and plan the products accordingly.


  • Explain the meaning of marketing.

  • Differentiate between ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’.

  • Describe the importance of marketing.

  • State the objectives of marketing; and

  • Explain the various functions of marketing.

Traditional Concept of Marketing

According to the traditional concept, marketing means selling goods and services that have been produced. Thus, all those activities which are concerned with persuasion and sale of goods and services, are called marketing. This concept of marketing emphasises on promotion and sale of goods and services and little attention is paid to consumer satisfaction. This concept has the following implications:

  • The main focus of this concept is on product, i.e., we have a product and it has to be sold. So, we have to persuade the consumers to buy our product.

  • All efforts of the marketing people are concentrated on selling the product. They adopt all means like personal selling and sales promotion to boost the sales.

  • The ultimate goal of all marketing activity is to earn profit through maximisation of sales.

Table of Traditional Concept of Marketing
Title:Table of Traditional Concept of Marketing

Traditional Concept of Marketing

Focus on





Profits through maximisation of sales

Modern Concept of Marketing

The modern concept of marketing considers the consumers’ wants and needs as the guiding spirit and focuses on the delivery of such goods and services that can satisfy those needs most effectively. Thus, marketing starts with identifying consumer needs, then plan the production of goods and services accordingly to provide him the maximum satisfaction. In other words, the products and services are planned according to the needs of the customers rather than according to the availability of materials and machinery. The main implications of the modern concepts are:

  • The focus of this concept is on customer orientation. The marketing activity starts with an assessment of the customers’ needs and plan the production of items that satisfy these needs most effectively. This also applies to all other marketing activities like pricing, packaging, distribution and sales promotion.

  • All marketing activities like product planning, pricing, packaging, distribution and sales promotion are combined into one as coordinated marketing efforts. This is called integrating marketing. It implies:

    • Developing a product that can satisfy the needs of the consumers.

    • Taking promotional measures so that consumers come to know about the products, its features, quality, availability etc.

    • Pricing the product keeping in mind the target consumers’ purchasing power and willingness to pay.

    • Packaging and grading the product to make it more attractive and undertaking sales promotion measures to motivate consumers to buy the product; and

    • Taking various other measures (e.g., after sales service) to satisfy the consumers’ needs.

  • The main aim of all effort is to earn profit through maximisation of customer satisfaction. This implies that, if the customers are satisfied, they will continue to buy, and many new customers will be added. This will lead to increased sales and so also the profits.

Table of Modern Concept of Marketing
Title:Table of Modern Concept of Marketing

Modern Concept of Marketing

Focus on

Customers’ need


Coordinated marketing efforts


Profits through customers’ satisfaction

It may be noted that with growing awareness of the social relevance of business, marketing has to take into account the social needs and ensure that while enhancing consumer satisfaction, it also aims at society’s long-term interest.

Difference between Marketing and Selling

  • The terms ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’ are related but not synonymous. ‘Marketing’ as stated earlier, emphasises on earning profits through customer satisfaction. In marketing, the focus is on the consumer’s needs and their satisfaction. ‘Selling’ on the other hand focuses on product and emphasises on selling what has been produced. In fact, it is a small part of the wide process of marketing wherein emphasis is initially on promotion of goods and services and eventually on increase in sales volume.

  • Marketing has long term perspective of winning over consumer loyalty to the product by providing him maximum satisfaction. Selling has short-term prospective of only increasing the sales volume.

  • In marketing, the consumer is the on king whose needs must be satisfied. In selling, the product is supreme, and the entire focus is its sale. Marketing starts before production and continues even after the exchange of goods and services has taken place. It is so because provision of after sale service is an important component of marketing process. Selling starts after the production and ends as soon as the exchange of goods and services has taken place.

Table of Difference between Marketing and Selling
Title: Table of Difference Between Marketing and Selling



Marketing includes selling and other activities like various promotional measures, marketing research, after sales service, etc

Selling is confined to persuasion of consumers to buy firm’s goods and services.

It starts with research on consumer needs, wants, preference, likes, dislike etc., and continues even after the sales have taken place

Selling starts after the production process is over and ends with the handing over the money to the seller by the buyer.

Focus is on earning profit through maximisation of customers’ satisfaction.

Focus is on earning profit through maximisation of sales.

Customer’s need is the central point around whom all marketing activities revolve.

Fragmented approach to achieve short-term gain.

It is an integrated approach to achieve long term goals like creating, maintaining and retaining the customers.

All activities revolve around the product that has been produced.

Stresses on needs of buyer.

Stresses on needs of the seller.

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