An approach to a company known as “market orientation” places a high priority on determining consumer requirements and desires and developing goods and services that address them. Market-oriented businesses prioritize the opinions and requirements of their target market while doing research and development (R&D) for new goods.
Although it might seem clear, proponents of market orientation contend that the traditional method of product creation is the exact opposite. That is, rather than creating products with the features people claim to want, marketing methods place a greater emphasis on identifying key selling aspects to promote already existing products.
An approach to product design known as “market orientation” puts the client first. It entails conducting market research to find out what consumers believe to be their top priorities, current needs, or personal preferences within a given product category.
Additional data analysis may also be used by businesses to identify patterns and implicit consumer preferences. Product makers can better meet or even predict consumer wants if they are aware of these trends. Even improvements that the customer was not aware were possible may be sparked by them.
This enables a business to concentrate its product development efforts on the qualities that are in high demand. enterprises that adopt a market orientation may gain a competitive edge over rival enterprises in light of the increasingly globalized economy and the abundance of consumer choices.
What is the Marketing Orientation?
Marketing orientation is a strategy that focuses on understanding client needs, desires and wants before creating a suitable product. This orientation strategy has been employed by several well-known companies, including Coca-Cola and Amazon, to increase their market share and keep many of their customers for an extended period of time.
The orientation strategy differs depending on the product, market, and client. Its major processes include market scanning and research. Knowing what the customer genuinely wants is important. It is necessary to combine and analyze their main needs, urgent needs, and even long-term needs.
The characteristics of Marketing Orientation are:
- It is totally customer oriented. The main focus area is the wants of the customers and to be profitable companies need to satisfy the customers.
- It also helps the companies analyze the threats and competition. Sometimes companies cannot find out the threat they might face in the future. Using marketing orientation is a great way to analyze potential threats.
- Product innovation and modifying the product according to the needs of the customers is the main goal.
- Following a marketing orientation approach is a great way to develop coordination among the teams and the departments.
There are 4 main stages that make up the marketing orientation process. These stages are- Initiation, Reconstitution, Institutionalization, and lastly Maintenance. The first step focuses on the potential threats, the second one is about embracing the changes, the third deals with action and the last one is about meeting the customer demands.
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Implementing all these 4 stages in a well-organized manner is important to successfully complete the marketing orientation strategy.
Advantages of Market Orientation
Enhancements to customer service and product support that address consumer complaints are frequently part of market orientation. This encourages brand loyalty and effective word-of-mouth marketing while assisting in maintaining high customer satisfaction levels across the board for the business.
Companies must make sure that every department adopts and promotes the market orientation strategy for it to become ingrained in the business culture if they are to succeed. When done correctly, market orientation can aid a business in retaining customers and fostering expansion into new demographics.
Market orientation might occasionally disclose client preferences that are just too expensive or difficult to achieve. After that, the company must decide how to best fulfill client expectations.
Impractical concepts may, at the very least, influence long-term growth plans. Options that aren’t financially viable now might be in the future thanks to advancements in science, technology, regulations, or other market factors.
Consumer preferences come first in market-oriented development, which builds the product around the needs and aspirations of the market. In contrast to this, product orientation places a strong emphasis on getting customers to understand and appreciate the characteristics and advantages of a certain product.
A product orientation strategy frequently coexists with product differentiation. With this strategy, the business uses advertising tactics that seek to clearly define the qualities that set a brand apart from its rivals.
Through techniques like internet advertisements, social media posts, television commercials, in-store demonstrations, or direct response marketing, sales orientation aims to persuade the consumer to take quick action.
A good marketing plan may include any or all of these techniques, although most companies concentrate on one or a select few of them.
Amazon is an example of a market-oriented company. As it has grown and developed, it has consistently added processes and features that clearly address concerns and desires expressed by consumers. For example, many consumers, especially city dwellers, worry about getting packages delivered when they’re not at home. The company responded with Amazon Locker, a network of self-service pickup boxes.
Delivery charges, no matter how reasonable, are a chief irritant to consumers, and a reason to buy locally instead of ordering online. Amazon Prime charges an annual fee for the free delivery of most of its products.
Coca-Cola is another company that is famous for its market orientation. Considerable research goes into identifying new flavors that consumers will actually like, such as wild strawberry and lime. But those new flavors won’t help Coca-Cola address the increasing health consciousness of consumers. That’s why the company acquired brands including Dasani, Honest Tea, Smartwater, Simply Orange, Minute Maid, and Vitaminwater.
5 Marketing Orientation Approaches
Marketing strategists and marketing analysts may both create marketing plans for a business, but choosing the best marketing orientation strategy for the entire enterprise is a time-consuming and difficult procedure. The following list of five marketing orientation strategies includes:
An organization following a production orientation will do mass production and all product-related processes will be streamlined. The main assumption of this approach is that customers always value the prices.
Therefore, organizations following the production orientation approach will lower the prices so that the prices meet the customer’s requirements. Since product price is the main factor in production orientation, organizations want to make effective marketing strategies that ensure that the resources are focused on lowering the cost in every possible way.
One of the main issues with this technique is that- by focusing only on prices, companies often ignore the needs and wants of the target customers, and therefore customers remain unsatisfied.
Companies just think that customers need the cheapest-priced goods and nothing else.
- Pros- Mass production, economies of scale advantage, lower prices of goods
- Cons- Customer needs to be ignored, Quality aspect ignored, sometimes initial costs are high
Societal Orientation is a rather new concept. As people are learning more about how society operates, what it offers, the world that we live in, and many other aspects, they are increasingly switching to a societal marketing-oriented approach.
Organizations are following a new philosophy that is environmentally related. An organization following this approach will plan its processes, and products in such a manner that the impact it has on society and where it operates remains friendly and positive.
Mostly pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, and science-related industries opt for societal orientation. If we compare this orientation with the rest then it is obvious that it will be difficult for industries following the societal approach to survive in the competitive market. Mostly for the MSME, this approach can prove to be non-profitable.
- Pros- helps in building brand value and image, ethical and environmentally friendly
- Cons- less profitable, difficult to survive market competition, messages become distorted.
Just like the name suggests, this marketing approach focuses on the market and the niche customers. Even before beginning the production and sales, priority is given to the market conditions and customers.
The end product is created keeping in mind the customer and the result shows how important the customer is for such organizations. Organizations following the market orientation approach have properly organized internal teams and culture that focuses only on the customers of the company.
It is evident that the latest innovations and technologies are also neglected if the customers do not want them. Nowadays, we can see the shift of many organizations towards the market orientation approach as buyers hold a lot of information about what they expect and what they want.
In short, customers have become kings.
- Pros- Loyalty towards old customers, customers are always satisfied, investments in research and developments for the customers.
- Cons- purely a reactive strategy, does not account for new tech and innovations, the market is never constant.
An organization following the sales orientation approach will focus all of its resources and skills on selling the product to its customers. Obviously, customers are given priority in terms of selling the products but not in terms of considering their demands and needs.
The main aim is to sell the product. All the final products are handed to the sales and marketing team to find potential buyers for them. Sometimes companies feel they are not selling enough products so they switch to the sales orientation technique and adopt all the techniques that will help them sell more.
Selling more means more profit margin. But one thing that companies should consider is the way they sell the products to the customers and ignore their demands will not work out in the long run.
Soon customers will feel that they are not getting what they want and they will switch to the next. But it is not the case for every industry type. Some industries have been very successful after using this approach.
- Pros- High sales, short-term profit margins very high
- Cons- Not good for long run, high cost on sales techniques, customer needs are risked
Companies often confuse product marketing orientation with production marketing orientation. But in fact, both are completely opposites. The main aim of this approach is to ensure that products are continuously improved and innovations are being made to make them more attractive than competitor products.
The main area of focus of production orientation was price and product orientation. This is the biggest point of difference between both. It focuses on the quality of the product and not selling the cheapest goods to the customer.
All the superior and premium product companies follow the product orientation approach. But by focusing on the product it is not a guarantee that the company will consider the demands and needs of the customers.
Therefore, selling the product under this orientation approach is a big challenge. Finding the perfect niche can be difficult.
- Pros- Quality, innovations in the product, investment in research and development of the product.
- Cons- Obsolescence is the biggest drawback, the target market is difficult to find, customer needs can be ignored, and market opportunities are sometimes missed.
Examples of Marketing Orientation
Here are some real industry examples of Marketing Orientation :
Amazon has successfully used a marketing orientation approach and analyzed that the customers do not want to pay the delivery expenses. Therefore, they have brought various offers for the customers like Prime Service, nominal delivery charges, etc. to prevent high delivery costs.
One of the most famous shoe brands in the world Nike has also followed the marketing orientation approach and identified its niche. It focuses on customer satisfaction and fulfilling their demands in the most diligent and well-mannered way.
Intel is another popular brand that followed the product orientation approach and then shifted to the market approach in 2005. It started to manufacture customized products based on customer needs and demands. It all happened after the new CEO Paul S Otellini came in.
Marketing Orientation is basically about the connection and network of the buyer and companies which companies have to identify the needs of the customers. Every company that has adopted this technique has proved to be more dynamic, attractive and profitable in the market.