Letter to My Future Self: Writing a Message to Myself

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Dear me, I am writing this letter from the future and have just finished the first semester of our course. I will be going through what I’ve learnt from our marketing organisations and society module over the past semester and what’s going to prepare you for next year. My knowledge of marketing has vastly improved and I’m going to tell you why.

To begin the module, we learnt what exactly is marketing and touched on briefly the scope of marketing which we went into more detail further on in the semester. You already have a basic understanding of marketing, so you obviously know about the marketing mix and how important it is. There are a number of different theories and concepts of marketing. I did not realise there were so many concepts from a number of different theories. The three concepts I did the most research on was Kotler’s theory in 1967, the chartered institute of marketing’s theory and also the American marketing association definition. Kotler’s definition of marketing is “the analysing, organising, planning and control of the firm’s customer impinging resources, policies and activities with a view to satisfying the needs and wants of chosen customers groups at a profit”. The CIM’s definition is “marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”. Finally, the AMA definition is “marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, partners and society at large”. I felt Like these were key definitions as they mentioned the management process and I feel like this is huge in marketing. All of these definitions have a big focus on satisfying the customer’s needs which is important. Something you don’t know is the number of different stakeholders in marketing and society. This includes retailers, suppliers, employees, customers, and this is just to name a few. These different sectors also branch off into other sections for example customers include clients, advocates and prospects, etc. We briefly touched on the scope of marketing and found out that there are a number of different sectors such as micro and macro as well as profit and non-profit sectors. There is a full lecture just on the scope of marketing further on in the semester so don’t worry if you don’t have a full understanding on it just yet.

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The next part of the module was the evolution of marketing and you will find this part the most interesting finding out how far marketing has come in the last 100 years. There are three important phrases to show the evolution and this starts from 1850. This is the emergence of the mass market and this is when the industrial revolution began so entrepreneurs started to produce goods. We realised we could produce mass goods, so this era propelled our consumption, so we started to buy a lot more than before. The next major phrase to marketing was in 1960 when we discovered our audience and started creating goods for people’s needs and wants instead of providing the audience with what the seller has produced. Also, this is when we started to think about PESTLE in order to succeed as a brand. With this we can look at all the changes and trends to the market. The final phase of evolution was in 1990 and this is when a relationship with a customer was very important. This would make them keep coming back. Service is a huge part in building a relationship with the customers. I wanted to look further into a brand that has evolved massively over the last decade so looked into Coca Cola. They started in 1886 and are now the most valuable soft drink brand world-wide. Something you will find very interesting is a theory called Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and this is basically how people buy. The things that we engage with are influenced by a number of things. It’s starts off with physiological and safety needs and these are basic needs for the customer. Moving on to belongingness and esteem needs and motivation decreases when these needs have been met. The final part is self-actualisation, and this is self-fulfilment needs and motivation will increase when needs are met so this can be making music for example. You just want to keep making more and more to keep motivated.

So, by this point you will have an idea of the different concepts as well as how much marketing has changed as a whole. We then moved onto the role of marketing and this is how to create relationships with the customers. It is important to create and build customer value so there are a number of different ways to do this which include market segmenting market research and strategic marketing, etc. The customers have to see that the organisation has something to offer them and serves a purpose. I realised that strategic marketing tends to happen when you are an advanced organisation. Delivering customer value also means looking into the 3-extra p’s in the marketing mix which are people process and physical evidence. It was interesting learning that it’s isn’t just about a business marketing to the consumer (B2C) but also business to business (B2B) as well as business to government (B2G). Even at this point in the module, you will have a much better understanding of marketing in general.

The part of the module that is important for your career path is the scope of marketing. We got to understand the scope of marketing both within and outside an organisation and also went into more detail of the concept of stakeholder mapping. Having briefly learnt about the scope of marketing, this lecture went into much more detail. After learning all of this, you will have a much better idea or what department you want to work in. When doing a role in an organisation, you will have to work with all the different aspects. It is a complex subject as you are liaising with all the other departments. Examples of internal departments are HR, finance, manufacturing and sales, etc and this is just to name a few. HR is the department that focuses on giving out the working hours. The organisation would have to work closely with this team, so they are employing the right people for the job. Finance is important as they have to work out their budget. You must work with manufacturing so you can make the products in which you have been working on. The sales team will actually get your product or service out on the market. Depending of the size of an organisation, a research and development team would be used. I learnt that a lot of marketing is outsourced so this means work with contractors. I didn’t realise how many departments there were in an organisation and how important it is that they all work together. If one department stops working, the whole organisation will break down. You have also got to work with external stakeholders and agencies. As you get more senior in your job, you will have more of an influence on the senior people that may be above you. There are three different levels of interaction with stakeholders and they are micro meso and macro. Micro is small and close to you and an example of this would be a marketing agency specialising in content marketing as they are not a part of the organisation but are offering you a service. Macro would be big and far away and an example of this would be HMRC although on the finance team would interact with these. Meso would be in between micro and macro so could be a local place where the employees go to lunch. You aren’t apart of this organisation but are connected as employees go to lunch there. The department You will be most interested in working in would be market research as you like finding out the trends and changes in the market. Researching competitor activity and what’s going on in the market also interest you.

Finding out all about materialism and consumption will interest you very much as you don’t anything about it at the moment. It will widen your view on marketing and make your think more about each aspect of it. Materialism is the importance an individual has to their possessions, which is important when looking at consumer buying behaviour. The consumer is constantly wanting new possessions, so organisations are going to continue to release waves of new products to keep the customers intrigued. Consumption is very similar to materialism as it is customers buying goods to satisfy their needs. It doesn’t just have to be about buying so could also be wanting or needing a product.

We went on to learn about marketing on a global scale and the ethics that comes with it. Global marketing is the process for a company to adjust their marketing strategies in order to succeed in other countries and meet their being global, it also gives you an advantage of your competitors. However global marketing comes with a number of challenges. One of those is the market is always changing so companies must continue to refresh their brand. The customers are always changing in what they are looking for. You will also have to adapt the marketing to meet the specific countries regulations, so language is a big factor to this. When talking about ethics, you are putting the people first and words that come to mind with this are fairness, respect and trust, etc. This is not just in terms of decision making but also the practice in the organisation. All employees should be treated correctly which regular involvement from senior management. From previously working in retail, you already have a good understanding of ethics in an organisation, but this will improve your understanding of it.

The final part of this module was looking into marketing in the digital world and you will find this very interesting as the internet and technology appeal to you. From previous research you already have a good understanding of digital marketing so this will just be a refresher to you. There are a number of different ways a marketer uses digital tools and the most popular one has to be as a communication channel. You are able to use social media such as Facebook and Instagram to try and catch the eye of the customers. As technology has progressed so much in today’s world, most people will be on some form of social media so that’s why most organisations target this as a communication channel. Also, you are able to monitor what the competition are doing but the negative is that they can see what you are doing. You can also use digital tools for market research to see what the trends are currently and what the customers are asking for.

In conclusion, I have learnt so much since the start of this module and my understanding of marketing as a discipline has vastly improved. Before the course, I believed that marketing was just about selling a product but now I know it’s a lot more than that. It’s not about selling a product but selling a solution to the consumers. I know level 5 next year is going to be a step up, but I’m fully prepared for the challenge ahead. I’m constantly researching and looking at articles on marketing as I want to find out more and more. I didn’t think I’d find module so interesting, but it has taken my knowledge to the next level.

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