Role of Marketing

Teaching Notes for this Marketing Activity

This is an introductory exercise suitable for use in the first few weeks of a marketing course. It assumes no theoretical marketing knowledge, but instead gives a good insight into the student’s existing perceptions and understanding of marketing at the outset of their course.

This is a flexible exercise that can be structured as a quick review exercise for a large class, and it can even work as an individual student exercise. It should be completed in around 5 minutes, plus any additional discussion time.

A good related activity is also available – Your Perceptions of Marketing

Student Task: What is the the Role of Marketing?

One of the challenges you have at the start of a marketing program is to develop a nice and clear understanding of the role of marketing.

As you have probably gathered, the word “marketing” is obviously related to the word “market”. You should note that the word marketing is a verb, which means that marketing is an active process of “going to market” (that is, helping a firm (or organization) go to market).

But what does “going to market” mean? Think about a street market where there are buyers and sellers. The sellers work together to attract large numbers of buyers, but are also in competition with each other to win sales from the buyers. The buyers are looking for a good deal and to buy products that they are interested in.

Your task in this exercise is to review the following list. To what extent, do you think, that these goals reflect the role of marketing for a firm. Try to score each one on this scale (Definitely a role of marketing, probably a marketing role, probably not a marketing role or definitely not a role of marketing).

  1. To add value for consumers,
  2. To win customers,
  3. To outperform its competition,
  4. To make a difference to society and
  5. To achieve the firm’s other defined objectives.

Question: Given your view of whether the above goals are a role of marketing, how would you then describe the role of marketing in your own words.