Discuss, with reference to current authors, what is meant by a “marketing orientation” and/or a “marketing oriented company.” Illustrate your answer with examples of products or brands of your choice.
“Because the purpose of business is to create and keep customers, it has only two central functions – marketing and innovation. The basic function of marketing is to attract and retain customers at a profit.” (Dricker. P.E. (1999) Taken from Principles and Practice of Marketing 6th Edition, Page 3, McGraw-Hill)
Today’s society is always on the look out for the next best product, the next best brand and the next best style. For businesses all over the UK, and around the world, adapting to changes is vital to be successful in the long term in this student’s opinion. Market orientation is just that. Businesses should constantly be looking at the market for what their customers, their target market wants from them with their goods or services. They have to know what their customer’s attitudes are, views are, styles are and loyalties are.
Retaining and attracting customers through marketing is not the only central function as Dricker, P.E states. “A market orientation is a business culture in which all employees are committed to the creation of superior value for customers.” (Narver. C. J /. Slater. F. S / Tietje. B, Creating a Market Orientation, Journal of Marketing) This comment shows us that employees are just as important. Personnel play a vital role and are the most valuable asset a business can own due to the skills and unique personalities. Customer service plays an essential role in keeping and retaining customers, maybe even more affective than marketing, due to the fact they are the front of the business, what customers see day to day.
Market Orientation: Figure 1:
(Jobber. D (2010) Page 5)
Figure 1 shows us that businesses rely on customer’s needs to innovate new products, and then again they rely on customers buying the products/service in order to make a profit. Businesses need to establish their place in the market, and to do this need to listen to their target market. The external environment for businesses is the key to be a successfully market oriented company, due to the fact that external factors cannot be controlled. These factors are broken down into four groups known as S.T.E.P (Cheeseman. A. (2010) Lecturer, University of Lincoln). First is Socio-Cultural Environment which is the demographic of your target market as well as people’s views, influences and general tastes/demands. Secondly is Technological Forces, being up to date with recent innovation, expanding or extending products life cycle. Thirdly would be Economic and Competitive Influences upon the business. Taxation, interest rates as well market structure (whether it’s a monopoly, oligopoly or perfect competition) will all influence a businesses marketing mix. Finally there is Political and Regulatory Influences which is the laws, regulatory bodies that control the market in such ways as advertising standards, stock markets, and financial services authority. All four of these factors influence how businesses operate within certain markets, and paying less attention to one will have a grave affect upon your business. “Though assessment of customers needs is the cornerstone of a market orientation, defining customers may not be simple.” (Kohli. A. K & Jaworski. B. J (April 1990) Journal of Marketing, Volume 54) Finding out about customer’s needs is known as segmentation, breaking up the market into demographical groups; such as age, location, sex, hobbies. Businesses need to then pick who their product is aimed at, say men aged 25-40, targeting a certain section of society. Positioning your brand within the market is the final step before creating your marketing mix. Determining your price of the product and how exclusive will determine your market share,...