Meaning of marketing concept
Marketing concepts is a marketing philosophy which sees the consumer or clients as the central focus of all the activities of an organisation because no organisation can survive without the continued patronage of its consumers. This philosophy regards a genuine concern for consumer welfare (Consumer Orientation) and adequate fulfillment of his needs (consumer satisfaction) as the most dependent parts to the realisation of an organisation short and long-term goals. The act of marketing has undergone a metamorphosis overtime.
It has evolved from the production to the selling stage and to the consumer orientation stage and indeed it is evolving some organisation to the consumerism and social responsibility stage. There are sharp contrast between the two stages. At the selling state the emphasis is placed on the products, the company first makes the product and then figures out how to sell it profitably, the orientation of the company is eternal and the emphasis of the company is on the sellers need.
Conversely, at the marketing stage, the empasis is on the continuous wants of the consumer. But first, the company’s figures out how to profitably make and deliver a product to satisfy these wants. The orientation of the company is external market orientation and company emphasizes buyer’s needs.
Concepts Which Organizations Use In Conducting Marketing
1. Production concept: The production concept is the idea that a firm should focus on in relation to those products that it could produce most efficiently and that the creation of a supply of low-cost products would in and of itself create the demand for their products. The key questions that a firm would ask before producing a product are:
i. can we produce the products?
ii. can we produce enough of it?
The concepts focuses more on solving the problem of production and little concern for the public (customer) satisfaction. In this concept, customers are seen as people who exist to buy company’s products rather than company existing to serve the customers. It is the concept in management orientation that assumes that customers will favour those products that are available and affordable, and therefore the major types of management is to pursue improved production and distribution effectively.
2. The product concept: This concept assumes that customers will favour those products that offer the most quality for the price and therefore it is important for companies to produce quality products. It explains that customers are primarily interested in product quality and they know the quality and feature difference of competing brands.
Customers make their choice from many brands available on the basis of getting the best quality for their money. So it is important for organisation to produce quality products so as to attract customers to them.
3. The Selling Concept: Production of goods does not mean assure sales most times. Under selling concept, companies will not only produce the products, but they will also try to convince customers to buy them through advertising and personal selling. Before producing a product the key questions asked are:
i. can we sell the products?
ii. can we charge enough for it?
The sales concept paid little attention to whether if the product was actually needed; the goal simply was to beat the competition to the sale with little regard to customer satisfaction.
Marketing was a 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.
4. The marketing concept: This concept lays emphasis on marketing Management with the twin goals of customer orientation and profitable sales volume. Attention is to be on marketing rather than selling. The key questions became:
i. what do customers want?
ii. can we develop it while they still want it?
iii. how can we keep our customers satisfied?
In response to this discerning questions, firms began to adopt the marketing concept which involves:
i. Focusing on customer needs before developing the product.
ii. Aligning all functions of the company to focus on those needs.
iii. Realising a profit by successfully satisfying customer needs over the long-term.
When firms first began to adopt the marketing concept, they typically set up separate marketing department whose objective was to satisfy customers needs. Often these departments were sales departments with expanded responsibilities. Why this expanded sales department structure can be found in some companies today, many firms have structured themselves into marketing organisations having a company-wide customer focus. Since the entire organisations exist to satisfy customers needs nobody can neglect a customer issue by declaring it a marketing problem as everybody must be concerned with customer satisfaction. The marketing concept relies upon marketing research to define market segments, their size, and their needs. To satisfy those needs the marketing team makes decision about the controllable parameters of the marketing mix.
5. Societal Marketing Concept: The societal marketing concept embodies a higher and more enlightens plane of marketing thought and practice. The concept has an emphasis on social responsibility and suggests that for a company to only focus on exchange relationship with customers might not be in order to sustain long-term success. Rather, marketing strategy should deliver value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer and the society’s well-being. The societal marketing concept calls upon marketers to build social and ethical considerations into the marketing practices. They must balance and juggle the often conflicting criteria of company profits, consumers want, satisfaction, and public interest.
Most companies recognise that socially responsible activities improve their image among customers, stockholders, the financial community, and other relevant publics. Ethical and socially responsible practices are simply good business, resulting not only in favorable image, but ultimately in increased sales.
6. The consumer orientation approach: Modern marketing concept is a concept that embraces understanding that marketing activities is consumer orientated. This concept is very popular because the marketing activities of this concept is built on assumptions and application of thought as follows:
i. More customers know what they need.
ii. Orientation to customer needs as the main targets for the success of marketing activities.
iii. Marketing research helps in determining customers needs exactly.
iv. Satisfied customers will appreciate the Producers with a repeat purchase.
v. The difference bidding which is competitive is important for customers in identifying products of interest.
In such marketing concept a customer is seen as part of a changing environment, marketing activities executed to drive business with a variety mix of activities based on the principles below:
1. Process management-marketers is to recognise, anticipate and satisfy customers profitably.
2. The fundamental activities of policy-making that focuses on the selection and development of products best suited for the sales, promotion and distribution to achieve optimum results.
7. Profit orientation: This concept gives recognition to the basic objectives of any business firm which is to maximize profit and increase the shareholders return on investment within constraints imposed by competitors, government and public opinion.
Many marketing decisions are made without any reference to return on investment. It is important for marketing managers to have profit orientation when taking their marketing decisions.