's Guide to the TOEFL® Test Podcast

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Monday, May 29, 2006

TOEFL® Podcast #27

Marketing Lecture

Script by Katrina Carrasco

Audio Index
Slow dialog: 1:10
Explanation: 5:02
Fast dialog: 19:10
Questions: 21:36

During the next few weeks, we will be learning about the basic principles of marketing, from conceiving the idea for a product, to developing it based on market research, to promoting its sale. If you all read the assignment for last night you should already have an idea about what we will be discussing today.

What is marketing? The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines it as the “management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” This definition describes modern marketing, because only recently have the needs and wants of the consumer played a part in influencing marketing strategy. It has only been in that last half-decade or so, in fact, that companies have based their product development on market research. Before market research was developed, companies produced whatever goods they felt were most useful, but left it up to salespeople to find the best ways to sell those goods to customers.

Two terms we will be using frequently in our discussions over the coming weeks are acquisition and base management. These terms describe two key parts of marketing strategy. Acquisition refers to the process of acquiring new customers, through advertisings, promotions, and product placement. Base management refers to the process of maintaining relationships with existing customers, as well as identifying other products they need through interacting with those customers.

One of the chapters I assigned for today was the introduction to advertising. As you would have read, advertising is a crucial part of marketing. Advertising plays a major part in the acquisition process, and it is probably the part of marketing that you, as young consumers, have most come into contact with.

Advertising and promotion are part of today’s basic marketing strategy, but they fly in the face of classical economic theory, which operates on the idea that supply and demand are not dependent on one another. If the supplier of a good promotes that good, they are in essence telling the consumer, or demand side of the equation, what it is that they want to consume. Supply is trying to influence demand. Some critics argue that this perverts the ideal free market.