In the beginning, marketing was primarily concerned with producing products to satisfy consumer wants. It was very much influenced by the Economics discipline in that it focused its attention on economic exchanges to satisfy consumer wants. According to Adam Smith’s
“Wealth of Nations” (1776) “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of production”
This was referred to as ‘the commodity school of thought’. During the commodity school of thought era, goods were classified as “convenience goods”. This classification and subsequent fine-tuning and additions (introduction of preference goods) went on from 1912 through the 1980s. In 1986 Murphy and Enis introduced the following categories of products:
  • Convenience products
  • Preference products
  • Shopping products
  • Speciality products
In the 1950s many marketing theorists began to advocate a more managerial-based approach; thus began the managerial school of marketing by which I mean that marketing became the job of a manager. In 1960 Theodore Levitt published his groundbreaking article in the Harvard Business Review entitled ‘Marketing Myopia’. Levitt advocated shifting the focus on marketing from product orientation to customer orientation. During this period came the introduction of the marketing mix, the four Ps of marketing, namely product, place, price, and promotion. The next stage was the buying behavior school of thought. The advocates of this school focused their attention on the behavior of consumers in relation to their buying decisions. Research was being conducted on motivational and psychological factors affecting buying behavior in the 1950s but they were not incorporated into the marketing ‘discipline’ till later on.

Ultimate Marketing Strategy

Since the 1990s customers became the focus of attention. The emphasis of marketing practice has been to transform organizations into customer-driven businesses. We are now in the era of a ‘service excellence school of thought’. The marketing discipline, therefore, is heavily influenced by economics, psychology, philosophy, management, social sciences, and technology (Social Networks).
Marketing is defined as the anticipation, management, and satisfaction of demand through the exchange process.

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