After World War II, the variety of products increased and hard selling no longer could be relied upon to generate sales. Customers afford to be selective and buy products which can precisely met their changing needs with increased discretionary income. The key questions arose: What do customers want? Can we develop it while they still want it, and how can we keep our customers satisfied?
In order to response to these discerning customers, firms began to adopt the marketing concept. This involves focusing on customer needs before developing the product, aligning all functions of the company to focus on those needs, and realizing a profit by successfully satisfying customer needs in long-term. In other words, in the context of marketing concept, company must first determine what the consumer wants, then produces what they wants, then sells the consumer what they wants.
In marketing concept, more listening to and eventual accommodation of the target market occurs. Two-way communication is emphasized in marketing so "learning" can take place and product offerings can be improved. Business must first fulfill consumers' needs and wants. Marketing concept "holds that the key to achieving organizational goals consists in determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors" (online material #5)