Marketing Concepts – Introduction
One of the primary objectives of marketing management is to make profit after satisfying the needs of the customers. Others include: high return on investment, improvement in working conditions, adequate remunerations, tax return/payment.
Moreover, naturally, marketing philosophy imposes consumer orientation in a way and manner that right products are packaged in a right way and communicated to the right customer through a right channel and delivered or made available and accessible in a right place.
In one word, the philosophy of marketing concept is the one which places premium on the needs and wants of the customer, consumer or client (buyer) at the center of the organisation, producer’s, manufacturer’s or firm’s Operation.
And this simply connotes that the business organisation as a matter of must, must determine the needs, wants and values of its prospective client or target market and channel its resources (men, material, money machine, method) towards satisfaction in an efficient and effective ways and manners.
Evolution and Meaning of Marketing Concepts
Scholars have traced the evolution of the marketing concept to the Industrial Revolution period when for the first time, there were notions that the means of production were able to meet up with the need, aspirations, desires, wants and above all demands for goods and services.
At this period, when competition is stiff and wax stronger, organisations/producers were under pressure to undertake some concerted efforts of appraising I evaluating reasons for their being in business.
Another school of thoughts were of the opinion that if their business activities were to be relevant, sustained and grow, hence, research and development (R&D) should not be limited to the area I field of production, it should be geared or directed towards discovery and finding out the real needs of the consumer
In a more concise manner, the chief essence of the marketing concept involves that recognition and appreciation that in business management it is the customer who determines or initiates the business method, strategy, and technique. Customers are the chief driver because wealth is produced or manufactured when goods and services are disposed i.e. sold and not when they are initiated i.e. made.
More importantly, this connotes that goods and services are sold when there is a consumer need to be met and satisfied. Hence, the primary aim of marketing is the identification of the consumer needs and find out the appropriate and relevant methods or approaches of meeting those needs at a profit.
The following scholars view marketing concept as reproduced below:
a managerial philosophy concerned with the mobilization, utilisation and control of total corporate effort for the purpose of helping consumers solve selected problems in ways – compatible with planned enhancement of the profit position of the firm”
”the customers want Satisfaction is the economic and social justification of a company’s existence under marketing, the customer becomes the fulcrum, the pivot about which the business moves in operating for the balance test/interest of all concerned.”
” marketing concept is the most important managerial task within the organization is that of understanding the needs and wants of customers in the market and of adapting the operations of the organisation to deliver the right goods and services more effectively and efficiently than its competitors.”
Kotler and Armstrong(1987):
” marketing concept may be defined as a managerial orientation or outlook that accepts that the key task of the organization is to determine the needs, wants and values of a target market and to adapt the organization to delivering the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than its competitors.
a corporate state of mind that insists on the integration and coordination of all the marketing functions which in turn, are wielded with all other corporate functions for the basic objective of producing maximum long-range corporate profit.”
Interpretation/summary of the marketing concept
Scholars’ Interpretations of the marketing concept can be summarised as below:
i. that business organisations need to find out the needs of their prospective customers/consumers;
ii. thereafter develop a product, services or goods to meet the identified needs of the customers;
iii. find out or determine an appropriate and relevant target customer/market segment for it;
iv. fashion out a mean or method/strategy of marketing the product or service at a profit;
v. that the business survival of an organization depends on the highness or lowness of patronage enjoyed from the customers;
vi. that when there is a change iii the needs of the customers, business providers must adapt without any hesitation if they still want to remain and be relevant in business etc.
Concepts Under Which Organisation Conduct Marketing Activities
Concepts under which organizations conduct marketing activities include the following; the production concept, the product concept, the selling ‘concept, the marketing concept, the societal marketing concept, the consumer orientation, integrated organisational efforts, profit orientation.
i. The Production Concept
The production concept is a marketing philosophy that says: customers or consumers will like or accept the products and services which are highly available and affordable. This connotes that producers must produce, promote and distribute through appropriate channel, However, service providers or marketers are of the opinion that consumers will accept their products and services with timely production and efficient distribution/delivery, reduction in price, consumers are aware of the competitors prices, service provider must not lower quality or standard in term of production and distribution.
ii. The Product Concept
This is a marketing philosophy anchored on the belief that consumers/customers/buyers/patronisers favour or prefer products or services that offer or give them the most quality performance and features (value/utility i.e. maximum satisfaction) therefore service providers or business organizations or producers must not lower the standard, be quality conscious and make concerted efforts in product improvement.
Phillip Kotler assumptions of product concept are:
• that customers/consumers aim are purely in quality and standard of products that give them value for their money;
• that customers/consumers patronize products rather than solution to their needs;
• that customers/consumers are aware of quality and features of competitive products and services;
• that customers/consumers confidence and loyalty can only be sustained only by offering them quality products and services.
iii. The Selling Concept (Sales concept)
This marketing philosophy anchors on the belief that consumers will either not buy or buy enough or much of the organisations products except and unless the service provider, marketer, producer or organisation makes a concerted effort to enhance, stimulate or build their confidence and interest in the products I services. This means producers must embark on intensive and aggressive promotional campaign.
Assumptions of the selling concept
• Producers / service providers can influence consumers/customers to patronise them through various sales stimulant devices or strategies e.g. offering discount, buy one, get one free campaign etc.
• The task of organisation is to have a strong think-thank sales team that can devise various strategies to hold the attention, attraction and retain their loyalty to the organisations products/services.
• Consumers /customers avoid buying unnecessary (wants) unessential goods and services i.e. they will not patronise goods and services that are considered as extravagant.
iv. The Marketing Concept
This marketing concept is premised on the identification and determination of the needs and wants of the prospective client or customers, therefore, the business firm or organization must adapt the 4ps of the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of meeting and satisfying the needs and wants of the customers.
Assumptions of the marketing concept
• Consumers can be classified into different categories depending on their needs and wants.
• Irrespective of the market category, customers/consumers will likely favour or prefer the offer of the service provider or organisation whose products/services is closest to satisfying or meeting their particular needs, wants and desires.
• The main aim of organisation / service provider is to further research with a view to holding and retaining their customer’s patronage / interest.
v. The Societal/Consumer/Orientation Marketing Concept
This is the marketing orientation that recognises customers as the spine and cord i.e. backbone of an organisation. It sees customers as the ‘live wire’ and ‘life blood’, the heart’ of the business survival. It holds customers in high esteem and honours them as kings. In essence, the concept holds customer orientation that the company must define customers’ needs from customers’ aggregate points of view (bottom up approach).
In the assumption of Phillip Kotler, implementation of consumer and societal orientation implies the following:
– that business organisations’ thinking should be geared towards meeting and serving the need and wants of a market or prospective customers that have been well defined and segmented;
• that business organisations’ should adopt the services/products in a way and manner that will meet the needs and wants of other categories of customers (i.e. those outside their well defined group);
• that business organisations’ recognize the threats and opportunities that are abound;
• that business organisations’ develop an effective and efficient feedback mechanism with a view to be handling the yearning and concerns of unsatisfied customers and clients etc.
vi. The Integrated/Coordinated Marketing Efforts
According to Packard (1982)”… Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing departments alone but it supposed to be the ‘assignment/responsibility’ preoccupation of all the departments in an organisation.
Hence, the integrated/concerted marketing efforts simply connote that to meet and satisfy the needs of customers, the various marketing functions (advertising, publicity, sales promotion, pricing, marketing, research, product development and distribution etc) must be coordinated and packaged by other existing departments (administration, production, public relations, etc).
vii. Customer Satisfaction and Profit Orientation Concept
This is geared towards striving to achieve and make profits through the supply of consumer satisfaction in an effective and efficient manner. And this can be achieved when business establishments/firms, accept and are ready to adequately find ways to maximize revenue and minimise cost, accept to establish a working and perfect system which knows and recognizes the sales potential and profitability of their different market segment, customer and consumer needs and wants and adopts the use of all available tools such as distribution cost, profit analysis and sales force productivity all in a bid to reduce cost with a view to profitably provide services that will give value for money.
viii. The Societal Marketing Concept
The societal marketing concept is believed to be the newest and latest marketing concept. The philosophy according to Kotler (1993) holds that ‘organisation or business establishment should determine the needs, wants and interests of target markets and deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively, efficiently than competitors in a way that maintains or improves the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.
A scholar opined that the societal marketing concept quarried the appropriateness and adequacy of marketing concept as an organizational philosophy taking into cognizance the era of environmental hazards and deterioration, scarcity and shortages of resources, high growth rate of population, poverty, disease etc.
The concept beckons on professional marketers to equate three considerations in setting their marketing policies which are public interest or welfare, company’s profit and consumer want and satisfaction.
ix. Reasons For The Failure Of Marketing Activities
The following among others are the obvious reasons for the workability of the identified and discussed marketing philosophies to work expectedly and most especially in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
a. Mismanagement in terms of leadership, resources, organisation, follower-ship
b. Lack of continuity
c. Lack of qualified and competent personnel
d. Adherence to the status quo.
e. Political interference.
f. High rate of inflation / economic instability.
g. High cost of living.
h. Population explosion.
i. Instability in government policies.
j. Bribery and corruption.
k. Poverty of idea, knowledge and ignorance and illiteracy, etc.
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