In most companies and industries, the basic idea of marketing has already established itself: a continuous alignment of the market needs of the entire company. Due to the increasing internationalization as well as the growing dynamics and competitive intensity of market development, it will be a challenge for companies to remain and assert themselves on the market. The most important thing is to recognize all market changes in time and to cope with them. These entrepreneurial tasks are attributed in marketing as a corporate function (Bruhn, 2019, p. 13).
Marketing comprises a process consisting of decisions and designs and is dedicated to all market-oriented corporate activities in a targeted manner, taking into account customer needs, in order to pursue the corporate goals. Here, primarily economic corporate goals are the means to achieve customer needs. Marketing describes a change between two parties, in which the needs are satisfied through exchange processes (Meffert et al., 2008, p. 10).
In this description, the five essential characteristics of marketing become clear (the following enumerations are from the source: (Bruhn, 2019, pp. 14-16):
- Market- and customer-oriented management: The requirements of the market are at the forefront of market-oriented management, which also includes the requirements of the customers. In order to adapt all company activities to customer and market requirements, these must be analysed in detail.
- the recognition of strategic competitive advantages through the realization of company activities for the benefit of the customers: The basic intention of marketing is to increase customer benefit through the products and services offered. Therefore, the discovery of further benefit potential in the service program is a typical characteristic. These are able to perceive strategic competitive advantages for their own company by increasing the customer value.
- systematic decision-making and planning processes: Since marketing is a management function, a decision behaviour follows which pursues the goal of systematic planning. For the decision-making process it is therefore necessary to develop planning processes for different decision-making levels.innovative and creative problem solving: Success in the market is achieved by innovative and creative problem solutions as well as by analytical procedures. For the implementation of the offered services on the market it is therefore necessary to find solutions which are unique and unusual.
- the integration of internal and external market activities: A large number of company departments, such as sales, market research, advertising or complaint management, have an indirect or direct connection to the sales market. Successful marketing therefore requires the coordination of all functional areas in order to achieve an integrated approach in the market and within the company. This also applies to cooperation with external partners such as advertising agencies or sales agents. With the help of integrated marketing, the exploitation of synergy effects can be achieved and the effects of marketing measures can be influenced towards the customer.
- These characteristics represent the philosophy of corporate management in marketing and apply to all types of companies and industries (Bruhn, 2019, p. 16).