Let us consider how a customer chooses a product such as a toothpaste or a mobile phone. The choice is generally based on a subtle or elaborate calculation as to which out of the available brands offers the best satisfaction. Therefore, customer satisfaction is an essential starting point for doing business in the current business environment.
People are unlikely to throng to buy a superior quality product automatically. The creation of superior quality product cannot be a ‘be all’ strategy. Even if a good quality product has been created for people to make a beaten path to firm’s door, many other enabling things will have to be done to make that happen. This statement probably inspired the product concept, which lays absolute faith in the power of quality so much so that it blinds its followers to the reality. For many marketing companies product orientation turns out to be a trap.
A good customer reply affirms the managers’ selections regarding that one brand have been right. A predicament where typically the managers claim correctness regarding their decisions but typically the customer does not reply favourably is not really possible. Marketing and advertising concept was met together with a lot of opposition by managers because that sought to make a power move from managers to consumers. The earlier belief of which decisions like what things to produce, how to produce, how to sell, and where to distribute were the prerogative of people inside the organization and customer’s role was confined to ‘take it or leave it’.
This assumption creates strategic orientation that a firm should focus on while making the product available and affordable. The availability and affordability imperative brings two functions, namely distribution and production, at the centre of marketing strategy. Production concept is probably the oldest business governing idea, which dates back to the period of short supply of goods. Earlier when demand exceeded supply, there was no incentive for the firms to factor in consumers into their operation. A business that is run on production oriented philosophy works with markets with the belief that product availability and affordability are key determinants of consumer buying.
The advice given by Emerson that if you build a far better mouse-trap the world would make a beaten path to your door wrongly shifts marketing focus from consumer to product. In this new evolved scenario, the old mantra of availability and affordability became ineffective. The ideas enshrined in production concept gradually got diffused across different firms rendering participating firms similar in their marketing approach. Such a situation is often seen in commodity markets such as sand, cement, and iron ore. Accordingly, the first management task is to find an efficient distribution strategy that ensures product availability so that consumers can buy products with ease. Second, work on the production systems to bring down cost so that more consumers could buy them. The cost reduction creates affordability and thereby expands market.
Thus advertising and personal selling are alternative methods of performing the function of conveying information, but a particular blend of the two may be more effective than either of them alone. In many companies promotion decision require much of the marketing manager’s time. Competitors’ prices typically establish significant limits to the range of choice, but there is usually some discretion. Not only must a number of products be priced, but if a marketing channel other than direct-to-user is employed, consideration must often be given to the prices set at each level of the marketing channel.