Market Management Philosophies



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Market Management Philosophies



We have described marketing management as carrying our tasks to achieve desired exchanges with target markets. What philosophy should guide these marketing efforts? What weight should be given to the interests of the organization, customers, and society? Very often these interests conflict. There are five alternative concepts under which organizations conduct their marketing activities: the production, product, selling, marketing, and societal marketing concepts.

The production conceptholds the consumers favor products that are available and highly affordable and that management should therefore focus on improving production and distribution efficiency. This concept is one of the oldest philosophies that guides sellers. The production concept is a useful philosophy in two types of situations. The first occurs when the demand for product exceeds the supply. Here management should look for ways to increase production. The second situation occurs when the product’s cost is too high and improved productivity is needed to bring it down.

The product concept.Another major concept guiding sellers, the product concept, holds that consumers favor products that offer the most quality, performance, and features, and that an organization should thus devote energy to making continuous product improvements. Some manufactures believe that if they can build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to the door. But they are often rudely shocked. Buyers may well be looking for a better solution to mouse problem, but not necessarily for a better mousetrap. The solution might be a chemical spray, an exterminating service, or something that works better than a mousetrap. Furthermore, a better mousetrap will not sell unless the manufacturer designs, packages, and prices it attractively, places it in convenient distribution channels, brings it to the attention of people who need it, and convinces them that it is a better product. The product concept can also lead to “marketing myopia”. For instance, railroad management once thought that users wanted trains rather than transportation and overlooked the growing challenge of airlines, buses, trucks, and automobiles.

The selling concept.Many organizations follow theselling concept,which holds that consumers will not buy enough of the organization’s products unless it undertakes a large selling and promotional effort. The concept is typically practiced with unsought goods – those which buyers do not normally think of buying, say encyclopedias and funeral plots. These industries must be good at tracking down prospects and selling them on product benefits.

The selling concept is also practiced in the nonprofit area. A political party, for example, will vigorously sell its candidate to voters as a fantastic person for the job. The candidate works in voting precincts from down to dusk, shaking hands, kissing babies, meeting donors, making speeches. Much money is spent on radio and television advertising, posters, and mailing. Candidate flaws are hidden from the public because the aim is to get the sale, not worry about consumer satisfaction afterward.

The marketing conceptholds that achieving organizational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfaction more effectively than competitors. Surprisingly, this concept is a relatively recent business philosophy. The marketing concept has been stated in such colorful ways as: “Find a need and fit it”, “To fly, to serve”, “We are not satisfied until you are”, and “To do all in our power to pack the customer’s dollar full of value, quality, and satisfaction.”

The societal marketing conceptholds that the organization should determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets. It should then 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 market 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 shortage, rapid population growth, worldwide inflation, and neglected social services. It asks if the firm that senses, serves, and satisfies individual wants is always doing what’s best for consumers and society in the long run. According to the societal marketing concept, the pure marketing concept overlooks possible conflicts between short-run consumer wants and long-run consumer welfare.



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