The production period from 1890 to the 1920s focused on the production and supply of high quality products after the industrial revolution. Product orientation is an orientation of marketing by which focus on product quality is ensured. This may lead to the needs of the customer being ignored as the company will focus on making the best product believing that it will then sell as customers must want to buy the best product available.
An advantage of a product-oriented market is that the quality of products is extremely high as the management team focus of creating the perfect product. This works for businesses on both a small and large scale as small starting businesses can focus all of their money and efforts into creating a perfect product which will more than likely sell. This differs from the customer centric approach as this will focus on the specific needs of the customer who may not need the most advanced and perfect products, therefore the customer-centric market may be seen as superior.
Another advantage of the product-centric orientation is that by investing large funds into creating the perfect product, the company will have technology developed which can be further used on a wide range of products. For example, the creation of the Sony Walkman which was successful at the time involved the creation of technology that was then used in the future to produce more updated audio devices.
A disadvantage of this model of marketing however, is that the needs of the consumers may be neglected due to the force of focus on perfecting products. Missed opportunities may occur due to focusing too much on the feature of the product rather than focusing marketing resources on promoting the benefits of the product for consumers. By creating the perfect product, in theory, customers should want the best product on the market, however, individuals do not always want the best most advanced product on the market. This may lead to missed opportunities as customers do not know what they want and so by tailoring marketing to focus more on the consumer, as seen in the customer-centric orientation, more products are able to be sold.
The sales period occurred from 1920s to 50s supported the idea of personal selling through market research and advertisement after the First World War. Selling orientation involves the process of selling to the market, focusing on the efficiency of sales rather than the needs of the customer. Companies who took forth this method of marketing used aggressive selling tactics and relied heavily on promoting products in order to sell to consumers. This differs greatly from the customer centric orientation which relies heavily on the customers' needs and wants in order to sell.
Market orientation occurred in the marketing period of the 1950s to 1980s which began to focus more on the customers' needs, following the Second World War. Those who partook in the market orientation techniques gained understanding of the customer's behaviour and made this the crucial point when making marketing related decisions. Companies that are marketing-orientated focus on understanding their customers and what they need and want in order to improve the service that they provide to them. For example, car companies such as Ford, engage in market research in order to understand what their previous consumers have looked for when buying a car and so can produce models of cars to satisfy their customers' needs rather than just following trends of other competitor manufacturers.
An advantage of having a company with a market-oriented marketing team is that production can be more focused on customers need and therefore may in turn create brand loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat purchasing. There is also the advantage of having a better marketing team and better advertising if the needs of the customer are known, which will also gain repeat purchasing if customers can see that their points of view are being listened to. For example, Gucci has recently pledged to stop using fur in their fashion collection due to many customers disagreeing with the use and therefore stopping purchasing from them. This shows that companies are now more customer focused and listening to the wants and needs of their consumers. The marketing-orientation approach and consumer-centric approach are similar in the sense that they both want to ensure that the needs of the customers are listened to and companies focus on selling to the customers' requirements rather than promoting the best product available.
A disadvantage of the market-oriented approach is that there is a constant change in what customers want and need and therefore their marketing approach must also quickly and constantly be changing to keep up with trends and demands of their customers. Therefore, the company may be at a loss of revenue due to the fact that they may have been researching a product and putting in a lot of time and effort into updating a product or service that is no longer at the forefront of the customers needs. This development would then have to be abandoned, creating many challenges in the workplace.
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