7. Marketing and the marketing mix
There are many definitions of marketing and two of them are presented here:
• Marketing is the management process which identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirements efficiently and profitably.
• Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives.
To understand the marketing philosophy consider some alternative approaches:
• The production oriented firm concentrates on efficient, low cost production, in the expectation that the goods will find a market provided the price is low enough.
• The product oriented firm assumes that the supplier knows best. It will produce high quality goods and expect customers to buy them.
• The sales oriented firm focuses on the skills of selling rather than on the needs of the buyer. This firm produces a product and then considers how customers can be persuaded to buy it.
The market oriented firm starts with the customer and his or her needs. This firm will seek to produce what the customer wants rather than sell what the firm has produced. The market oriented firm places the customer at the centre and devises an integrated strategy to satisfy the customer to the mutual advantage of buyer and seller. The market orientation remains consistent with the profit objectives of the firm. Three important elements are identified in this approach:
CUSTOMER ORIENTATION, meaning that an organisation has a sufficient understanding of its target buyers that allow it to create superior value.
COMETITOR ORIENTATION, defined as an organisation’s understanding of the short-term strength and weaknesses and long-term capabilities and strategies of current and potential competitors.
INTERFUNCTIONAL CO-ORDINATION, referring to the manner in which an organisation uses its resources in creating superior.