A marketing oriented firm (also called the marketing concept, or consumer focus) is one that allows the wants and needs of customers and potential customers to drive all the firm's strategic decisions. The firm's corporate culture is systematically committed to creating customer value. In order to determine customer wants, the company usually needs to conduct marketing research. The marketer expects that this process, if done correctly, will provide the company with a sustainable competitive advantage.
This consumer focus can been seen as a process that involves three steps. First customer want are researched, then the information is dissiminated thoughout the firm and products are developed, then finally customer satisfaction is monitored and adjustments made if necessary.
A marketing oriented firm will typically show the following characteristics:
- Extensive use of marketing research
- Broad Product lines
- Emphasis on a product's benefits to customers rather than on product attributes
- Use of product innovation techniques
- The offering of ancillary services like credit availability, delivery, installation, and warranty
The concept of marketing orientation was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s at Harvard University and at a handful of forward thinking companies. It replaced the previous sales orientation that was prevalent between the mid 1950s and the early 1970s, and the production orientation that predominated prior to the mid 1950s.
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