In Marketing Management Philosophy, the marketing concept and philosophy are one of the simplest ideas in marketing, and at the same time, it is also one of the most important Marketing Management Philosophy. At its very core are the customer and his or her satisfaction. The marketing concept and philosophy state that the organization should strive to satisfy its customer‘s wants and needs while meeting the organization’s goals. In simple terms, “the customer is king”.
The implication of the marketing concept is very important for management. It is not something that the marketing department administers, nor is it the sole domain of the marketing department. Rather, it is adopted by the entire organization. From top management to the lowest levels and across all departments of the organization, it is a philosophy or way of doing business. The customers’ needs, wants, and satisfaction should always be foremost in every manager and employees’ mind. Wal-Mart’s motto of “satisfaction guaranteed” is an example of the marketing concept. Whether the Wal-Mart employee is an accountant or a cashier, the customer is always first. Evolution of the Marketing Concept and Philosophy: The marketing concept and philosophy evolved as the last of three major Marketing Management Philosophy. These three philosophies are the product, selling, and marketing philosophies. Even though each philosophy has a particular time when it was dominant, a philosophy did not die with the end of its era of dominance. In fact, all three philosophies are being used today. Product Philosophy: The product philosophy was the dominant marketing philosophy prior to the Industrial Revolution and continued to the 1920s. The product philosophy holds that the organization knows its product better than anyone or any organization. The company knows what will work in designing and producing the product and what will not work. For example, the company may decide to emphasize the low cost or high quality of their products. This confidence in their ability is not a radical concept, but the confidence leads to the consumer being overlooked. Since the organization has the great knowledge and skill in making the product, the organization also assumes it knows what is best for the consumer.
When mass production techniques created the Industrial Revolution, the volume of output was greatly increased. Yet the increased production of goods did not immediately eliminate the shortages from the pre-industrial era. The new mass production techniques provided economies of scale allowing for lower costs of production and corresponding lower prices for goods. Lower prices greatly expanded the market for the goods, and the new production techniques were struggling to keep up with the demand. This situation meant that the product philosophy would work just as well in the new industrial environment. Consumers still did not need to be consulted for the organization to sell its products.
One of the many stories about Henry Ford illustrates the classic example of the product philosophy in use after the Industrial Revolution. Henry Ford pioneered mass production techniques in the automobile industry. With the techniques, he offered cars at affordable prices to the general public. Before this time, cars were hand made, and only the very wealthy could afford them. The public enthusiastically purchased all the Model T Fords that the company could produce. The evidence that the product philosophy was alive and well in Ford Selling Philosophy: The selling era has the shortest period of dominance of the three philosophies. It began to be dominant around 1930 and stayed in widespread use until about 1950. The selling philosophy holds that an organization can sell any product it produces with the use of marketing techniques, such as advertising and personal selling. Organizations could create marketing departments that would be concerned with selling the goods, and the rest of the organization could be left to concentrate on producing the goods.
The reason for the emergence of the selling philosophy was the ever-rising number of goods available after the Industrial Revolution. Organizations became progressively more efficient in production, which increased the volume of goods. With the increased supply, competition also entered production. These two events eventually led to the end of product shortages and the creation of surpluses. It was because of the surpluses that organizations turned to the use of advertising and personal selling to reduce their inventories and sell their goods. The selling philosophy also enabled part of the organization to keep focusing on the product, via the product philosophy. In addition, the selling philosophy held that a sales or marketing department could sell whatever the company produced. Marketing Philosophy:The marketing era started to dominate around 1950, and it continues to the present. The marketing concept recognizes that the company’s knowledge and skill in designing products may not always be meeting the needs of customers. It also recognizes that even a good sales department cannot sell every product that does not meet consumers’ needs. When customers have many choices, they will choose the one that best meets their needs. Market Concept and Philosophy: The marketing concept and philosophy state that the organization should strive to satisfy its customers’ wants and needs while meeting the organization’s goals. The best way to meet the organization’s goals is also by meeting customer needs and wants. The marketing concept’s emphasis is to understand the customers before designing and producing a product for them. With the customer’s wants and needs incorporated into the design and manufacture of the product, sales and profit goals are far more likely to be met.
The idea of keeping close to the organization‘s customers seems simple. In reality, it is very easy to forget the customer’s needs and wants. Sometimes the management is so involved with the product that their own desires and wants begin to take dominance, even though they have adopted the Marketing Management Philosophy concept. Criticism of the Marketing Concept: Interpreted literally, the marketing concept only advocates discovering consumers’ wants and needs and satisfying them. Critics assert that consumers may not be aware of all of their wants and needs. In the 1950s, were consumers aware of a need to cook their food by sending microwaves through their food? In the 1960s, were Consumers aware of a need to have personal computers in their homes? Critics argue that the marketing concept’s concentration on consumers’ wants and needs stifle innovation. Organizations will no longer concentrate on research and development in hopes that one product in ten might meet with consumer acceptance, and will less likely come up with innovative products such as microwaves and personal computers.