The term concept means the idea, notion, theory, perception, thought etc. about something. Thus marketing concept is the idea, thought, notion or perception about marketing.
One says: – ‘the marketing is not a problem. If we are ready to sell product at cheap rate, it is easy to sell anything.’
Another one says: - ‘price is not a problem for the customers. If the product is of good quality, we can sell it at any price.’
Third one says: - ‘In order to sell product, we must know how to sell it. It is the marketing efforts that play the key role. The marketer should know how to sell it’.
You may have your own opinions. We can call these opinions as the ideas or concepts about marketing. Such ideas or thoughts on marketing are called Marketing Concepts. In all concepts, an attempt is done to analyse customer needs and requirements. Thus, marketing concepts explain the ways to attract customers and to maximise profitability of the business.
Marketing concept is the philosophy, used by the business to identify and fulfil the needs of its customers. Therefore, marketing concept is also called Marketing Management Philosophy.
There are five core marketing concepts which are widely accepted. They are:
Production concept, Product concept, Selling concept, Marketing concept and Societal marketing concept.
Production concept believes that the customers buy goods which are low priced and easily available. That means, consumers prefer products that are widely available and inexpensive. Thus, the focus of the production concept is on quantity and availability, not on the quality of the products. The companies which follow this concept, focus on the production, and they produce in large scale and distribute products widely.
The production concept is one of the earliest marketing concepts. In early days, the sellers were controlling the market. In those days, the demand was always higher than supply. Therefore, the production concept was accepted widely.
Product concept says that, consumers favour products that offer the most quality, performance, and innovative features. This concept believes in quality and therefore price and availability have no role. The companies which follow product concept develop products with greater quality.
As the name implies the idea of selling concept is to sell products through large scale marketing and promotional activities. It believes in aggressive selling strategies. This concept argues that, customers would buy a company’s products only if the company use aggressive selling practices. Here the focus is on selling the product at any way. Quality of the product or the needs of the customers are not relevant under this concept.
The marketing concept is customer-oriented. It puts customers in the middle of marketing process. This concept is of the view that the marketers should develop products according to the needs and requirements of the customers. All activities under this concept are geared towards the customer satisfaction. The companies which follow the marketing concept, try to find out customers’ needs and wants, then satisfy those needs better than the competitors.
Societal Marketing Concept
Societal marketing concept is the modern concept. The idea of the societal marketing concept is based on the welfare of the whole society. Hence, the marketers should produce and sell products which can ensure well-being of people.
The purpose and aim of the societal marketing concept are to make companies realize that they have a social and environmental responsibility, and that’s much bigger than their short term sales and profit goals. The societal marketing concept urges marketers to build social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices.
How did the Marketing Concepts Emerged?
Marketing concepts have emerged because of the environmental influences. In the early periods, the production was very low and therefore availability of products was limited. People were struggling due to poverty. The production concept was emerged at that time. Manufacturing as many products as possible was the policy of business at that time.
Later, due to industrialisation, many production units were established and there happened the abundance of supply. Then the people became selective as they got many products to select from. Thus they began to demand goods with higher quality. It was the beginning of product concept. Under product concept, the business concentrated on quality.
And what happened thereafter? A number of production units started to produce different varieties of products and it led to competition in the market. Thus, they started to advertise products to get market for their products. Some units started some other sales promotional strategies. Thus, the selling concept generated.
Up to this stage, the business units were the decision makers in the market. The markets were known as Seller’s Market during these times. But this scenario changed later. People became aware of their rights and a number of consumer organisations were formed. Such changes in the business environment compelled marketers to change their marketing strategies. Thus the market concept emerged. Under this concept, customer is the king, and the manufacturers produce goods in order to satisfy customers.
Now the situation has changed again. There is a feeling among customers that the business units exploit people in their attempts to maximise profits. Moreover, the business exploit the nature and its resources while they try to grow and develop. Therefore, the conclusion is this – the business has responsibility to protect society and environment. They should spend a part of their profit towards the welfare of society and environment. The societal marketing concept was emerged on the basis of this view. A new term CSR- corporate social responsibility – has been become part and the duty of every business. No business can survive in the modern age without the support of nature and people.