Why Do Marketers Required to Know Consumer Needs And Wants?

Marketers need to understand the criteria consumers are using in making their buying decisions to be able to compete successfully in the marketplace. Once marketers understand this behavior, they can formulate marketing plans designed to help their product or service be the one that consumers choose, which should lead to an increased bottom line for the business. In addition, once marketers understand what is driving consumption, they may also be able to influence buying decisions, creating a demand for a product or service.


Consumer needs are broader than that of consumers simply buying necessary items in which to survive. Consumers may “need” to buy for any variety of reasons, such as prestige and esteem, safety and security or for love and affiliation reasons, according to Reference for Business. For example, women's perfume and men’s cologne advertisements very often imply that the wearer will receive love by using a certain scent. One need not go too far to see how prestige products are marketed, especially ones that boldly advertise the product name or logo. Think Coach and Tiffany & Co. for a couple of examples. Prestige products appear to go against the typical demand curve of lowering prices to compete for buyers. With luxury items, the higher the price, the more the prestige that is linked to the product. The need to achieve something is another reason people buy products. The parent who buys his son the most expensive Little League bat, the person who attends a self-help seminar or the cook who buys the best knives are examples of people who are purchasing products or services to excel.

Psychological reasons

Many psychological reasons go into why people buy, and if marketers know these reasons, they can capitalize on them. Some consumers buy in order to satisfy themselves, while others buy for the opinion of others. For example, a shoe company who is appealing to consumers who want to satisfy their own needs will advertise the comfort of the shoe, whereas a company that is concerned with the consumer who is trying to please others might focus on how good the consumer will look in the shoe. These shoes will be displayed differently in stores. Values are another way that marketers package their goods. As the “green” movement gains momentum, consumers will see more products that speak to being organic and that help the consumer to maintain an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Product benefits

Typically the more expensive the product, the more the consumer will have the need to comparison shop. For expensive products, such as cars, marketers need to provide enough information so that consumers can weigh the benefits of the particular product or service. For low-end purchases, such as a can of tomato sauce, often product placement and price are more important than product benefits.


Motivation is another factor that marketers can use when promoting their product. When a consumer is looking for a pain relief product, for example, while price may be one issue, the main concern for consumers is how fast and effective the product will get rid of the pain. These consumers are often willing to pay more for a perceived brand that will work, according to Reference for Business.

To create a need

Creating a need for a product or service is something marketers do all the time. Movie theaters have been promoting popcorn and sodas with the movie for decades. Home shopping channels that sell their products 24 hours a day often create a need for their products and satisfy a consumer need for human interaction by having live people with whom consumers can talk. Once marketers figure out why people are buying, they can be very successful.

The Rationale for Market Research

Drucker (1973) contended that the purpose of the business is to create a satisfied customer.He went on to suggest that marketing cannot be considered as a separate function, it is the whole business that is seen from the point of its final result, that is, from the customers’ point of view. Kotler (1973) argued that marketing is about offering the right product or service at the right price; that is available in the right place, at the right time, and, doing so at a profit. In other words, marketing is essentially the management process by which companies identify,anticipate and satisfy their customers’ need and wants, while simultaneously making a profit.In a similar vein, Levvitt (1986) held that the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.  He  maintained   that  there   can   be  no  corporate  strategy that is   not  in  some fundamental fashion  a marketing strategy, as the purpose of business is to sell products or services  that  customers   are   willing  to   purchase. Therefore,  if   a  company  is   truly   market oriented, it will focus its attention and activities on its customers and their expectations. The actions of such a company arise directly from its customers’ needs and wants.

Discussions about the purpose of marketing are still ongoing. Grönroos (2006) suggests that‘‘Marketing is a customer focus that permeates organisational functions and processes and is geared   towards   making   promises   through   value   propositions,   enabling the fulfillment of Understanding Customer Needs and Wants individual expectations   created by   such promises   and fulfilling   such  expectations  through support to customers’ value-generating processes, thereby   supporting   value  creation in the firms’ as well as its customers’ and other stakeholders’ processes’’ (p. 407). Academics often refer  to  this  belief  as   the marketing   concept,  which  says  that the   best  way  for  a  firm   to accomplish its goals over the long run is to choose a group of customers and to do a better job than competitors in satisfying the needs of those customers. To do this, a company must put itself in the customer’s situation.

Assessing the Customers’ Needs and Wants

Basically,  a  need  is   a  conscious  feeling  of   deprivation  in  a  person.   In  other words,  it   is something which a customer requires to experience satisfaction. For example, in the case of business travelers, the punctuality of a service is a good example of what constitutes a need(Peterson, Neels, Barczi & Graham, 2013). An airline failing to provide a high standard of punctuality   will   lose   business  to  its competitors.   For   example,  the  travel   search   engines analyse and profile hotels to refine their offerings to online users. Many prospects search for accommodation in specific areas (for example in the city center). They may expect to have breakfast, wifi or internet access, a fitness center and car parking facilities in their hotel. They may demand for accessible rooms as they may have a reduced mobility. The online booking site convert these requests into meaningful results, as it shows the right hotels which match the criteria of prospective guests. However, not   every   customer   requirement  can   be   put   under  the   heading   of   a   need.  For example, a warm and friendly attitude on the part of the cabin staff, though pleasant, can not be said to have a crucial influence on the travelers choice of an airline. It should there fore be classified as a want rather  than a need. Wants are highly  significant in marketing  today because, in many markets, airlines can meet customer needs just as well as their competitors.On  many routes, passengers fly similar aircraft, and could notice that several airlines offer similar time tables and punctuality records. In such situations, the customers’ choice of airline is frequently based on less significant wants.A  want   is   a   need  after   it   has   been influenced   by   culture,   society   and   an   individual’s personality. There are two kinds of wants, a ‘tangible’ want and a ‘psychological’ want. For instance, the business travellers appreciate the product feature of a separate class of service,on-board an  aircraft.   The   costly option of   travelling  in separate,  dedicated  cabins provide business passengers with a peaceful environment away from crying children, where they can rest or work. Of course, there are other needs and wants for different types of travelers: The needs of the short-haul traveler include the high frequency of service from a convenient local airport, suitable flight timings, high standards of punctuality, a totally flexible product in terms of seat accessibility, ease of cancellation  and re-booking and the ability to “no-show”without penalty, among others. In the case of business travelers, price is not on necessarily on their top list of priorities.

The Marketing Research Process

Marketing managers could use research data to personalise their products or services to their customers. For instance, the customers (or guests) of a hotel could have their own needs and wants. The hotel guests  may   be   leisure travelers, including families  with   children,  senior citizens, young adults, etc. Alternatively, they may comprise business travelers who travel on their own. Therefore, relevant market research will provide the hotel management with  a   good  insight on   their guests,   and  their  preferences.   This   information  will support hotels' front liners   in delivering an appropriate customer service to their guests.  This way,they could be in a position to improve their guests’ customer experience.There are a variety of market research techniques which may be applied by travel marketers,for   example,   survey   questionnaires,   interviews,   focus   groups   and   so   on   (Bryman,   2006,Patton,  1990).   Quantitative   research  involves the statistical   analysis  of  large  numbers  of people,  or a representative  sample of them (Creswell & Clark, 2007).  Generally, this latter form of research is conducted in a highly structured way. The quantitative research may also be conducted   through the  use   of scales,  (for  example,  by   using Likert   and / or   Semantic Differential   Scales) in questionnaires. This   research   technique  uses   parameters   such  as population shape, size, proportions, and so on.

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