The marketing is the philosophy that firms should analyze the need of their customers and make decisions to satisfy those needs better than the competition. To understand the marketing concepts it is worthwhile to put it in perspective by reviewing other philosophies that once were predominant.
The marketing concept proposes that the success of the firm depends on the marketing efforts of the company and in delivering a better value proposition as compared to its competitors in its own target market.
The marketing concept also demands that the strategic decisions made by the company are taken keeping the customer in mind. Especially the needs wants and demands of the customers. A holistic approach is taken with the whole organization striving to make the customer experience better. Applying the marketing concept also means knowing what the market needs and expects from the company as a result of which companies which apply the marketing concept need to carry out more of market research.
The Production Concept
This prevailed from the time of industrial revolution. The production concept was of idea that firm should focus on those that it could produce most efficiently and that the creation of supply of low cost would and of itself creates the demand for the product. The key questions that a firm should ask itself before producing the product were
- Can we produce the product?
- Can we produce enough of it?
At times this production concept worked well because the goods that were produced were largely those of basic necessity and there was a relatively high level of unfulfilled demand. Virtually that could be produced was sold easily by a sales team whose job was simply to execute the transactions at a price demanded by the cost of production.
The Sales Concept
In early 1930’s mass production became commonplace, competition had increased and there was an unfulfilled demand. Around this time firms began to practice the sales concept under which companies not only would produce the products, but also would try to convince the customers to buy them through advertising and personal selling .Before producing a product, the key questions were:
- Can we sell the product?
- Can we charge enough for it?
The sales concept paid little attention to whether the product actually was needed; the goal simply was to beat the competition to the sale with little regard to customer satisfaction. Marketing was the function that was performed after the product was developed and produced and many people came to associate marketing with hard selling. Even today many people use the word marketing when they really mean sales.
The Marketing Concept
After the World War II the variety of products increased and hard selling no longer could be relied upon to generate sales. With increased discretionary income, customers could afford to be selective and buy only those products that precisely met their changing needs and these needs were not immediately obvious. The key questions became:
- What does customer want?
- Can we develop while they still want it?
- How can we keep our customer happy?
In response to the se discerning customers, firms began to adopt the marketing concepts which involve
- Focusing on customer needs before developing a product.
- Aligning all functions of the company to focus on theses needs.
- Realizing a profit by successfully satisfying the customer needs over the long term.
When firm first began to adopt the marketing concept, they typically set up a separate marketing department whose objective was to satisfy the customer’s needs. Often these departments were sales department5s with expanded responsibilities. Since the entire organization exist to satisfy the customer needs, nobody can neglect the customer issue by declaring it a marketing problem – everybody must be concerned with customer satisfaction.
The marketing concept relies on market research and determining needs of the customer such that a better marketing strategy can be devised which satisfies the needs of the customer.