There are five philosophies or practices that have been adopted by marketers in the history of marketing management. These philosophies give marketing actions direction and purpose. They are expressed by the kind of marketing functions performed and the way they are performed.
Companies produce and distribute those products they are able to provide most efficiently. The concept shows:
(a) Concern for production with little or no concern for customers’ satisfaction.
(b) It assumes that there is a market for the product and that supply creates it own demand.
(c) Emphasis is placed on product availability and low prices. This marketing philosophy holds where the following conditions exist.
(i) When consumers have a low or little discretionary income.
(ii) When shortages exist in the economy.
(iii) Where there is low competition resulting from a cartel operation or monopoly.
This concept holds that consumers will favor those products, which offer higher quality, performance and other benefits. This concept is built on the notion that “a good product will sell itself”. Here too, the manufacturer does not take into consideration the needs of the consumers during the product design and planning. A characteristic feature of this concept is the production of superior products.
The sales concept operates in an economy where there is a rise in the standard of living and given rise in mass production. According to Kotler (1997:19), the sign of the selling concept is to sell what they make rather than make what the market wants. The major features of this concept include hard selling or aggressive selling techniques, use of distribution and promotion gimmicks to woo customers. There is no provision for customer satisfaction.
The marketing concept or marketing philosophy holds that producers should do an analysis of the potential customers and then make decisions designed to satisfy these need. The companies where marketing concepts are practiced are regarded as customer-oriented companies. Marketing concepts involves:
(a) focus on customer needs
(b) Integration of all activities of the organization – productions, administration, finances to satisfy these needs.
(c) Achieving long-run profits through satisfaction of customers’ needs.
The conditions under which marketing concept are likely to be applied are:
(a) a highly competitive market
(b) an economy where the majority of customers have access to the basic natural needs of life and enjoys a high standard of living.
Societal marketing concept
The philosophy here is that marketers should consider societal consequences of their actions as they strive to meet the needs of their customers. It is a decision making approach that focuses on customers’ needs and their societal consequences. It integrates all activities of the organization to satisfy these customers’ needs, in a way that is consistent with concern for broader societal consequences. The purpose is to achieve long-run objectives through the satisfaction of these customers’ needs, which must be balanced against the needs of society as a whole. This indicates that markets are structured, organic in nature and participants have common and/ or shared needs and goals.
For example, in an automobile market, consumers in this market have a common need for mobility, while the sellers of automobiles have need to exchange mobility for something of value. It is structured because it is a factor in the number of buyers and sellers. It is organic in nature because it is influenced by the quantity of goods and services supplied by sellers and purchasing power of the buyers.