Marketing Reflects The Needs And Wants Of Society

4650 words - 19 pages

As recognised by Shajahan (2004), recent decades have witnessed a paradigm shift in marketing from simply using marketing to produce a sale and maximise sale volumes by virtue of individual transactions (transaction-based marketing), to a more customer focused, market driven approach which places greater emphasis on building longer term relationships with customers (relationship marketing) . The primary goal of relationship marketing is to build and maintain a base of committed customers who are profitable for the organisation (Warnaby et al 2010). Therefore, as per Grönroos (2004:101), it follows that relationship marketing is, “the process of ...view middle of the document...

It is a theory that implies that mass media such as marketing and advertising have a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences, directly influencing and creating their behaviours (Davis and Baron 1981).
The theory believes that people passively receive the information transmitted via a media text, without any attempt on their part to process or challenge the data. Thereby, by saying that people’s needs and wants are influenced by marketing, one is saying that individuals are passive to marketing’s influence. This viewpoint suggests that audiences are manipulated by marketers and that their behaviour and thinking is easily changed by media-makers.
A hypodermic-needle approach to marketing, which views the audience as “defenceless” and easily manipulated by marketing to a degree to which the audiences needs and wants are created by marketing, is outdated and too reductive and simplistic in its debates (Littlejohn and Foss 2009). There is an evident need in the hypodermic-needle theory (and any theory that suggests that the needs and wants of society are influenced by marketing) for an analysis between the text and the audience, with actual investigation, because the audience’s active engagement with marketing is underestimated (Tomlinson 1999).
Therefore, to say that marketing creates people’s needs and wants is both simplistic and totalising because it does not take into account the agency of an audience in media reception. It assumes that people are mere “puppets” of marketing (Littlejohn and Foss 2009). Consumers are rational decision makers; if not rational they have definitely become more intelligent and aware of substitutes. In order to make rational decisions we require clear information upon which to decide. Rationality is a floating concept and is therefore relative to personal circumstances.
Stuart Hall’s audience reception theory refutes the fact that society’s needs and wants are created by marketing, by presenting a theory which sees individuals as an active audience who make meaning out of media devices such as marketing (Littlejohn and Foss 2009). This means that audiences are not passively influenced by marketing, but rather actively negotiate a meaning with the marketing text. Because the media user is active and selective, this means that marketing can only be influential when it responds to the needs and wants of the receiver (Biltereyst 2003). Therefore, instead of marketing creating the needs and wants of an individual, an individual is able to actively engage with marketing and make enough meaning out of the marketing to decide whether it addresses that individual’s inherent needs and wants.

Firer et al (2004) describe the efficient market hypothesis as well-organised capital markets that are efficient markets for all practical purposes. They assert that in terms of the financial markets, all information is reflected in the share price and thus all investments made have a...

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