Market Orientation

Marketing can be define as “the process of creating, distributing, promotion and pricing goods, services and ideas to facilitate satisfying exchange relationships with customers in a dynamic environment” (Pride et al. 2007). Marketing concept shows an organisation always try to provide goods and services to satisfy consumers’ needs and wants. It may help the organisation to achieve their goals. The evolution of marketing concept is from production orientation to sales orientation, continuously it becomes market orientation and societal market orientation (Pride et al. 007). So, the purpose of this essay is to discuss what market orientation is and whether market orientation is sufficient for business success in the business world. This essay has divided into three parts, which are introduction, body and conclusion. Market orientation is “an organisationwide commitment to researching and responding to customer needs” (Pride et al. 2007). The organisation will satisfy customers’ needs and wants by using their products, services and ideas (<www. businessdictionary. com>, 2007-2008).

A market- oriented company is always focuses on customers’ needs. So, the relationship between market oriented company and customers’ will become closer and it is easier for the company to get the information from the customers (Jobber David 2007). Basically, the goal for a market-oriented company is to earn profit from the consumers’ satisfaction. They will achieve their goal by coordinated marketing and interfunctional activities (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel 2002). Market orientation can be shown as figure: Figure 1 (Adapted from Jobber David 2007 p. 6)

Customer orientation, competitor focus, and cross-functional coordination are the three major components of market orientation. According to Kohli and Jaworski says that market orientation gives “a unifying focus for the efforts and projects of individuals, thereby leading to superior performance” after having interviews with some managers. The major component of market orientation is customer orientation. The business need to understand the value chain of customers all the time. So, the managers and employees can know that by customer calls (Slater & Narver March-April 1994).

A market oriented company is always focuses and driven on customers’ needs (Casper April 1989). For example, a company has a program that encourages their employees to visit the customers once a month to receive new information from them. Besides, some company cares about the services before and after sales. All the effort is to meet the customer satisfaction (Slater & Narver March-April 1994). Secondly, competitor is one of the market orientation components. No matter it is a small or large organisation, there has the competitors directly or indirectly influences them. McColl- Kennedy & Kiel 2000). Organisation needs to know what their competitors do, the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors and the organisation itself (Heiens 2000). Besides, technology that use by the competitors is also very important to the company (Slater & Narver March-April 1994). The company that focuses on competitors in their external market analyses are called “marketing warriors”. The warriors analyses the competitors and compare the strength and weaknesses with them (Heiens 2000). For example, the Marriott employees had travelled to other country for half years.

They stayed in economy hotels to collect information and strengths and weaknesses of the hotels. So, the Marriott can use the information to improve their performance (Slater & Narver March-April 1994). The last component is interfunctional-coordination. It focuses on using the resources to create value for buyers. Every department and employees must understand all the value of it. They need to know that they have the responsibilities in helping the company to gain some advantages. An effective company will have a structure in organising the products.

They prefer using small multifunctional team while doing some project. Each unit and department will focus on doing their job well done. So, when all departments contribute together to create value for consumers, the process will become more effective and efficient while the products quality will increase (Slater & Narver March-April 1994). In addition, the employees should be treated as the “assets” of a company. This is because employees are always the one who have interaction with the customers. So, some big and success organisation like Walt Disney gives a staff training before they nteract with customers (McChesney July 1997). The statement shows “market orientation focusing on customers is sufficient for business success”. This is not a statement that can be agreed by all marketers. Although customers will always be the main focus for all company, but once a company did not pay attention with what their competitors do, and confirm is the company interfunctional always going smoothly, the company can being success in short-term, but for a long-term business, it will always facing some problem. For an example, Johnson & Johnson is a well-known health care product.

The successful reason of Johnson & Johnson can be found in their credo. They care with their products’ quality but at the same time they also care about their cost to maintain their price at a reasonable level. Besides, they also care about their employees. They make sure that their employees’ working conditions are safe and clean; they respect them, and help their employees to fulfil their family responsibilities (<http://www. jnj. com/connect/? flash=true>, 1997-2008). The other example is Pepsi and Coca- cola. Coca- cola has promoted their products many years ago and Pepsi also follow that.

But, when Coca- cola continue increasing their products and sales countries, Pepsi sales result has decline (Kotler & Armstrong 1999). Most of the company become market oriented is to avoid the company get into some big trouble. A market- oriented company will spend time with their customers when the customers visit the shop. They will gain much of information when spending time with them that will be useful for a company all the time. In addition, a market- oriented company will earn more profits than non- market oriented company.

This is because the non-market oriented company did not do research on their competitors. So, they did not know what is their competitors doing now and it causes they lose many business. Besides, market oriented company did not face much of internal problem. All departments and the different level of employees know what to do and they always share information together (Casper April 1989). Even Starbucks, an organisation using market orientation focuses on customers, also cares on their employees’ attitudes to their customers (<http://findarticles. om/p/articles/mi_m1306/is_8_71/ai_n14917459? tag=content;col1>, August 2005). The environment keeps on changing. It causes the changes of needs and wants of the consumers, the strategic of competitors, and also the working styles and ideas of employees. So, it is not enough for a company to success if they just focus on customers. They will loss many opportunities to enlarge their business and make their business to being well known. Market orientation is critical to business performance and business success (Waller, Dabholkar & Gentry 2000).

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