Marketing management is carrying out tasks to achieve desired exchanges with target markets. What strategy should guide these marketing efforts?

There are five competing concepts under which organizations conduct their marketing activity: the production, product, selling, marketing, and societal marketing concepts.

The Production Concept

The production concept holdsthat consumers will favor products that are available and highly affordable, and there-I fore management should focus on improving production and distribution efficiency. This concept is one of the oldest philosophies guiding sellers.

The production concept is a proper strategy in two types of situations. In the first, the demand for a product is bigger than the supply. In this case, management should look for ways to increase production. The second situation is one in which the product's cost is high and improved productivity is needed to bring it down. Today Texas Instruments (TI) follows the philosophy of increased production and lower costs in order to bring down prices. It won a major share of the American hand-calculator market with this philosophy.

The Product Concept

Another major concept guiding sellers, the product concept holds that consumers will favor products that offer the most quality, performance, and features, and therefore the organization should devote its energy to making continuous product improvements. Sometimes the product concept leads to marketing myopia. Railroad management thought that users wanted trains rather than transportation and overlooked the growing challenge of airlines, buses, trucks, and automobiles. Colleges assume that high school graduates want a liberal arts education rather than specific job skills and overlook the increasing challenge of vocational schools.

The Selling Concept

Many organizations follow the selling concept, which holds that consumers will not buy enough of the organization's products unless the organization undertakes a large selling and promotion effort. The selling concept is practiced hardest with unsought goods, those that buyers normally do not think of buying, such as insurance, encyclopedias, and funeral plots. These industries are good at tracking down prospects and hard-selling them on product benefits. The selling concept is also practiced in the nonprofit area. A political party will vigorously sell its candidate to the voters as being a fantastic person for the job.

The Marketing Concept

The marketing concept holds that achieving organizational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of tax markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors. This concept is a relatively recent business philosophy. The marketing concept has been stated in colorful ways, such as "Find a need and fill fill"; "Make what you can sell instead of trying to sell what you can make"; and "We're not satisfied until you are". J. C. Penney's motto summarizes this concept: "To do all in our power to pack the customer's dollar full of value, quality, and satisfaction".

The selling concept and the marketing concept are frequently confused.

The selling concept takes an inside-out perspective. It starts with the factory, focuses on the company's existing products, and calls for heavy selling and promoting as a means to achieve profitable sales. The marketing concept takes an outside-in perspective. It starts with a well-defined market, focuses on customer needs, coordinates all the marketing activities that affect customers, and produces profits by creating customer satisfaction. Under the marketing concept, companies produce what consumers want and, in this way, satisfy consumers and make profits.

The marketing concept is practiced more in consumer-goods companies than in industrial-goods companies and more in large companies than in small companies. Also, many companies claim they practice the concept but do not. They have the forms of marketing - such as a marketing vice-president, product managers, marketing plans, marketing research - but not the substance. Several years of hard work are needed to turn a sales-oriented company into a market-- oriented company.

The Societal Marketing Concept

The societal marketing concept holds that the organization should determine the needs, wants, and interests of tar get markets and deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that maintains or improves the consumer's and the society's well-being. The societal marketing concept is the newest of the five marketing management philosophies.

The societal marketing concept questions whether the pure marketing concept is adequate in an age of environmental problems, resource shortages, rapid population growth, world hunger and poverty, and neglected social services. It asks if the firm that senses, serves, and satisfies individual wants is always doing what is best for consumers and society in the long run. The pure marketing concept overlooks possible conflicts between short-run consumer wants and long-run consumer welfare.

The societal marketing concept calls upon marketers cobalance three considerations in setting their marketing policies. Originally, companies based their marketing decisions largely on short-run company profit. Then they began to recognize the long-run importance of satisfying consumer wants, and this recognition introduced the marketing concept. Now they are beginning to think of society's interests when making decisions. The societal marketing concept calls for balancing all three considerations-company profits, consumer wants, and society's interests. Many companies have made large sales and profit gains by practicing the societal marketing concept.


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