Marketing is a driving force in today’s global economy and to find out why let’s look into these 4 stages of the market orientation:
1. Production Stage
Because of scarcity in the early days of the United States buyers looked to acquire any good that was produced and to make best use of the good. During those days because marketing wasn’t yet understood, firms focused much on production and hoped that the goods would “sell them themselves.” The production era began around the late 1800’s up to about the mid 1920’s. You can imagine how much money was thrown down the drain due to ignorance of the fact that marketing is a key ingredient in the life of a business.
2. Sales Era
From about the mid 1920’s to the early 1960’s is when we seen an increase in competition like never seen before. Around this time most firms had realized that their ability to produce more goods than the buyers consumed was high. Firms began to realize after their initial production of goods was consumed by their “regulars” they could produce and sell to those outside of their normal “customer base.” This is when firms began to hire sales reps to go out and sell the product.
3. The Marketing Era
Depending on your generation you should remember when we first started to see the marketing concept on television. At it’s first introduction, laws weren’t in place to protect consumers from the malicious acts of marketers, which today have been concealed by subliminal messages, but organizations like the CPA(Consumer Protection Act) have been regulated due to marketers whose main goal was profit at the unprecedented expense of consumers. The marketing concept is the idea that a firm has two goals:
1. To satisfy the needs of consumers
2. Achieve the goals of the organization
For a number of reasons firms find that meeting these two goals is challenging!
4. The Customer Relationship Era
This era began around the same time the marketing era was coming to an end(keep in mind that it wasn’t the end of marketing in and of itself but the goals of many organizations had to change through marketing) and is the era we are currently in. Building customer relationships is and should be the number one goal of every organization. For the last two generations of individuals, relationships are at the top of the list as far as things that are valued. Companies spend millions each year training their employees on customer relationships building techniques, bringing in leadership coaches, sending top level executives to conferences to build knowledge on how to appeal to people. You can imagine why sales has a negative image in society today because many sales people aren’t trained at building relationships as appose to building more zero’s behind their pay check. The market orientation focus its effort on three key areas:
1. Collecting information on consumers wants and needs
2. Using cross-functional teams to analyze the information
3. Most importantly, creating value for the customer
Marketing is a fun and exciting arena to venture into especially when you set values that both benefit the consumer and yourself. Unfortunately, our society has been plagued by greed and many bad, yes bad, people take on the profession of marketing. I can list industries and individual companies who fit this description. As a marketing major I’m beginning to see how marketing has shaped our society and hope that we as a society take a different approach to how we do business and to really make a difference in this world.