What is Company’s Orientation towards the Marketplace
Given these new marketing realities, what philosophy should guide a company’s marketing efforts?
Let’s first review the evolution of marketing philosophies.
THE PRODUCTION CONCEPT
The production concept is one of the oldest concepts in business. It holds that consumers prefer products that are widely available and inexpensive. Managers of production-oriented businesses concentrate on achieving high production efficiency, low costs, and mass distribution. This orientation has made sense in developing countries such as China, where the largest PC manufacturer, Legend (principal owner of Lenovo Group), and domestic appliances giant Haier have taken advantage of the country’s huge and in-expensive labor pool to dominate the market. Marketers also use the production concept when they want to expand the market.
THE PRODUCT CONCEPT
The product concept proposes that consumers favor products offering the most quality, performance, or innovative features. However, managers are sometimes caught in a love affair with their products. They might commit the “better-mousetrap” fallacy, believing a better product will by itself lead people to beat a path to their door. As many start-ups have learned the hard way, a new or improved product will not necessarily be successful unless it’s priced, distributed, advertised, and sold properly.
THE SELLING CONCEPT
The selling concept holds that consumers and businesses, if left alone, won’t buy enough of the organization’s products. It is practiced most aggressively with unsought goods–goods buyers don’t normally think of buying such as insurance and cemetery plots-_-and when firms with overcapacity aim to sell what they make, rather than make what the market wants. Marketing based on hard selling is risky. It assumes customers coaxed into buying a product not only won’t return or bad-mouth it or complain to consumer organizations but might even buy it again.
THE MARKETING CONCEPT
The marketing concept emerged in the mid-1950s as a customer-centered, sense-and-respond philosophy. The job is to find not the right customers for your products, but the right products for your customers. Dell doesn’t prepare a PC or laptop for its target market. Rather, it provides product platforms on which each person customizes the features he or she desires in the machine. The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals is being more effective than competitors in creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value to your target markets. Harvard’s Theodore Levitt drew a perceptive contrast between the selling and marketing concepts; Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.
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