Discuss, with Reference to Current Authors, What Is Meant by a ‘Marketing Orientation’ and/or a “Marketing Oriented Company.”

Within this essay I will discuss what a marketing concept is, how marketing orientation has evolved through the years and the most important, what a marketing orientated company is. Each of us has some sort of idea what marketing is, since we are exposed to marketing every day. We could say that in the past decades we have become victims of marketing, but also its beneficiaries. Every day we see advertisements on television, in the shop, we hear them on the radio, our friends, colleagues at work tell us about amazing new product, which appeared on the market.

Even if we are going for a walk, we face billboards of various products or services on our way. Marketing has become an indispensable part of our life. Many people confuse marketing only with advertising, but there are different aspects to marketing that businesses need to focus on to achieve a long-lasting future. The way that a customer thinks and acts changes all the time and businesses always need to be aware, of what the customer’s current needs and wants are, and this is where marketing can come in useful. So what is really marketing mean?

According to F. Brassington” marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchange and satisfy individual and organisational objectives” ( Brassington, 2000, p. 5). Otherwise P. Kotler states that ” marketing is the human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange process. ” ( Kotler, 2005,p. 6). Marketing is not just about advertising but also about the product, price and the place. Along with promotion these are what make up the Marketing Mix which is used to make sure that customer needs are met.

The traditional idea of what is marketing concept says, that providing customer satisfactions simply mean to achieve company’s profit objective. This idea does not include fundamental aspects of commercial life: competition. To achieve own goals and success companies must go further than only customers satisfaction. Company must do better than competition that is why modern marketing concept is about ” the achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customers needs and expectations better than the competition”(Jobber,2010, p. 3). The marketing concept has changed and evolved over the time.

Whilst in today’s business world, the customer is at the forefront, but not all businesses in the past followed to this concept. Their thinking, orientation or ideology put other factors rather then the customer first. Product, production, selling and marketing are known as the four main business orientations that a business can take. The first era of business philosophies was the production concept holds that managements should focus on improving production by producing that product that it could produce most efficiently and cut cost of production.

This philosophy is also based upon the assumption that most consumers will favour products that are available and highly affordable ( Kotler, 2005, p. 14). In a simple words production orientation is when a company focuses on the product and not so much on any other aspect. The companies is more interested in making mass production at cheap costs and are neglecting what the customer actually wants by, in a way, forcing them to have that one particular model. An example of this is Ford Motor Company, which was producing perfect car Model T, only in black colour.

This model, according to company’s owner Henry Ford can satisfy all consumers, because by reducing the cost of production they declining price of the car and more people could afford to buy it. After production orientation era, product concept becomes more popular business orientation. In turn, this business philosophy assumed that consumers are primarily interested in the product itself, and buy on the basis of quality. ( Brassington, 2000,p. 14). The company believes that they have a superior product, based on quality and features, and because of this, they feel their customers will like it also.

Under this concept, business owners should focus their efforts on improving the product. Unfortunately, the philosophy, which focuses only on improving the product only, often leads to marketing myopia, which is called short-sightedness in marketing - by focusing only on the product does not perceive the real needs of consumers. British farmers are often being accused of adopting product orientation and neglecting marketing. Sales orientation is another method that businesses are using to sell there product. Sales orientation is when a company is focusing on the needs of the company and not of the customer.

The selling 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. Door-to-Door sales people from companies such as Kleenze, Readers Digest, Oriflame and Little-woods extra are the likely businesses to be focused on sales. They are sometimes too focused on making sure that the customer buys something, that they tend to be pushy and are try to make people buy something that they don’t necessarily need or want.

In the 1960’s (in1970’s in West Europe) marketing orientation become most popular business philosophies in United States of America. The basic element of a marketing orientation is attitude to meeting the needs and expectations of individuals and social groups. The company's focus is customer-oriented marketing. As Jobber point out “marketing – orientated companies get close to their customers so that they understand their needs and problems. ” ( Jobber, 2010, p. 5). The organization tries to understand and satisfy the needs of the customers

by using appropriate research methods, through marketing research, and then prepare the appropriate products. Puts the customer at the heart of the business. The concept of marketing outlined above, we understand the philosophy of action and tools to implement marketing goals. Firms are spending less time selling what they have and more time defining their customer needs. This means that companies are asking people using various methods - which could include questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and surveys - what they want to buy and what would be more useful to them.

Organization need to make sure information from customers is fed back into the heart of the organization. In essence all activities in the organization are based around the customer. The customer is truly a king! In today’s competitive world putting the customer at the heart of the operation is strategically important. Whilst some organizations in certain industries may follow anything other then the market orientation concept, those that follow the market orientation concept have a greater chance of being successful.

A successful marketing-orientated company needs to make sure that they create and promote a product that satisfies what a consumer wants to buy or at least is interested in. They need to make sure that it is promoted in ways that will make people aware of the products, existence and the organisation also needs to see that the price they are charging is within the customers’ budget which would be gathered from market research. Sharp (1991) mentioned that marketing orientation should give equal weight to customer demands and to company requirements.

Marketing concept can be applied both to businesses and other organizations, such as government and non-profit organizations. There are many marketing oriented companies ( super brands) on the market today. As an example we might refer highly successful Japanese car manufacturer - Toyota. This the prime example of an organisation that takes customer needs, getting deep into their hearts and minds to know precisely what are the customer needs, wishes are, and also marketing- orientated view of its business. ( Jobber, 2010, p. 16).

Another one, big manufacturer which is an example of marketing – orientated companies is IKEA- furniture manufacturer which has his represented throughout the world. To satisfy their customers IKEA produces furniture and home accessories to satisfy every customer taste. They trying to attract customers of all ages by producing various categories of furniture’s for parents, children, married or single people. Everybody will found something for our self in the range of IKEA. Innocent Ltd, a company from London is another very good example of marketing- oriented company.

This company in order to customer welfare and interest produces 100% natural drinks from fruits and vegetables. The first and most important step in creating a sustainable business is to only use 100% natural, healthy renewable ingredients for drinks – quite simply, they will put nothing into an innocent smoothie bottle unless it is made by nature. Of equal importance is that they will only ever make food that is genuinely good for people, each of their products has to have a positive health benefit, and be free of manufacturing shortcuts such as concentrates, flavourings or other weird additives that make food less wholesome and healthy.

( http://www. ikea. com). Everything is to make customer satisfy. Also Nestle board professes the same business philosophy of letting the market weight of different types of products which should satisfy different tastes. Marketing orientation business philosophy has unfortunately 4 limitations. First one says that marketing concept as ideology dominates the thinking of organisation. The critics of marketing concept argue that there are other valid considerations apart from giving customers what they want that companies must consider when they making decision.

Business cannot be based only on ideology but also on realities of the market. A second limitation of the marketing concept is about individual market transactions. Producing good or services not always adequately correspond to societal welfare. Also providing consumer satisfaction means to achieve a company’s profit objective but does not guarantee protection of the consumer welfare. On the other hand relaying on consumers to guide the development of new products has also some limitation because, consumers have difficulty articulating needs beyond the realm of their own experience.

Finally a fourth criticism of marketing suggest that analysing customers and developing offerings that reflect their needs leads to dull marketing campaigns, copycat promotion and marketplace stagnation. (Jobber, 2010,p. 10-13). In conclusion marketing orientated company focuses more on customer needs and wants of the consumers over just producing low-cost, one type only products. Since the mid-fifties, the way that a business has viewed the customer has changed and marketing orientation is now a key aspect to the success of an organisation as companies have realised that consumers are what keeps the cash coming into the business.

Other orientated methods that a business could undertake could be Product, Production or Selling but it has been shown that by Marketing the product and doing research on customers’ wants and needs that a marketing orientated approach achieves better results. Reference list: Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2000). Principles of marketing. (2nd Edition). London: Prentice Hall . Jobber, D. (2010). Principles and Practice of Marketing. (6th Edition). Berkshhire: McGraw-Hill Education. Kotler, P. Wong, V. Saunders, J. Amstrong, G.

(2005). Principles of Marketing. (4th European Edition). Essex: Pearson Education Limited. Needham, D. and Dransfield, R. (1994). Business Studies. ( 2nd Edition). Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes. Sharp, B. (1991). Marketing Orientation: More then just customer focus. International Marketing Review [on-line]. vol. 8 (pt 4) Accessible from: Emerald at http://www. emeraldinsight. com/Insight/viewContentItem. do;jsessionid=AD6128C6A71E68408C84A15B4EA5974B? contentType=Article&contentId=855219 [Accessed 20 March 2010] http://www. ikea. com

Bibliography : Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2000). Principles of marketing. (2nd Edition). London: Prentice Hall . Jobber, D. (2010). Principles and Practice of Marketing. (6th Edition). Berkshhire: McGraw-Hill Education. Kotler, P. Wong, V. Saunders, J. Amstrong, G. (2005). Principles of Marketing. (4th European Edition). Essex: Pearson Education Limited. Needham, D. and Dransfield, R. (1994). Business Studies. ( 2nd Edition). Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes. Sharp, B. (1991). Marketing Orientation: More then just customer focus.

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