In a modern industrial economics, productive capacity has been built up to a point where most markets are buyers markets (i.e. the buyers are dominant) and sellers have scramble hard for consumers and ultimately consumers began to occupy a place of unique importance. The business firms recognize that “there is only one valid definition of business purpose to create a customer”. In other words, the recognition of the importance of marketing leads to the acceptance of marketing concept.
The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals consists in determining the needs and wants of the target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions effectively and efficiently.
On other words, marketing concept is a customer’s needs and wants orientation backed by integrated marketing effort aimed at generating customer satisfaction as the key to satisfying organizational goals.
Features of Marketing Concept
The salient features of the marketing concept are:
- Consumer Orientation: The most distinguishing feature of the marketing concept is the importance assigned to the consumer. The determination of what is to be produced should not be in the hands of the firms but in the hands of the consumers. The firms should produce what consumers want. All activities of the marketer such as identifying needs and wants, developing appropriate products and pricing, distributing and promoting them should be consumer – oriented. If these things are done effectively, products will be automatically bought by the consumers.
- Integrated Marketing: The second feature of the marketing concept is integrated marketing i.e. integrated management action. Marketing can never be an isolated management action. Marketing can never be in isolated management function. Every activity on the marketing side will have some bearing on the other functional areas of management such as production, personnel or finance. Similarly any action in a particular area of operation in production or finance will certainly have an impact on marketing and ultimately on consumer. In a business firm that accepts the marketing concept as the corner stone of its business philosophy, no management area can work in isolation. Therefore in an integrated marketing setup, the various functional areas of management get integrated with the marketing function. Integrated marketing presupposes a proper communication among the different management areas with marketing influencing the corporate decision making process. Thus, when the firms objective is to make profit – by providing consumer satisfaction, naturally it follows that the different departments of the company are fairly integrated with each other and their efforts are channelized through the principal marketing department towards the objective of consumer satisfaction.
- Consumer Satisfaction: The third feature of the marketing concept is consumer satisfaction. The objective of the company adopting marketing concept is to satisfy the customers’ needs so perfectly that they will become regular or permanent satisfied customer. For example, when a consumer buys a tin of coffee, he expects a purpose to be served, a need to be satisfied. If the coffee does not provide him the expected flavor, the taste and the refreshments his purchase has not served the purpose. Or more precisely, the marketer who sold the coffee has failed to satisfy his consumer. Thus, ‘satisfaction’ is the proper foundation on which alone any business can build its future.
- Realization of Organizational Goals: Though the organizational goals may differ from firm to firm, though key areas such as innovation, market standings, profits and social responsibility are common to all firms. According to the marketing concept, the right way to achieve these organizational goals is through ensuring consumer satisfaction.
- Profit Creation: A distinguishing feature of the marketing concept is that it considers the creation of profits as an essential requirement for any business concern. The marketing concept is against profiteering but not against profits. Reasonable returns or surplus are essential for the survival and growth of an business.
Benefits of Marketing Concept
The major benefits of marketing concept are described below.
- Benefits to Firms: A firm that believes in the marketing concept always feels the pulse of the market through continuous marketing audit and marketing research. It is fast in responding to the changes in buyer behavior. It rectifies any drawback in its product and this proves beneficial to the firm. The firm gives more importance to planning, research and innovation and its decisions are no longer based on hunches but on reliable scientific data and the proper interpretation of such data. The profits for the firm become more certain.
- Benefits to Consumers: The concept on the part of various competing firms to satisfy the consumer puts the later in an enviable position. Reasonable prices, better quality and easy availability at convenient places are some of the benefits that accrue to the consumer as a direct result of marketing concept.
- Benefits to Society: The practice of marketing concept contributes to better life style, better standard of living and also results in the development of entrepreneurial talents. All these sets the pace for social and economic development.
Thus the marketing concept benefits the organisation, the consumer and society at large. A proper understanding of this concept is fundamental to the study of modern marketing.