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Marketing is the craft of linking the producers (or potential producers) of a product or service with customers , both existing and potential. It is an inevitable and necessaryconsequence of capitalism . However marketing is not limited to capitalistcountries. Marketing techniques are applied in all political systems, and in many aspects of life. Marketing methods are informedby many of the social sciences , particularly psychology , sociology , and economics . Marketing research underpins theseactivities. Through advertising , it is also related to many of the creative arts. Successful marketers typically have a customer orientation or focus .

What marketing involves

Contrary to the popular conception, marketing is not just about promotion -- it can be divided into four sections, oftencalled the "four Ps". They are:

  • Product - The Product management aspect ofmarketing deals with the specifications of the actual good or service, and how it relates to the end-user 's needs and wants.
  • Pricing - This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts.
  • Promotion - This includes advertising , publicity , word of mouth, and personal selling,and refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand , or company.
  • Place or distribution refersto how the product gets to the customer; for example, point of sale placement or retailing .

These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix . Amarketer will use these variables to craft a marketing plan . For amarketing plan to be successful, the mix of the four "p's" must reflect the wants and desires of the consumers in the target market . Trying to convince a market segment to buy something they don't want is extremely expensiveand seldom successful. Marketers depend on marketing research to determine what consumers want and what they are willing to pay for. Marketers hope that this process will give them a sustainable competitive advantage . Marketing management is the practical application of thisprocess.

There are over 200 marketing articles on Wikipedia. For a list of them see: List of marketing topics .

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