Boundless Business: "The History of the Marketing Concept"

The History of the Marketing Concept

The marketing concept has evolved through many different definitions over time.

Learning Objective

  • Outline the history of market orientation


Key Points

  • An orientation, in the marketing context, related to a perception or attitude a firm holds towards its product or service, essentially concerns consumers and end-users.
  • The marketing orientation evolved from earlier orientations; namely, the production orientation, the product orientation and the selling orientation.
  • The marketing orientation is perhaps the most common orientation used in contemporary marketing. It involves a firm essentially basing its marketing plans around the marketing concept, and thus supplying products to suit the new tastes of consumers.

Term

  • orientation

    The act of orienting or the state of being oriented.


One marketing standard chronology (Bartels, 1974; Dawson, 1969; Keith, 1960; Kotler and Keller, 2006) subdivides marketing history as follows:

  • Production orientation era
  • Product orientation era
  • Sales orientation era
  • Market orientation era
  • Customer orientation
  • Relationship orientation
  • Social/mobile marketing orientation

What's an Orientation?

An orientation, in the marketing context, related to a perception or attitude, a firm holds towards its product or service, essentially concerns consumers and end-users. Throughout history, marketing has changed considerably in conjunction with consumer tastes. Constant throughout; however, is that marketing is some form of communication aimed broadly at improving eventual sales.

Earlier Approaches

The marketing orientation evolved from earlier orientations; namely, the production orientation, the product orientation and the selling orientation.

Production: production methods until the 1950s; a firm focusing on a production orientation specializes in producing as much as possible of a given product or service. Thus, this signifies a firm exploiting economies of scale until the minimum efficient scale is reached. A production orientation may be deployed when a high demand for a product or service exists, coupled with a good certainty that consumer tastes will not rapidly alter (similar to the sales orientation).

Product: quality of the product until the 1960s; a firm employing a product orientation is chiefly concerned with the quality of its own product. A firm would also assume that as long as its product was of a high standard, people would buy and consume the product.

Selling: selling methods 1950s and 1960s; a firm using a sales orientation focuses primarily on the selling/promotion of a particular product, and not determining new consumer desires as such. Consequently, this entails simply selling an already existing product, and using promotion techniques to attain the highest sales possible.

Such an orientation may suit scenarios in which a firm holds dead stock, or otherwise sells a product that is in high demand, with little likelihood of changes in consumer tastes that would diminish demand.

Marketing: needs and wants of customers 1970 to present day; the marketing orientation is perhaps the most common orientation used in contemporary marketing. It involves a firm essentially basing its marketing plans around the marketing concept; and thus supplying products to suit new consumer tastes. As an example, a firm would employ market research to gauge consumer desires; use R&D to develop a product attuned to the revealed information; and then use promotional tools to ensure people know the product exists .


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Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2018, 1:41 PM