What is Marketing?
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Business vs Consumer Markets
The success of your marketing strategy involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the particular markets that you serve. These markets can either be consumer markets or business markets. A simple method of identifying the difference between these two markets is to address the following questions:
- Who is buying the goods?
- Why is the purchase being made?
Business markets involve sales and purchases of goods and services to various businesses, governments and market intermediaries to facilitate the finished product which is generally then re-sold to an end user. In contrast, consumer markets involve the purchase and sale of goods and services to consumers for their own use rather than for resale.
As there is a significant difference between these two markets, the marketing strategies adopted to serve them also differ. These strategies need to be developed based on the needs, wants and buying processes of the particular market.
Buying decisions for consumer markets can be complex for large purchases such as cars, houses and holidays, where multiple family members such as husbands and wives, even children will be involved to make a collective decision. However for smaller day to day products and services there is usually a much more simple buying process where one person will be the decision maker and there will be generally a low level relationship between the buyer and the seller, as in the case of a supermarket purchase.
In business markets however, the buying process may involve a high amount of decision making and will often have more than one individual involved in the buying process. For example, there may be an engineer or technical person involved in the specification of the product or service and a purchasing manager in charge of price negotiations. Sometimes in large buying decisions there can even be a team of people from different departments making the purchase decision collectively.