Marketing is the process of “creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large,” according to the American Marketing Association. This process is done in a number of different ways; marketing professionals use one or more of the five concepts of marketing in order to earn consumer confidence and create profitable, long-term relationships with consumers. But not all the concepts are equally effective.
Robert Katai, an experienced marketing strategist, provides the definition of a marketing concept: “A strategy that companies and marketing agencies design and implement in order to satisfy customers’ needs, maximize profits, satisfy customer needs, and beat the competitors or outperform them.” The main five include the production, product, selling, marketing, and societal concepts, and they have been evolving for decades. Not every concept is beneficial to every business, so here is a timely and convenient opportunity to learn more about each one.
The Production Concept
The production concept is focused on operations and is based on the assumption that customers will be more attracted to products that are readily available and can be purchased for less than competing products of the same kind. This concept came about as a result of the rise of early capitalism in the 1950s, at which time, companies were focused on efficiency in manufacturing to ensure maximum profits and scalability.
This philosophy can be useful when a company markets in an industry experiencing tremendous growth, but it also carries a risk. Businesses that are overly focused on cheap production can easily lose touch with the needs of the customer and ultimately lose business despite its cheap and accessible goods.
The Product Concept
The product concept is the opposite of the production concept in that it assumes that availability and price don’t have a role in customer buying habits and that people generally prefer quality, innovation, and performance over low cost. Thus, this marketing strategy focuses on continuous product improvement and innovation.
Apple Inc. is a prime example of this concept in action. Its target audience always eagerly anticipates the company’s new releases. Even though there are off-brand products that perform many of the same functions for a lower price, many folks will not compromise just to save money.
Working on this principle alone, however, a marketer could fail to attract those who are also motivated by availability and price.
The Selling Concept
Marketing on the selling concept entails a focus on getting the consumer to the actual transaction without regard for the customer’s needs or the product quality — a costly tactic. This concept frequently excludes customer satisfaction efforts and doesn’t usually lead to repeat purchases.
The selling concept is centered on the belief that you must convince a customer to buy a product through aggressive marketing of the benefits of the product or service because it isn’t a necessity. An example is soda pop. Ever wonder why you continue to see ads for Coca Cola despite the prevalence of the brand? Everyone knows what Coke has to offer, but it’s widely known that soda lacks nutrients and is bad for your health. Coca Cola knows this, and that’s why they spend astonishing amounts of money pushing their product.
The Marketing Concept
The marketing concept is based on increasing a company’s ability to compete and achieve maximum profits by marketing the ways in which it offers better value to customers than its competitors. It’s all about knowing the target market, sensing its needs, and meeting them most effectively. Many refer to this as the “customer-first approach.”
Glossier is a recognizable example of this marketing concept. The company understands that many women are unhappy with the way that makeup affects the health of their skin. They also noticed that women are fed up with being told what makeup products to use. With this in mind, Glossier introduced a line of skincare and makeup products that not only nourish the skin but are also easy to use and promote individualism and personal expression with makeup.
The Societal Concept
The societal marketing concept is an emerging one that emphasizes the welfare of society. It’s based on the idea that marketers have a moral responsibility to market conscientiously to promote what’s good for people over what people may want, regardless of a company’s sales goals. Employees of a company live in the societies they market to, and they should advertise with the best interests of their local community in mind.
The fast-food industry is an example of what the societal concept aims to address. There’s a high societal demand for fast food, but this food is high in fat and sugar and contributes to excess waste. Even though the industry is answering the desires of the modern consumer, it’s hurting our health and detracting from our society’s goal of environmental sustainability.
How to Choose the Right Marketing Concept
While not all of the above concepts are effective (or perhaps as effective as they once were), you can utilize aspects from multiple concepts in designing and strategizing a marketing plan. As you plan, you need to ask yourself some questions before deciding which marketing concept(s) to base it on. Consider the following:
- Who is your target audience? Which demographics are interested in your products or services? Where are they looking for you and what you have to offer? What attracts this demographic to your company? How can you use that to turn these people into customers?
- What are your goals besides making money? For example, are you trying to establish a loyal customer base? Are you trying to fill a hole in the industry you’re selling in?
- What makes your brand unique? What education do they need to be enticed to buy?
Consult With a Professional About Marketing Concepts Today
Over the years, the focus of marketing has shifted from profits and products to people and their needs. The modern consumer is more receptive to the marketing concept and the societal concept, as these concepts make them feel heard and cared about. As long as you put the consumer first in your strategy, you’re bound to have some level of success.
For help getting started on your marketing strategy, contact Avalaunch Media.