Page 1: Introduction
In its simplest form marketing answers the question - What does the customer want to buy? A key definition of marketing is: Marketing is the anticipation and identification of consumer wants and needs in order to meet these needs and to make a profit.
This case study models this marketing process. It shows how the world’s leading name in imaging researched and produced the photographic system that consumers asked for.
The case shows how an intelligent organisation can combine its market research antenna and its technological know-how and product development capability to make a product that pleases customers. Market research involves systematically finding out from consumers what their needs and requirements are.
Technological know-how involves being able to apply the latest knowledge in a practical way. Product development capability is the ability to bring on stream the products that provide consumers with the benefits which they want a product to have.
Consumers’ wants and needs are changing all the time. As consumers become more sophisticated they want products to do more than the ones they currently have available to them - they want computers that work faster and are able to perform more operations, they want cars which are safer and more environmentally acceptable, they want toothbrushes which are gentler on the gums and so on. At the same time, technological advance means that yesterday’s goods and services quickly become dated. Organisations need to have their finger on the pulse of technological change. For example, manufacturers of training shoes have used new technologies to create air cushioned soles, giving trainers a light and springy feel, computer manufacturers have devised new computers with much more memory and which can work much more quickly than in the past, compact disc players have largely replaced record players and so on.
All of these are examples of technology moving forward. Marketing has a responsibility to recognise changes in technology, so that organisations can make appropriate decisions to keep abreast of change.