Marketing is an ongoing activity that does not stop, continuously obtaining needs that define a state of felt deprivation and wants that defines what is need. It involves transaction in terms price, place, product and promotion. At the end of this exchange, the most important result most desired is customer satisfaction. The discovering and satisfying of consumers’ needs and wants is the prime marketing activity. Thus, the marketing function is to search needs and then satisfy it. According to Philip Kotler, the mission of marketing is to create products that satisfy the unmet needs of target markets. The marketers do not create needs: Needs preexist marketers. Marketers, along with other societal factors influence wants. Marketers might promote the idea that a Mercedes would satisfy a person’s need for social status. They do not, however, create the need for social status.

We all need to eat, drink and sleep and reproduce, this is all part of who we are as human beings. Therefore at the basic level companies will strive to satisfy these functions and keep doing so by once in a while showing advertisements that tells the public that they are around and can provide the products they need. The other aspect is that needs vary depending on what country and society you live in. "For example a consumer in the United States may need food but may want a hamburger, french fries and a soft drink and a person that lives in Mauritius that needs food may want a mango, rice, lentils and beans.

Wants are shaped by our society. Marketers must therefore continually be creating and developing attractive products and then in turn devising a brilliant marketing strategy to win the consumer over to buy their product over other competing products. Companies strive to retain their customer base by delivering value and satisfaction from their products and this is formulated in consumers' minds as a combination of service, quality and price. Some consumers would not mind paying a higher price for an item or service if they received very good service.