Is Marketing Shaping or Reflecting Consumer Needs?

Subject: Marketing
Pages: 2
Words: 671
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Undergraduate


Marketing is the art or science that seeks to identify and meet customers’ needs profitably (Kotler & Keller, 2012). Good marketing is a discipline that involves creating effective strategies to counter the inherent marketing challenges while maintaining customer loyalty for success. Marketing enhances demand for products and acceptance for newly introduced products while promoting changes to the existing products. The significant role played by marketing is evident from the increased creation of brand awareness and sales for different products. Critics claim that marketing not only identifies customer needs but also creates many undesirable wants. In my opinion, marketing identifies and creates consumers’ needs. Through this marketing shapes consumer needs and not merely reflecting the wants and needs of the customers. The various marketing tools such as advertising are essential in shaping the consumers’ needs according to the marketers’ preferences. Today, marketing significantly influences society as a whole.

The Impact of Marketing

The issue on whether marketing creates or satisfies consumer needs is the most debated both formally and informally. The various marketing tools such as advertising, sales promotion, and branding build demand for new and old products (Kazmi, 2007). Therefore, these strategies create consumer needs through enticing customers into buying the marketed products. Marketers drive consumers into impulse spending on products they advocate for even when they can do without such items. Marketing goes beyond goods and services to people, places, and information. For example, the election of President Obama was a result of successful marketing strategies that shaped the US citizens’ needs. The Obama campaigners created the need for a leader like president Obama who they associated with logical policies and excellent leadership skills. They selected the best marketing strategies such as associating him with the common citizens to market his candidature to the people. The marketing shaped the citizens’ need for a president like Obama especially through the slogan, ‘yes we can’.

I think that through continuous marketing strategies, marketing ends up creating and shaping consumer needs in accordance with the products. Marketers make their products seem perfect in the consumers’ eyes in order to catch their attention. They carefully design products that will help shape the consumer preference and/or increase sales (Kotler & Keller, 2012). For example, the advertisement by Nike aims at shaping consumer wants by creating the impression that the products the company sells are the best and the needed ones. The company uses celebrities to market its products to give consumers the impression that they are the best and that they define their wants accordingly. This is despite the fact that some of the products are very expensive for the target groups. Consequently, despite the advertisement reflecting the wants and needs of the customers they shape them. There are various implications of this debate on consumers and marketing professionals. Consumers develop the implication that marketers are after sales increment and are profit driven because they market anything that can sell. For example, the negative consumers’ reaction to the advertisement of expensive sneakers to the youth who may not afford them shows the implication of the debate to consumers. In addition, consumers are implied that marketers want them to spend on their products even when they do not necessarily need them. The debate raises implications such as consumer awareness to the marketing professionals. Through the debate whether marketers create or satisfy wants, marketing professionals get the impression that consumers recognize their marketing strategies and objectives (Petersen, 2011). It shows that consumers have perfect knowledge on the marketing issues and that the marketers need to improve their tactics to maintain customer loyalty.


Successful marketing management, which is the desire of all marketers, is achievable through alignment of products according to consumer needs. I believe that marketing identifies then creates and shapes customers’ needs. Successful marketers design products that shape the consumers’ needs as a strategy of attracting and retaining many customers as opposed to merely reflecting the consumers’ needs. This debate draws corporate attention on the best ways to promote products while considering their implications.


Kazmi, H. (2007). Marketing Management. New Delhi: Excels Books India Publishers.

Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing Management. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall Publishers.

Petersen, A. M. (2011). Agile Marketing. New York, NY: Apress Publishers.