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The major tasks of marketing management

; Chicago Vol. 2, Iss. 3,  (1993): 52.

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The popular image of the marketer is that he is a professional whose job is to create and maintain demand for something. Unfortunately, this is too limited a view of the range of marketing challenges he faces. In fact, it covers only two of eight important and distinct marketing tasks. Each task calls for a special type of problem-solving behavior and a specific blend of marketing concepts.

Marketing management may be viewed generically as the problem of regulating the level, timing, and character of demand for one or more products of an organization. The organization is assumed to form an idea of a desired level of demand based on profit maximization, sales maximization subject to a profit constraint, satisficing, the current or desired level of supply, or some other type of analysis.

The current demand level may be below, equal to, or above the desired demand level. Four specific demand states makes up underdemand: negative demand, no demand, latent demand, and faltering demand. Two specific demand states make up adequate demand: irregular demand and full demand. Finally, two demand states makes up overdemand: overfull demand and unwholesome demand.

These eight demand states are distinguished primarily with respect to the level of current demand in relation to desired demand; although two additional factors, the timing of demand (irregular demand) and the character of demand (unwholesome demand), are also important. The set of demand situations is fairly exhaustive and the order fairly continuous.

Each demand situation gives rise to a specific marketing task. Negative demand results in attempts to disabuse it; no demand, in attempts to create it; latent demand, in attempts to develop it; and so on.

All of these tasks require a managerial approach consisting of analysis, planning, implementation, organization, and control. Furthermore, they all utilize the two basic steps of...