Marketing orientation is defined as the implementation or completion of a marketing concept that essentially caters to the customers. The term is otherwise known as marketing concept or consumer focus.
With marketing orientation, a business revolves its strategic decisions around the wants and needs of the target market, including potential customers. A company that is marketing-orientated has the commitment to valuing customers and the customers’ needs. In fact, it can even contribute to the transformation of a company’s business culture.
This marketing concept involves three essential steps in being customer-focused. First, the wants and needs of the customers are researched and identified. Then, the research outputs are studied by the marketers and new products are created based on the consumer needs. Finally, customer satisfaction is aimed after public awareness and introduction of the product is made.
A marketing-orientated business is characterized by various attributes. The company makes good and extensive use of marketing research, develops new and broad products, highlights product value and benefits, uses product innovation methods, and designs supplementary services or customer benefits such as delivery, installation, warranty, and credit availability. All these are geared toward customer advantage.
Marketing orientation has three common alternatives which can be adopted by a company and these are sales orientation, product orientation, and production orientation.
As the term clearly implies, a business organization that makes use of product orientation primarily focuses on product quality. A company believes that if the products offered in the market are of good quality and high standard, customers are sure to buy and take advantage of it. The production of these high quality products are either a response to the needs of the customers or by pure innovation.
A good example would be mobile phone companies. Let us take Apple as an example of a company that always makes sure their phones have a competitive edge over the rest of the mobile phone manufacturers. They create phones with features that attract the target market. So, in the field of technology, Apple may be considered a technical leader.
Companies that employ product orientation invest on product innovation as a way to attract the market. But, in order to keep the competitiveness in a certain industry, a company should always highly consider the recent changes and developments in technology and customer preferences. Otherwise, it may lose its ground to other competing businesses.
Sales-orientated organizations are targeted not on the customer needs and product quality but the selling and promotion of the products to the market. Typically, this marketing concept includes selling the company’s existing and current products along with the use of promotional methods in order to gain a maximized profit. Businesses that seem to have a hard time selling their available product or services are more aggressive in pushing sales, pricing, and distribution.
If the company’s product stocks have barely moved and remain stagnant on the store shelves, for example, the company will utilize sales orientation to push the sales of these stocks without much consideration for customer tastes and preferences.
As such, a sales-orientated business does not place a high priority on production but may need to employ product orientation by innovating existing products to suit to changing customer preferences.
This alternative is different from product orientation in a way that product-orientated businesses are concerned more on the creation and manufacturing of as many product items as possible. A company that focuses more on generating high volume of its products is aiming to maximize revenue growth and profitability.
With product orientation, product output has more importance than the customer needs. A business may focus on this type of orientation if it is more than capable to cater to a large market without having to risk on the production.
The law of economics is highly relevant and applicable to this orientation. If the demand is high, the company may increase the supply of the products as a way to generate more profits.
A significant increase in profit is usually observed if the high demand for a product or service is coupled with minimal changes in customer preferences. Only when a company is confident that selling and promotion is not an issue can they focus on production orientation.