The principle of marketing philosophy or marketing concept maintains that marketers must satisfy consumer needs effectively by making only those products that consumers are willing to buy. The marketing concept has evolved a lot over time.
The marketing concept is the strategy firms implement to satisfy customers’ needs, increase sales, maximize profit, and beat the competition.
Types of Marketing Concepts
There are 5 marketing concepts that organizations adopt and execute.
(1) production concept
(2) product concept
(3) selling concept
(4) marketing concept
(5) societal marketing concept
These 5 alternative marketing concepts are also called marketing management philosophies.
Marketing is a department of management that tries to design strategies to build profitable relationships with target consumers.
Marketers must answer 2 important questions.
- What philosophy is the best for a company in setting marketing strategies?
- What will the organization, customers, and society’s interests be important?
There are five alternative concepts under which organizations design and carry out their marketing strategies to answer these.
The Production Concept
The premise of the production concept – “Consumers will favor available and highly affordable products.”
This concept is the oldest of the concepts in business. It holds that consumers will prefer products that are widely available and inexpensive.
Company/ Managers focusing on this concept concentrate on achieving high production efficiency, low costs, and mass distribution.
They assume that consumers are primarily interested in product availability and low prices.
This orientation makes sense in developing countries like Bangladesh, where consumers are more interested in obtaining the product than in its features.
The best example of the production concept is Vivo, the Chinese smartphone brand. Their phones are available in almost every corner of the Asian market.
You can walk into any phone shop in Asia and can walk out with the latest and greatest smartphone from Vivo.
Types of Marketing Philosophy
The Product Concept
The product concept holds that consumers will favor products that offer the most quality, performance, and innovative features.
Companies / Marketers focusing on this concept concentrate on making superior products and improving them over time. They assume that buyers admire well-made products and can appraise quality and performance.
However, these managers are sometimes caught up in a love affair with their product and do not realize what the market needs.
Focusing excessively on adding features results in marketing myopia, which means concentrating on the product itself rather than the need it is designed to fulfill.
This short-signed approach applies to companies that ignore consumer needs and look in the mirror rather than through the window.
Suppose a company makes the best quality Floppy disk. But does a customer need a floppy disk?
She or he needs something that can be used to store the data. It can be achieved by a USB Flash drive, SD memory cards, portable hard disks, etc.
So that the company should not look to make the best floppy disk, they should focus on meeting the customer’s data storage needs.
The Selling Concept.
The selling concept holds the idea- “consumers will not buy enough of the firm’s products unless it undertakes a large-scale selling and promotion effort.”
Here the management focuses on creating sales transactions rather than on building long-term, profitable customer relationships.
In other words, the aim is to sell what the company makes rather than making what the market wants. Such an aggressive selling program carries very high risks.
In the selling concept, the marketer assumes that customers will be coaxed into buying the product and will like it; if they don’t like it, they will possibly forget their disappointment and buy it again later. This is usually a very poor and costly assumption.
Typically the selling concept is practiced with unsought goods. Unsought goods are that buyers do not normally think of buying, such as insurance or blood donations.
Types of Marketing Philosophy
The Marketing Concept
The marketing concept holds- “achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions better than competitors do.
Here marketing management takes a “customer first” approach. Under the marketing concept, customer focus and value are the routes to achieving sales and profits.
The marketing concept rests on four pillars:
- Target market,
- Customer needs,
- Integrated marketing, and
The marketing concept is a customer-centered “sense and responds” philosophy. The job is not to find the right customers for your product but to find your customers’ right products.
Restaurants and startups do follow the marketing concept. They try to understand the consumer and deliver the best product or service, which is better for the competition.
The marketing concept and the selling concepts are two extreme concepts and different from each other.
Difference between Selling Concept and Marketing Concept
Theodore Levitt of Harvard drew a perceptive contrast between the selling and marketing concepts. According to him,“selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer.
Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the customer’s needs utilizing the product and with the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering and finally consuming it.”
The marketing concept is based on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability. It takes an outside-inside view.
On the other hand, the selling concept takes an inside-outside perspective.
Selling concept-oriented companies start planning with the factory, focus on the company’s existing products, and undertake heavy selling and promoting to produce profitable sales.
The marketing concept starts with a well-defined market, focuses on customer needs, coordinates all the activities affecting customers, and produces profits by satisfying customers.
Marketing Concept represents the major change in today’s company orientation that provides the foundation to achieve competitive advantage. This philosophy is the foundation of consultative selling.
The Marketing Concept has evolved into a fifth and more refined company orientation; The Societal Marketing Concept. This concept is more theoretical and will undoubtedly influence future forms of marketing and selling approaches.
The Societal Marketing Concept.
The societal marketing concept holds that “marketing strategy should deliver value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer’s and society’s well-being.”
It calls for sustainable marketing socially and environmentally responsible marketing that meets consumers’ and businesses’ present needs while also preserving or enhancing future generations’ ability to meet their needs.
This concept holds that the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors (this is the original Marketing Concept). Additionally, it holds that this all must be done in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and society’s well-being.
This orientation arose as some questioned whether the Marketing Concept is an appropriate philosophy in an age of environmental deterioration, resource shortages, explosive population growth, world hunger and poverty, and neglected social services.
Are companies that do an excellent job of satisfying consumer wants necessarily acting in the best long-run interests of consumers and society?
To the response of theae questions The Societal Marketing Concept arose that puts human welfare on top before profits and satisfying the wants
While large companies sometimes launch programs or products that benefit society, it is hard to find a company that is fully committed socially.
We can see Adidas doing great as they continue to support Colin Kaepernick despite pressure from various parties. Tesla promises a big push for green energy with electric cars and solar roof panels/tiles.
Companies follow a mix of Marketing Concepts in Real-world
Companies don’t follow a single marketing concept rigidly. They usually use a mix of marketing concepts or change it depending on the market situation, competition, and sales numbers.