The marketing concept holds that achieving organisational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfaction better than competitors do. Kotler and Armstrong (2010).
The marketing concept arrived after a series of other orientations that marketing companies underwent during the 20th Century. Initially there was production orientation where a company focused upon the science of manufacturing. Then there was a product orientation where a business is not only focused on the production processes but also upon the quality and desirability of a particular product. Then marketing companies progressed to a selling or sales orientation whereby products will proactively sold based upon features rather than the benefits to the individual customer and his or her needs. Hence the arrival of a market orientation which underpins our marketing concept, where needs and wants are satisfied through the delivery of value to satisfied customers. Below are some definitions of the marketing concept which demonstrate the breadth and scope of the term.
Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise. Drucker (1955, 2007).
Implementation of the marketing concept [in the 1990’s] requires attention to three basic elements of the marketing concept. These are: customer orientation; an organization to implement a customer orientation; long-range customer and societal welfare. Cohen (1991).
The marketing concept is a philosophy. It makes the customer and the satisfaction of his or her needs the focal point of all business activities. It is driven by senior managers, passionate about delighting their customers.
Now that you have been introduced to some definitions of marketing and the marketing concept, remember the important elements summarised as follows:
- Contemporary marketing focuses on the satisfaction of customer needs, wants and requirements.
- It’s about the delivery of value to satisfied customers, through an exchange process.
- The philosophy of marketing needs to be owned by everyone from within the organization.
- Future needs have to be identified and anticipated.
- There is normally a focus upon profitability, especially in the corporate sector.
- More recent definitions recognize the influence of marketing upon society.
- There is a longer-term relationship with customers.