What Is Marketing? 5 Core Concepts You Need To Know

What is marketing?

Most of us have our own simplified definition for this complex term.

According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is defined as “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.”

It may sound simple enough to understand, but many people — including marketers — struggle with its execution. And that can make or break your business.

Marketing is where you create value for customers. It’s a brand and ideas. It’s communication with customers. It’s consumer behavior and research of the market. It’s analytics.

Marketing casts a big net, but in order to maximize your marketing budget, these are all aspects of marketing you should consider before investing in your next campaign. Let’s say you are a new or established business that has all of its financials, accounting, management and staff in order. You are more than confident in your products and you wish to share them with the world. You just lack ideas for how you want to present these products and fall flat in determining what exactly to do next. Here are five core marketing concepts to help give you confidence before launching your next campaign:


  1. Needs, Wants and Demands: Know Where Your Product Fits In

Humans all have something that we’d like to have. Determining where your product falls is a good place to start.

    • Consumer Needs are imperative to our existence, like water, food, shelter or clothes. Needs are physiological by nature. They create a sort of tension that is created by the consumption or the use of products/services.

Example: An example of this is exposure to our smartphones. We’re living in a time where it’s basically necessary to have one. We would be lost without one given how connected we are to the rest of the world.

    • Consumer Wants is something that satisfies a specific need that you have. Around the holidays we all seem to be exposed to a lot of tantalizing items that we clearly don’t need, but something about them makes us want to buy them. These items are different options we can choose from. To gain maximum satisfaction of your consumers, you must continue to have better options become available.

Example: providing the option of higher-end packages to a car you’ve been looking at.

    • Consumer Demands are the want for an item that’s backed by a willingness to buy that item. We tend to see some sort of demand for a product or service during a certain period.

Example: The demand for the release of pumpkin spice and apple cider products during autumn. Since these are exclusive to this season, we see the demand growth.


  1. Define What it is Your Product Offers

Products can broadly be defined as something that can be offered to satisfy needs or wants. A product consists of the core product itself, the product features (colors, shape, size, branding, etc.). But the product also includes services (ex: warranties on a car, insurance, discounted rates for add-ons, etc.). Don’t just consider your product. If you’re selling a car, you’re also selling the features it has, the upgrade options, dealership offerings and more.


  1. Define Your Product’s Utility, Cost and Satisfaction

Define a few more features of your product.

    • Product Utility is the value your product or service offers to a consumer’s life. This value satisfies the needs and wants of consumers. All products offer varying degrees of utility.
    • Product Cost is the economic value or price for your product or service. When marketing to your consumer base, you want to set a cost that will satisfy consumers’ needs and provide a quality utility (value).
    • Product Satisfaction is a  buyer perceiving a product to have more value compared to what they paid is satisfaction. As marketers, you want to make sure your consumer sees more utility and value in your product so that they receive maximum satisfaction.


  1. Exchange, Transaction and Transfer

Exchange is the act of obtaining something of desire from someone by offering something in return. For an exchange to become possible, there are five conditions a marketer needs to appease:

    • – There should be at least two parties
    • – Each party has something of value for the other party
    • – Parties are capable of communication and delivery
    • – Each party is free to accept or deny the exchange offer
    • – Each party believes it is desirable to deal with the other party

Example: If you owned a business and wanted to have an ad placed on TribLIVE.com, you would exchange currency to Trib Total Media for that space(s). The staff would then work to place your ad. This leads us into a transaction, which is an event where a decision or commitment has been made between two or more parties. The conditions you need to consider before agreeing to a transaction are:

    • – Ensuring there at least two items of value involved
    • – The conditions are agreed upon
    • – There is a time and place of the agreement
    • – A contract is issued to avoid distrust between the parties

Transfers involve obtaining something without an offer or having to offer anything up in return. An example of this would be giving a gift to someone for their birthday. You can look at this as being a way to gain gratitude, show you care or just being nice. In offering a gift, you open the idea of that same person giving you a gift on your birthday as a “thank you.” It’s important to note that a majority of transfers are just like transactions. For marketers, these are both important.


  1. Relationships and Network

As marketers, it’s important to keep good, professional relationships. Relationship marketing should be focused on building long-term connections that are profitable and allow opportunities with other parties. A smart marketer would try and build upon these relationships. These should be with customers, distributors, suppliers, etc. There needs to be trust and commitment to make these possible. Networking is the outcome of maintaining a strong relationship. When these relationships get to a certain stage, new networks open their doors to you. These are the stakeholders who make the success of the business possible. A good network of relationships results in better marketing opportunities over time.


Consumers have a lot of shopping alternatives. Every market imaginable is saturated to the point where the very same consumers don’t know where to turn. These core concepts will help guide you in the right direction and you’ll be on your way to marketing success.