Shaping our livesBy encouraging innovation, marketing makes people’s lives easier and more efficient
Most of us seldom admire the hoarding boards on the streets or the ads that pop up in various websites. But we are definitely seeing more of them in recent times. Studies have found that an average city dweller is exposed to 5,000 advertisements in a day.
Another research claims that 82 percent of us notice ads on webpages and 35 percent click on them and visit the site. And, interestingly, 49 percent of these visitors do make a purchase. Despite the research being conducted in the US, with the increasing access to the internet and the growing popularity of ecommerce, the figures might not be much different for Nepal in the next few years.
However, do people even like advertisements? The first answer that comes to our mind is a straight “no” or at least “not to the extent they currently appear on TV, the internet or other places”. Yet, advertisements and marketing as a whole are a crucial aspect in the world and in our lives.
Not a long history
The term ‘marketing’ has a distinct history of only about a century; it began in early 20th century. Prior to this, the pricing of a product depended only on its demand and supply. Although advertisements existed, they were considered neither a part of marketing nor significant to the businesses. But with Pears soap establishing its brand in late 19th century with its famous line “Good morning. Have you used Pears’ soap?” as an advertisement campaign, the significance of advertisements was suddenly realised by other businesses.
Marketing and advertisements have begun to shape our lives. They tell us what is good, better and best, what we should be eating or wearing and how we should be living our lives. Buying a car, living in a posh apartment in the heart of a city or owning a multifunctional phone is what makes us feel accomplished in today’s time.
Marketing encourages innovation to make people’s lives easier and more efficient. Steve Jobs would probably never have been motivated to come up with various upgraded versions of the iPhone if they were never going to be sold to the public in such enormous quantities. The marketing and sales department of a business handles the important tasks of selling the product in bulk. It acts as a bridge between the producers and the customers. Ultimately, the producers are able to use part of the profits to invest in research and development and come up with better products. Had the concept of marketing not been introduced, our lives would not have as many choices.
A huge amount of money is poured as a part of sales and promotion, which serve as a major lifeline for various other organisations and institutions. Newspapers could not have reached us to the extent they do without them being filled with the ads, and the internet would not be as resourceful if the websites were not allowed to post ads. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter and other websites could not survive without being financed by advertisements. For many of us, frequent ads in between television shows might be annoying, but they enable the TV channels to broadcast the cricket match or the movie you wish to watch. Moreover, most of the teams in the major football and cricket leagues are often sponsored by various businesses and brands. Ultimately, the existence of many of these events largely depends on the sponsorship itself.
The world has seen a lot of scientific and technological innovation over the past half-century. Mobile phones, computers, driver-less cars, robots, hybrid vehicles and many other inventions have taken place only after the concept of marketing was genuinely embraced by the businesses. Marketing has been a major factor for making the world what it is at present, and it is also a key player in shaping the world of tomorrow.
While mass marketing of consumer goods is the best economic approach as of now, many of us are often exposed to these ‘irritating’ ads of the products that we have no interest in. This has even been a great challenge for the marketers, as it is not easy to identify potential customers in a consumer market. Yet, with the mushrooming of exclusive spaces, malls, recreation-centres, TV channels, online portals and communities, marketing of products and brands is gradually being tailored to the needs of specific customers.
Koirala is Senior Business Development Officer at Prixa Technologies, a software firm