In marketing, a market is generally defined as a group of consumers and producers who are involved in the manufacture, purchase and use of the product. As such, it involves all customers with the resources and ability to purchase the product, any distributors or middle men involved, and any competing or collaborating firms involved in the manufacture. From the firm’s point of view, it defines its market as those customers who are interested in the product and have the ability and legal means to purchase it, and its target market as the segment of the market the firm has decided to serve based on its capabilities.
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It is important to note that a product in this case can be a physical product, a service, or information. Also, the size of the market for a product does not tend to be fixed, and will respond to changes in the product and other comparable products. For example, as MP3 players become less expensive and able to store more songs, so the size of the market increases. However, as the size of the market increases, so the size of the personal CD player market falls. The size of the market can also be increased or decreased through legislation which restricts people from buying the product; allows a greater number of people to buy it; or makes buying it a legal requirement. For example, when the UK government made home information packs a required part of selling a house, the market for the provision of these packs grew significantly.
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