Marketing orientation is a philosophy commonly used within corporate world that stresses upon determining the needs and wants of customers with a view to fulfil them in due course of time. A company which has marketing oriented approach emphasizes upon manufacturing, designing and distributing only such products and services that can provide a high level of satisfaction to customers.
This ensures the sustainability of business enterprise in long run and a strategic marketing approach adopted by entity to remain profitable in marketplace. In other words, it can be said that marketing orientation refers to the generation of market intelligence across the organisational premises keeping in consideration the present as well as future demands of consumers. This knowledge is to be disposed across all the departments of enterprise in order to tap the advantage of such approach for the company. Also, it is essential that the response of adopting a marketing oriented approach is evaluated in context of organisational premises. This business model evaluates the response of an enterprise to the needs and demands of customers. The strategic decision taken under this philosophy revolves around the fulfilment of consumer needs instead of doing what the business perceives to be right for customers. Many large and successful business organisations are now adopting this approach to gain a strategic edge in marketing.
The Contingency Theory Approach towards marketing orientation prescribes that business must gain an insight into the behavioural characteristics of people so as to gain deep knowledge of their needs, demands and preferences. This theory largely establishes a strategic link between the analysis of external environment of business and sustainability of enterprise in marketplace. It indicates that forces like organisational culture and approach as well as its external environment has a large scale impact upon the functioning of business entity.
This theory has three variables namely, contingency, response and performance variables. As per the ideology of this theory, contingency variables define the extent of industry rivalry and technological changes. Response variables largely comprises the overall structure of marketing function in the form of interdepartmental co-ordination in company. Lastly, performance variables consist of market share, growth rate and customer loyalty of organisation. Contingency theory establishes a link between all the three variables and demonstrate the importance of analysing external environment of business, in particular, customer behaviour to achieve better performance in marketplace ahead of competitors. Also, it helps in increasing the profitability of company. The fit between an organisation and its external environment will influence the firm’s performance.
The concept of marketing orientation is widely adopted by firms all across the global market. It comprises of 5 components, namely, customer orientation, competitor orientation, inter functional co-ordination, organisational culture and long-term creation of shareholder value. All of these together constitute what is known as market orientation. When a firm adopts a market oriented approach, it leads to superior performance of business as well as a number of internal benefits like esprit de corps, employee loyalty and commitment etc. By gaining proper understanding of market and customers, company strives to build capabilities and potential for effectively responding to changes taking place in market. Customer focus and responsiveness of company towards the needs and demands of consumers mark the foundation of a marketing strategy and its implementation within organisational premises.
Customer orientation is an essential component of marketing orientation which proposes business enterprises to gain an understanding of the behavioural characteristics of consumers. This is important for entities so as to create superior value for them in terms of products and services that can enhance their existing standard of living.
As per the Contingency theory, it is essential for companies to evaluate the needs, demands and preferences of customers at regular intervals to design, develop and sell such products that can enhance their level of satisfaction. Also, customer orientation becomes necessary where businesses strive to attain a competitive edge over rivals to ensure their sustainability in market for a long period of time.
In today's world, customers are increasingly becoming aware about the importance of giving attention to the quality of product. Also, their ideology has transformed in a manner that they desire products that can meet their requirements. To achieve this, business enterprises need to be sensitive towards customers and their needs. This is essential to establish a strong image of company in the mind of consumers and gain more revenues than their competitors in the highly strategic environment. In response to this, organisations are putting substantial efforts to build healthy relationships with people and target customers. These entities have recognised the significance of analysing distinct groups existing within population and their key needs to stay strategic.
Adopting a customer centred approach generally assist business organisations in enhancing their profitability, yet it seems to have a downside too. It is noted that when an organisation pays too much significance to customer orientation, it ignores the fact that it exist in corporate world to ensure high growth rate and profitability. Customer orientation does not lay emphasis upon the tools, techniques and strategies used by competitors within same industry. Also, it does not take into account the external environment of business in terms of political and legal stature which can be harmful for business entity at times.
Competitor orientation is yet another key element of marketing orientation. It largely demonstrates deep knowledge associated with the short and long term capabilities of rivals within market. Every business enterprise that exists in marketplace has the primary objective of earning high profits. Also, enterprises long to look for opportunities within the industry that can provide a strategic edge to company over its rivals. By gaining proper understanding of the tools and strategies adopted by competitive businesses, company can design and develop such marketing strategy that can provide an advantage to company.
Also, by utilising a strategy that is aligned with the strategies and systems used by rivals, company can ensure to gain a high stake in marketplace. The contingency theory of marketing orientation also propose that business enterprises should gain an insight into the external environment at regular intervals. Competitive enterprises within same sector is an important element of external environment. Thus, by understanding the significance of evaluating and analysing the competitors and their operational and marketing strategies, company ensures that it stays in marketplace for a long duration of time. Also, as the contingency theory establishes link between evaluation of external environment and performance of business, enterprise can enhance its profitability by tapping advantage of external analysis.
Although competition orientation is necessary for every business enterprise, yet it ignores the basic element for which a business functions, namely, customers. The most essential component for any business organisation is customers. Any business enterprise that does not analyse and evaluate the needs and preferences of consumers at regular intervals can not sustain I market for long duration. It is essential for enterprises to analyse the diverse customer groups present within the population of a nation. Enterprises should design and develop products and services according to the requirements and needs of customers instead of emphasizing upon the strategies of competitors.
From the above discussion, it can be comprehended that marketing orientation is highly associated with the long term performance and growth of business enterprise. Also, it is analysed that there are certain components of this type of business orientation which have their own praises and criticisms. Thus, it is essential that an entity adopts a marketing oriented approach only when it takes into consideration the downside of all the elements associated with this approach.
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