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When you look at your company, ask a simple question — are we market-focused or are we product focused? For most businesses, it is not an either/or answer. There is usually a blend that drives strategies and decisions. However, one perspective is usually dominant. Let’s take a look at each perspective.

A market-focused business looks outside the company for the input and data necessary to make strategic and tactical decisions. Market focus means understanding your customers. It means knowing your competitors and anticipating their next strategy or tactic. Market focus means knowing the overall dynamics and forces in the marketplace, and understanding how those forces might impact the business.

A product-focused business looks at their offerings, and strives to continually improve them. There is a zeal to make a product or service better, and the strategy of the business revolves around differentiation tied to product superiority.

Market focus seeks to identify opportunities and then capitalize on them. Product focus identifies improvements that will lead to competitive advantages. Both areas of focus are necessary. The challenge with a product-dominated focus is discovering critical information too late and falling behind in the competitive race. Growth slows because there is a delayed response to the dynamics of the marketplace.

A market-focus perspective offers the best pathway to sustainable and profitable growth. Market focus is all about opportunity. Where are there needs? Where do customers spend money? Once you know that, then you focus on products to satisfy those needs.

  • Why do you Think that Today’s Businesses are Customer Focused Rather than Product-focused?
  • Differences Between Market-Focused and Product-Focused Businesses
  • What are the Similarities Between the Product-focused Organization and Market-focused Organization?
  • What does it Mean to be Product-focused?
  • Which is Better Market Orientation or Product Orientation?
  • What is an Example of Product Focus?
  • Why Should a Business be Customer-focused?
  • Why Should Marketing Focus on the Customer?
  • How to Improve your Customer Focus Strategy
  • What is the Difference Between Product and Market-oriented?
  • Why is it Usually Better for a Firm to be Market-oriented?
  • What are the Possible Disadvantages of a Market-orientated Business?
  • Which of the Following is the Best Way to Focus on the Customer?

Why do you Think that Today’s Businesses are Customer Focused Rather than Product-focused?

customer orientation can be understood as an approach, as a mindset that puts the customer and his/her interest first. Although customer focus is closely related to that, customer focus can be understood as forming the strategy for customer orientation for the salesperson or organization. Upon closer examination, customer orientation is – or seems to be – on a higher level of abstraction than a customer focus.

Read Also: Finance Models for Different Spheres of Small Business

This is not always prevalent or even included in definitions for example found through a simple Google search. In the context of sales and the interaction between the seller and buyer, being customer focused refers to the seller taking the viewpoint of the customer.

This means putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and viewing things from the buyer’s or customer’s perspective. This entails feeling what your customer is feeling, thinking of what the customer is dreaming of and what he/she is aspiring to achieve or become. In brief, it means putting the customer in the driving seat and focusing on his/her needs, wishes, aspirations and dreams – as opposed to you focusing on yourself and your business.

Putting yourself in the customers’ situations and viewing things from their perspective is important because it helps us better understand the customer and what is likely to form the right solution for him/her. It helps to take away some of the guesswork and puts the seller on the same page with the buyer/customer.

Being customer focused puts you in a better position to help your customers, in an honest way. Your customer will sense and see that you are making an extra effort to understand the situation at which they are and to really understand them to be better able to help them get where they want to be.

Focusing on your customer usually makes it more appealing for customers to work with you, it creates mutual engagement. A problem that your customer first thought they are facing suddenly becomes a mutual project between you and your customer. Also, the goal becomes a mutual goal that both you and your customer are aiming at.

For example, perhaps your customer wants to be awarded a contract with their customer, but they are missing something that their competitor has. Once you focus on your customer and understand their situation, you are in a better position to help them. Their challenge/problem becomes your mutual problem. Their challenge to become awarded that contract becomes your mutual goal.

As a result of being customer focused, you will not only feel good about what you are doing and how you are working, but you are also likely to sleep better (knowing that you are not taking advantage of others, in this case, your customers), and – maybe most importantly, at least from a sales perspective – you will probably be more successful than your competitors.

In fact, it is not unlikely that the “tide will turn” and that you are more frequently than before contacted by customers who want your help, as opposed to you having to chase them to offer your support. The power of word-of-mouth should not be underestimated.

Differences Between Market-Focused and Product-Focused Businesses

Businesses that concentrate on the market constantly monitor evolving trends to create items that satisfy those wants. Instead of enhancing a product for its own purpose, they do it to meet a market need. To be able to compete with them, these companies also continuously research their rivals.

 Businesses that prioritize their products produce the finest products they can, regardless of the market. They think that no matter the market, a better product will always prevail. This can entail continuously enhancing an existing product rather than redesigning it to accommodate shifting demands.

 The contrast between Microsoft and Apple is an excellent illustration of the differences between market- and product-focused businesses. They both run wildly prosperous IT businesses. However, they approach their enterprises in totally different ways.

Microsoft keeps an eye on the market to determine the kinds of things its customers want. When they are certainly a product is what their customers want, they only release it. Although it may not be the most luxurious item, it meets customer needs.

 Apple, on the other hand, is more concerned with creating the finest goods available, regardless of the market. They constantly innovate and stake their reputation on having superior products to those of their rivals. While it frequently works effectively, it doesn’t always. Recall the uproar when iPhones were released without headphone jacks?

Both strategies are equally effective. It’s critical to focus on both your product and the market. One concentration can, however, prove to be more effective for your company than the other.

What are the Similarities Between the Product-focused Organization and Market-focused Organization?

A market-focused business looks outside the company for the input and data necessary to make strategic and tactical decisions. Market focus means understanding your customers. It means knowing your competitors, and anticipating their next strategy or tactic. Market focus also means knowing the overall dynamics and forces in the marketplace, and understanding how those forces might impact the business.

A product-focused business looks at its offerings and strives to continually improve them. There is a zeal to make a product or service better, and the strategy of the business revolves around differentiation tied to product superiority.

Market focus seeks to identify opportunities and then capitalize on them. Product focus identifies improvements that will lead to competitive advantages.

For example, the IT industry offers a prime comparison of a market-focused versus product-focused business when you look at Microsoft vs. Apple. Both companies have market focus and product focus as part of their DNA. They each blend these elements into a strategy.

However, Microsoft leads with a market focus. Apple leads with a product focus. A new Microsoft operating system usually emerges when there are significant enough changes generated from the demands of the marketplace. New Apple products emerge when the design, innovation and creative minds of Apple engineers come up with something to wow the marketplace.

Is one approach better than the other? No. For most companies, though, a market-focused perspective usually offers a higher probability pathway to sustainable and profitable growth.

Market focus is all about opportunity. Where are there needs? Where do customers spend money? Once you know that, then you focus on products to satisfy those needs. The outcome is a prescribed match of solutions for needs instead of solutions in search of needs.

Product focus is all about innovation and creativity. Be the first to market with a new idea, technology or product. Product focus requires greater time and resources to be successful. New ideas are tough to come by.

In both market-focused and product-focused businesses, three factors are needed to foster success: clarity of vision and action, marketing investment and situational responses.

Clarity of vision and action means setting a direction and vision for the company, and then converting that clarity into daily activities. Market-focused clarity begins with the customers and the marketplace, and the decision-making process proceeds from there. Understand the customers, and develop products and services that meet their needs.

Product-focused clarity begins with creating the next great thing. Evolve products and services to deliver value. Don’t be one step ahead of competitors; be three, four or five steps ahead of competitors. Deliver something unique that delivers value.

Both market focus or product focus clarity requires marketing to make money. Sergio Zyman, the former vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola understood that marketing is an investment. He said, “When you understand that marketing is what you do to sell stuff, then the money that you lay out is an investment instead of an expense.”

Each situation is different. Think of these decision points as opportunities to challenge assumptions, reassess priorities, and decide if a change is warranted. Recognize that market focus and product focus exist in each and every business.

What does it Mean to be Product-focused?

Product-Focused refers to a system in which a company assigns ownership of a product to an internal team. The team’s performance evaluation is tied to the long-term success of the product in the marketplace. In this model, the product team will continually seek to improve and develop the product based on the changing market.

This management philosophy dates back to 1931, when Neil McElroy, then the president of Procter & Gamble, evaluated how to differentiate Camay soaps from their competitors. He defined a position called “Brand Maker” as the person responsible for all aspects of the product, including sales, product development, and marketing.  This was absolutely revolutionary when most companies followed Henry Ford’s philosophy of treating employees as interchangeable widgets.

And it worked! Procter and Gamble found that a product-based management approach resulted in higher quality products that commanded a premium price in the marketplace.

Which is Better Market Orientation or Product Orientation?

Companies use business approaches such as product and market orientation to sell their products or services and develop their organizations. Although market and product orientation can both help businesses, there are many distinctions between them.

Organizations looking to optimize their manufacturing, marketing or sales processes may want to learn more about these orientations so that they can decide whether to use one or both in their operations.

Product orientation is a business approach where companies focus on their products. Organizations with a product-oriented approach strive to create products or services of the highest quality possible. These companies also emphasize fostering other business initiatives and tactics related to product or service quality, such as determining optimal pricing points and conducting product or service research.

Market orientation is a business concept where organizations prioritize the needs, wants and behaviors of their customers. Companies that are market-oriented continually evaluate what their customers want and foster relationships with them. These businesses often invest a lot in market research or testing.

Following are the principal similarities and differences between product orientation versus market orientation:

Strategy vs. culture

Product orientation is primarily a strategy for companies to optimize the quality of their products or services. When using a product-oriented tactic, companies not only strive to make their product or service highly efficient but also to highlight the quality of their offerings to their prospective customers.

Market orientation tends to be part of an organization’s company culture. A business that’s market-oriented centers the needs of its customers at the forefront of all its operations and initiatives.


Companies that focus on product orientation often use different tools and resources than those organizations that prioritize market orientation. A business that’s product-oriented primarily invests in product research and testing, such as by testing new product materials, conducting focus groups and analyzing customer feedback on specific products or services.

Market-oriented organizations typically spend more on market research and testing, both of which involve evaluating a target audience’s needs before determining specific products or services to offer.


Both market orientation and product orientation can offer organizations different strategic and financial advantages. A product-oriented company can save costs on market research and streamline the production process for its products or services. With a market-oriented approach, companies may be able to increase their customer satisfaction, which can lead to other benefits, like brand loyalty.

Potential drawbacks and solutions

A product-oriented business can run the risk of its products or services becoming outdated. It might also miss potential market opportunities, such as advertising its products to a niche market. To combat these risks, product-oriented businesses may want to use some market orientation strategies, like researching competitors and asking for more generalized customer feedback.

Organizations with a market orientation may invest large amounts into market research. These companies might also have less continuity in their operations or business offerings since they continually strive to meet customer needs that might change frequently. A potential solution could be to decide on a consistent schedule for market research, such as only conducting this research once a year rather than continually.


Product orientation and market orientation may affect different operations or departments within an organization. Product-oriented strategies tend to most impact research and development and sales and marketing teams. A market-oriented business may find that this approach affects all aspects of their business since it relates to company culture.

What is an Example of Product Focus?

Firms that use a product-focused strategy keep up with the competition by updating their goods based on market success rates. A product-focused strategy is commonly used to produce, improve and enhance existing products rather than focusing on new ones.

This type of strategy can be helpful for a company that has been in business for many years but wants to keep up with current trends or technology changes. For example, an electronics firm might decide to upgrade its product line annually and focus on a specific area, such as wearable technology.

Many companies use this type of strategy to keep up with the competition. Additionally, it’s essential to have clear goals for what you want your product to achieve, and this will help you stay focused on these goals when developing your product line.

Benefits of Product Focus Strategy Include:

  • It allows companies to maintain their competitive edge by focusing on what they do best while keeping up with changing trends and technology advances in other areas like manufacturing processes or materials used for products.
  • Enhancing products can also increase customer loyalty because customers know they can depend on the company to improve its offerings over time.
  • This type of strategy typically results in increased profits, allowing companies to continue selling older versions of their products while introducing new ones.
  • Firms that use this strategy often have a more streamlined product line, making it easier to manage and produce
  • Customers are more likely to be familiar with your products, as they have been around for a while, so they may be more likely to buy them.
  • This type of strategy also helps businesses stay relevant to consumers by offering up-to-date products and meeting current market needs.
  • It allows companies more control over their production processes, resulting in a higher quality product or service at lower prices than competitors who are not using operations management strategies like this one.
  • When implemented correctly, this strategy can help reduce costs associated with production processes such as material waste or worker errors that could lead to defects being found in finished goods before they even reach consumers’ hands!

Why Should a Business be Customer-focused?

The rewards of customer focus are two-fold:

  1. Engaging for your customers: Your customers want to be listened to. According to research by Salesforce, 62% of customers expect companies to adapt based on their actions, feedback, and behaviors. If you aren’t listening, your customers will find someone who will.
  2. Good for your business: Because of the numerous benefits that customer focus brings to your business, you’ll be more successful overall. In fact, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that do not make decisions with a customer focus.

Making decisions based on your customers’ needs and goals puts you in a better position to build relationships, help customers become successful, and adapt to changes in the market.

Authentic customer-focused culture is far more exhaustive than just researching your customer experience or observing a segment of your market. A true customer-focused culture actively involves your entire organization in understanding at each level how to deliver the best customer experience at every turn.

1. A customer focus culture improves customer retention.

Customer retention is essential for building residual revenue. It’s also proven to be more cost-effective when compared to acquisition since it’s 6-7x more costly to attract a new customer than retain an existing one. Providing excellent service is necessary for establishing high retention rates. 

24% of respondents in a MyCustomer survey said they’d switch to a different brand after one negative experience.

You should be closer to your customers than any of your competitors. When you develop a customer-focused culture, you invest time and effort in understanding your customers more thoroughly. This also equips you to create tailored experiences that help retain customers for longer.

2. Customer-centric companies are more profitable

Considering the impact customer service can have on retention, it should be no surprise that companies that make their customers a priority are more profitable. Research from Deloitte and Touche found that businesses with a customer-centric focus are 60% better. This directly underlines that the happier a customer is with a brand, the more they tend to purchase. 

In a study, Xerox found that customers rated 6/6 were six times more likely to buy more products than those who rated the brand with a 5/6. 

In this case, just one extra point on Xerox’s rating scale led to a noticeable difference in purchasing habits — illustrating that even a little extra effort could be all it takes to boost your revenue.

Why Should Marketing Focus on the Customer?

Customer focus is a strategy that puts your customers’ needs first. Customer-focused businesses foster a company culture dedicated to enhancing customer satisfaction and building strong customer relationships. Examples of customer focus include good customer service, listening (and implementing) customer feedback, and building personalized customer experiences.

“Customer focus is the lens by which you analyze all your interactions with your customers,” says Jonathan Brummel, Senior Manager, Premier Support at Zendesk. “It’s a core value to who you want to be as a company and how you want your customers to feel about you.”

Here are just a few reasons why customer focus is important, according to Zendesk’s 2022 CX Trends Report.

  1. Customers have high standards: More than 60 percent report that they now have higher customer service standards after the past year’s crisis.
  2. A focus on customers can drive sales: 93 percent of customers will spend more with companies that offer their preferred option to reach customer service and 90 percent will spend more with companies that personalize the customer service they offer them.
  3. A lack of customer focus can lead to churn: 61 percent of customers say they would switch to a company’s competitor after just one bad customer service experience and 76 percent say they would switch to a company’s competitor due to multiple bad customer service experiences.
  4. Customers are more willing to forgive companies for a mistake if they are customer-focused: 74 percent say they will forgive a company for its mistake after receiving excellent service.
  5. Customer focus drives retention and loyalty: 60 percent of business leaders say quality service improves customer retention.

How to Improve your Customer Focus Strategy

There are two levels to building an effective customer focus strategy: an emotional level and an operational level. A great customer-focus strategy enables you to form real, honest, and transparent relationships with your customers. It also guides you in setting the right tools and processes in place to do so.

Here are six tips to help keep both relationship management and process improvement top of mind:

1. Encourage collaboration

Becoming a customer-focused organization requires teams to work together to create a consistent, overall better experience. In fact, more than 70 percent of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf.

Support teams and sales teams might collaborate so:

  • An agent can flag sales when a customer is interested in learning about a new product
  • A sales rep can redirect a more technical question to an agent who specializes in that area

And collaboration pays off—according to Benchmark research, sales and support teams that collaborate have:

  • More leads
  • More deals created
  • More deals won

But collaboration shouldn’t slow down your teams’ productivity because that only makes things more complicated for the customer. That’s why effectively collaborating on the customer’s behalf requires a connective layer of tissue that integrates customer data across departments. This allows teams to share insights without:

  • Disrupting their workflow
  • Exposing the customer to what’s going on behind the scenes

2. Make your customers feel heard

Behind every customer is a story. But customers don’t want to have to repeat that story every time they interact with your brand. And if customers feel ignored because they have to repeat themselves, they won’t be likely to remember your company as customer-focused.

“Making the customer feel heard is a huge part of customer focus,” says Brummel. “And when they don’t feel heard, that’s when the experience can quickly go south.”

Imagine having to reintroduce yourself to a coworker every time you see them in the office kitchen and remind them of what you last spoke about. It’s neither personal nor customer-focused, but that’s often how businesses communicate with their customers.

To ensure satisfied customers feel heard, companies will need that same connective layer of tissue. This gives them the full story on the customer, such as:

  • Their name
  • Account information
  • When they last reached out

This arm teams with the relevant context and conversation history they need to give customers the personalized experiences they expect.

3. Meet your customers where they are

It might seem easier to focus on a single communication channel and provide a great experience there. But communicating according to your customers’ channels of choice is a powerful driver of loyalty, according to Zendesk research.

The data is clear: A great customer experience is one that’s easy. Customers don’t want to have to put effort into reaching your brand, and nor should they. That’s why customer-focused companies meet their customers where they are. This allows customers to reach out however and whenever they want.

Looking into the demographics of your customers and considering the types of questions you see most often can be eye-opening. Industry best practices might tell you to offer a particular channel. But you might find that a significant amount of your customers prefer a mobile-first option. You might consider adding in WhatsApp, SMS, or another mobile messaging channel because that’s where your customers are.

Again, that 360 view of the customer will be important for connecting conversations across channels. It ensures context moves with the customer. This helps your business to provide fast and personal responses no matter when or how they reach out.

4. Use feedback to get a better

Knowing how to handle customer feedback is another important factor in becoming a customer-focused company. Instead of approaching customer complaints as a game of dodgeball, customer-focused companies:

  • Amplify the voice of the customer
  • Use their feedback to create a better experience

This might include:

  • Sending your customers surveys
  • Opening an online community where customers can share their experiences with your product or service or vote on new feature requests

Creating a feedback loop with your customers is important. Your relationship with them, like any healthy relationship, should be two-sided.

“Treating customers like partners and collaborators as opposed to consumers of your good is one of the first steps to creating a customer-focused culture,” says Brummel.

5. Combine data with empathy

With the increasing amount of data available, companies no longer have to guess what their customers want or decide for them. Instead, they can look to the trends.

But taking a customer-focused approach to data doesn’t mean using data blindly. Rather, it involves combining data with empathy. This means:

  • Adding context to data
  • Applying data compassionately
  • Using data to enhance customer intimacy—developing insights into who is using your product and what they are looking for.

For instance, your product team might align a product update with customer support data to ensure change is relevant to those it impacts. Or, instead of sending every customer the same email, a marketing team might:

  • Adjust content based on where each customer is in the customer journey
  • Segment content base on what emails a customer previously opened

But siloed data often prevents companies from using it emphatically and in a way that truly benefits the customer. That’s because they lack the full context to do so. For starters, you’ll need to connect insights across systems and software to effectively manage and interpret your data.

6. Leverage AI to proactively meet customers’ needs

Customer-focused businesses aren’t just reactive to what their customers need, they also proactively meet their expectations. And with the help of AI, proactive experiences don’t have to be complicated or costly. For instance, support teams might use machine learning to predict customer satisfaction to proactively reduce customer complaints. Or, sales teams might deploy a chatbot to proactively welcome customers, before they abandon their cart or demo request form due to lingering questions.

7. Support the teams that support customers

Customer service teams interact with your customers directly and have a direct impact on your customers’ experience with your brand. Customers can tell when an agent is unhappy or overwhelmed and it can lead to a bad experience. Unfortunately, the risk of burnout is high in customer service roles. Companies need to support their support teams to empower agents to do their jobs well.

For example, Only 1 in 5 agents express a high level of satisfaction with the quality of training available, and 62 percent report that more skills-based training would improve their performance.

What is the Difference Between Product and Market-oriented?

In the line of business, marketing focus decisions are inevitable. While many marketing strategies can be used in a company, they should be in line with the company goals, structure, and capabilities. Through the help of business strategists, business persons can choose between market orientation, product orientation, production orientation, and sales orientation.

This should be done after understanding what each marketing strategy entails, and how the market will respond to it. Although the concepts are closely related, they have differences.

Product Orientation

This is a company’s focus on a product that ensures maximum effort is put on quality and optimum performance of a product. The company heavily invests in product development and research, ensuring the product sells itself and believes that as long as the product is high-quality people would consume such a product. It, however, does not focus on what the customers need. To achieve this, fundamental tools used include:

  1. Product research
  2. Product testing
  3. Product focus

Advantages of using this strategy include:

  • Costs that would have been used in determining customer preferences are eliminated
  • It allows a company to put full focus on a product hence delivering nothing but quality
  • Since a company is only focusing on a specific product, the production process simplified

Disadvantages include:

  • A company may be phased out if a competitor with the same product focuses on consumer needs
  • Obsolescence of products through a change in technology and other market factors can lead to the downfall of a company
  • A company using this approach misses on many market opportunities to exploit

Market Orientation

This is a business culture that focuses on the satisfaction of the customer. The business ensures that its values, norms, behavior alongside with the set systems, structures and control within the organization are in line with customer’s needs, hence the reaction is based on what a customer wants.

Market orientation focuses on:

  • What customers want
  • Building and maintaining relationships with customers
  • Tracking information used for evaluation and research
  • Linking customers’ needs to organizational capabilities

To achieve this, the tools used are:

  1. Market research
  2. Market testing
  3. Customer focus.

Advantages of using this method include;

  • Promotes brand loyalty through customer satisfaction
  • Impractical ideas suggested by consumers may form a basis of long term business development strategy
  • Production is flexible as it is based on customer tastes and need

However, it has disadvantages including:

  • It involves high costs due to market research
  • There is a constant internal change which may be disruptive
  • It involves a lot of future unpredictability

Why is it Usually Better for a Firm to be Market-oriented?

Marketing orientation means that the resources of the company are directed toward meeting the wants and needs of the customer. A company with a marketing focus understands every aspect of its markets and the reasons that motivate consumers to buy its products or services.

A market approach does not try to predict product trends or make guesses about future consumer demands for goods. Instead, it reacts to what customers tell you they want.

This approach leads the company to invest in the development of products that consumers will want to buy rather than trying to persuade them to purchase products that the company wants to sell.

Focused Marketing Increases Sales and Income

Which sales strategy do you think would be more successful – trying to convince a customer to buy a product that he doesn’t want or presenting him with a product that he has expressed a need for and is willing to buy?

The answer is obvious: Give the customers what they want.

Marketing research that identifies customers’ wants and needs will lead to increased sales and higher profits. The cost of sales is much less and profits can be higher, because consumers will pay more for products they want.

Market Orientation Increases Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Paying attention to the customer increases loyalty and leads to repeat sales. Brand loyalty creates a customer base that will be resistant to attempts by competitors to steal your customers by offering lower prices or special introductory incentives.

When consumers feel that a company appreciates their business by presenting high-quality products at attractive prices, they will respond with larger repeat purchases. Buyers like to know that a company is paying attention to them and giving them the attention they feel they deserve for their money.

Customer-Directed Marketing Increases Market Share

When the buying public sees that a company is offering products and services they want, new customers will flock to the stores to make purchases. Marketing orientation not only leads to larger purchases from existing customers, it attracts new ones.

Quite often, this means taking customers from the competition, which results in an increase in market share. Companies that do not react to changing customer desires will lose business to those companies that do respond.

Customer Focused Marketing Fosters Product Innovation

A focus on customer wants and needs is a two-way street. The company listens to its customers and gives them what they want, but it also hears from the customers about changes they would like to see.

This is valuable information, because it can direct the company’s efforts in new product development or adding additional features to existing products. New product innovation will give a company resilience and help to maintain its competitive position in the marketplace.

Customer Feedback Leads to Continuous Improvement of Efficiency and Effectiveness

Company attention to buyer feedback will provide knowledge on areas that need improvement. This helps the business to address problems and take corrective actions before customers begin fleeing to the competition. Companies can adapt faster to changing consumer preferences.

Happy Customers Also Make Happy Employees

No employee wants to work in a business where the customers are always complaining. Happy employees will be more productive and attentive to customer needs, and they’re less likely to be looking for another job.

A marketing orientation focus toward the customer is essential to compete and survive in today’s marketplace. This kind of marketing strategy has advantages that enable a company to stay in touch with its customers and always be in the forefront of product innovation.

What are the Possible Disadvantages of a Market-orientated Business?

Marketing orientation is the business approach that dictates all the processes within that organization. It outlines how the company’s core offering is presented to its users and how the marketing teams are empowered.

Although marketing teams have a say in the marketing strategies adopted, the marketing orientation is determined by the priorities of upper-level management. The different types of marketing orientation are as follows:

1. Sales orientation

2. Market orientation

3. Production orientation

4. Societal orientation

Market orientation is more of an approach to product design rather than promotion. It means that the priority is to analyze the target audience and determine their needs instead of undertaking any promotional or sales activity. The needs are kept in mind while developing and upgrading the product offering.

A market-oriented organization uses a customer-centered approach, which means that the most pressing concerns, immediate needs, and personal preferences of the consumer base must be researched.

The strategy must be focused on values, culture, and other behavioral traits of the consumer base. Thus, the development efforts of the organization are focused on characteristics that are most widely demanded. This enables companies to adapt to different markets and enhance competitiveness.


  • An excessive focus on addressing the needs and desires of consumers reduces the scope for innovation in an organization. Thus, market orientation is based on reacting to market trends rather than creating them.
  • Consumer desires are not fixed and can change very rapidly. A standalone market-oriented strategy cannot guarantee a huge market share, given that rival companies serving the same consumer needs can quickly come up in the market.

Amazon consistently changes the virtual marketplace and adds features to address the concerns expressed by consumers. One such feature is the rating and review system introduced by the online retailer to boost credibility.

The company launched Amazon Prime to address issues with delivery charges. In addition, it created the Amazon Locker, which is a self-pickup service for consumers who may not be present in the shipping address indicated at the time of delivery.

Coca-Cola performs extensive research to come up with new flavors for its consumers. For users who are worried about sugar content, the company launched the zero-calorie Diet Coke and undertook several acquisitions of “healthy” brands, such as Dasani, etc.

Which of the Following is the Best Way to Focus on the Customer?

here are 10 things a company should do if they want to become, or maintain a good customer-focused organization.

Know Your Customer

To fully serve your customers, and your business, you need to know who they are, what they want, and how to get it to them. Market research is a great way to determine you overall strategy. Running data to find out demographics, locations, and spending habits of your customers is good, but getting it straight from the source will be your key to success.

Gaining personal insights right from the customer will give you something research never can. Ask them questions, send out surveys, read their reviews and questions – and develop a customer profile that you can then divvy up into more specific segments to target more granularly.

Figure Out Their Problem, and Solve it

Figuring out the shared problem your target customer has, and solving it is what can build a good business model. A niche problem can help focus what and how you deliver a solution to your customers. For example, Customer Traac knows that dealerships have problems maintaining high volume inbound calls, appointment scheduling, and service follow-up. That niche allows us to focus on the customer’s problem and solve it. Having too many issues and too many problems makes it difficult to get good at one thing.

Build Trust with Your Customers

If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t stick around, and they may even prevent others from coming to you with their problems. Some ways to build trust amongst your customers are solving their problem before they become more frustrated, gaining immediate feedback from customers and making them feel like you care and they are part of the process, and being present when they leave comments and reviews – make it right.

When they see that their problems are not only being solved, but any issues they’ve voiced have been used to better the business as a whole, they are going to feel nurtured and cared for. This gains their trust and hopefully long term loyalty.

Keep Up to Date with Your Industry

Industries like tech, healthcare, and the auto industry are ever-changing. They are on to the next year and the next big thing before you can blink an eye sometimes. Keeping up to date with industry trends and changes is crucial to getting ahead of the curve when it comes to solving your customers’ future problems. Knowing what to expect down the line with industry changes and problems, is going to be beneficial to you and your clients. They will be shocked to know you’ve solved their problem before they can even ask for the fix.

Utilize Customer Feedback

Customer reviews and feedback are a GOOD THING. You should actually want and crave their feedback. In a customer-focused organization, seeing good numbers on your sales reports doesn’t matter as much as how your customers are feeling and how satisfied they are. When you interact with a customer personally, ask them to give their feedback if they would like and it’s the best way you are going to know exactly how to improve your business.

Check reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review sites. You should actively respond to both positive and negative reviews. People want to know that they are being heard, and if other customers see that you are responding to other customers, they may feel more inclined to leave feedback as well. Take the bad ones and see them as opportunities, not failures!

Tie Your Customers into Your Brand

Your brand should represent your customer and one way to do this is to gain brand advocates. Customers who love your services or have had great experiences with you may be willing to advocate for you to others. Most shoppers say they would trust a recommendation from a family member or friend over any other advertising. If you aren’t utilizing this, you are missing out on some free marketing basically.

Some ways to use customers in your branding is through social media, you can utilize tags and hashtags to find people that are talking about you and share their posts! People love to see their posts shared on the brands they love. Some companies have even compiled videos of real customer reviews or social posts into marketing videos for their business. It makes your customer feel like they are part of the team, and that what they say really matters.

Customer Experience is Key

From the beginning to the end of your customer interaction, they should feel cared for, happy with the service, and having a good time! Putting personality into the customer experience is a huge difference between a customer who will come back, and one who won’t. Send funny email campaigns, post fun interactive social media posts, and when you’re on the phone with them be cheerful, helpful, and personable.

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Going above and beyond with your customer service can increase customer satisfaction tenfold. Make sure your employees and customer service team know how to remain poised and calm in a possible negative interaction with a customer. The customer who is irate may be able to turn around if they are treated with respect and care, and their problem is solved.

Continually Improve Products and Processes

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This doesn’t really work for your customer-focused business. You should always be striving to improve your process, no matter what. The goal should always be to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. There is always room for growth when it comes to customer service.

You can try new tactics, switch up your conversations with customers, and maybe even try some new ways internally to motivate and encourage employees. Never settle, even when things are good. A successful company is always looking for and trying to achieve the next best thing.

Be Proactive

Be proactive in everything you do. Whether it is communicating company changes, industry updates, or any new improvements. You should also be proactive with your customers. Sending follow-up emails, SMS, or phone calls will keep your relationship with your customers solid and sets the tone for the rest of your interactions. Be proactive in solving their problems and knowing what they want before they even ask. You can be the thought leader and a cut above the rest by being proactive in all your business strategies.

Invest in Your Employees

The heart and soul of your customer-focused organization is your customer service team. To get good people, you need to treat your current team well. Invest in their well-being, and encourage growth amongst your team. Making your employees feel wanted, needed, and cared for is the highest motivator and will encourage them to give the best customer service they can. If you feel good, you perform better.

These tips apply to everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization, and if they are followed a company is sure to be set up for success. Be mindful, respectful, and proactive in building a customer-focused business. Putting the customer first will build their trust and increase your growth.

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