The objective of all business enterprises is to satisfy the needs and wants of the society. Marketing is, therefore, a basic function of all business firms. When a salesperson sells washing machines, a doctor treats a patient or a Government asks people to take their children for polio drops, each is marketing something to meet the targets. Traditionally, small firm owners do not give as much importance to marketing as to other functions such as accountancy, production and selling. Training programmes, enterprise development and the current thrust for competitiveness have now given high priority to promoting marketing awareness among small business owners, and marketing is now assuming its rightful place along with other business functions.
Marketing can be defined as the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers.
Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.
According to America Marketing Association, marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and Il processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.
It can also be seen from the social angle a societal process by which individuals and group obtain what they need and want through creatin offering and freely exchanging products an services of value with others.
Marketing is based on thinking about business in terms of customers’ needs and th satisfaction. Marketing differs from selling in sense that selling concerns itself with the trick and technique of getting people to exchange their cash for their product. It is not concerned with the value of the exchange is all about. And it does not, as marketing invariable does, view the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customers’ needs. In other words, marketing has less to do with getting customers to pay for your products and services and more to do in developing a demand for that product and service in order to meet and fulfil the customer’s needs.
The following are the common terms used in marketing:

Needs: These are basic human requirements. They are the basic forces that motivate a person to think about and do something/take action. Needs are things which are essential for you irrespective of the financial situation/ conditions. These are the things you have to take care first and only then come other things which you can do without.
Wants: These are things which you wish to have but they are not above your needs. For example, a car is a want when compared to your child’s school fees or educational savings. You can live your life without a car but child’s education is vital and cannot be compromised.
Demand: This is the want for a specific product backed by an ability to pay.
Product: These are the goods and services offered to the buyer by the marketer or seller.
Exchange: This means the act of obtaining a needed object by offering something in return. Exchange is a value-creating process because it leaves both parties better off (win-win situation).
Transaction: A transaction is an exchange between two things of value on agreed conditions and a time and place of agreement. To make a successful transaction, a marketer should understand what each party expects from the transaction.
Market: A market is a place which allows the purchaser and the seller to invent and gather information and lets them carry out exchange of various products and services. In other words the meaning of market refers to a plac where the trading of goods takes place.
The place can be a market place or street market. The market functions that the satisfaction of the buyers an sellers during a transaction can ensured.
Quality in marketing refers to the totality of fea tures and characteristics of a product that bear in its ability to satisfy the needs of the customer OR Quality refers to the collection of features and characteristics that contribute to its ability o meet given requirements. OR Quality refers how well products perform and satisfy con umers’ needs and wants. OR Quality refers to he features associated with a product that meets the standards and expectations of the buyer
Marketing affects so many people in so many ways. The following are the goals of marketing system according to Kotler and Armstrong (1987):
1. Maximise consumption.
2. Maximise consumer satisfaction.
3. Maximise choice.
4. Maximise life quality.
5. Maximise profit.
1. Maximise consumption: Many business executives believe that marketing job should stimulate consumption, and also create maximum consumption, which will in turn create maximum production, employment and wealth. The assumption is that the more people consume the products, the happier they are.
2. Maximise consumer satisfaction: The second goal suggested for marketing system is maximising consumer’s satisfaction, not consumption. However, a lot of problems are associated with measurement of human satisfaction These problems are:
(i). Nobody has figured out how to measure the total satisfaction created by a particular product marketing activity.
(ii). The satisfaction that individual consumers got from the “goods” of a product or service must be offset by the “bad” such as pollution with environmental damage.
(iii). The satisfaction people get from consuming certain goods such as status goods, depends on few other people having these goods.
3. Maximise choice: The goals of a marketing system should be to maximise product variability and consumer choice. The system would enable the consumer to find those goods that exactly satisfy their tastes. Consumers would be able to maximise their lifestyles and therefore their satisfaction.
4. Maximise life quality: The goal of a marketing system should be to improve the quality of life, quantity, availability and cost of goods, the quality of the physical environments and the quality of the cultural environment. This means that the marketing system is not the amount of direct consumer’s satisfaction they create but also by the impact they have on the quality of the physical and cultural environment.
5. Maximise profit: Marketing is successful only when it is capable of maximising profitable sales and achieving a long-run customer satisfaction.

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