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Describe and examine the major components of market orientation in relation to the marketing mix, target marketing, relationship marketing and the marketing plan. In doing so, explain and evaluate how the passive concept of the marketing mix adopts a mark

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Introduction

Describe and examine the major components of market orientation in relation to the marketing mix, target marketing, relationship marketing and the marketing plan. In doing so, explain and evaluate how the passive concept of the marketing mix adopts a market orientation focus. The marketing mix, target marketing, relationship marketing and the marketing plan are the key constituent parts of marketing as a general concept. Any successful company must be market orientated, but not all businesses subscribe as much as they should to this requirement. There are three main components of market orientation - customer orientation, competitor orientation and inter-functional co-ordination. We need to examine each component of marketing orientation and look at how effective the concept of market orientation is in terms of contributing to the success of a business. Market orientation has been characterised as that part of an organisation that requires customer satisfaction to be paramount within the operations of a business (Liu et al, 2002). This, in turn, produces superior value for customers and outstanding performance for the firm (Day, 1994; Narver and Slater, 1990). A company must also remember that a customer's expectations evolve over time, so there is an ever-present need for a company to deliver products of the highest quality and respond to changes in the marketplace (Jaworski et al, 1993). ...read more.

Middle

In terms of ensuring that a company is customer orientated, it is likely that it will need to balance of all four Ps in order to attract customers to the product and entice them away from the company's competitors. However, the "mix" can vary as a company can alter how much importance it places on each component depending on the requirements of, or its own perceptions of, its prospective market. Above: 'The Marketing Mix' For example, if a company has a new product where price may initially be less important compared to securing knowledge of its existence amongst the general public, the company will place more emphasis on the promotion element of the mix. A target market for a particular product is usually defined by its age, gender and socio-economic grouping. For example, children's toys are marketed to children and their parents but not to pensioners, though one should not forget that even they are potential grandparents. Similarly, a 'Barbie' doll would not be marketed towards young boys. Therefore, in terms of customer orientation and target marketing, a business must ensure that it targets a suitable demographic background. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sales orientation focuses on selling the most number of units possible. Its premise is to make full use of selling, pricing, promotion and distribution skills just like a marketing orientated business, but unlike the latter, it pays less direct attention to the needs of customers and does not necessarily give priority to creating suitable products. A production orientated business is mainly concerned with making as many units as possible. In such a business, the needs of customers are secondary compared with the objective of increasing output. On the other hand, a product orientated business is obsessed with being at the forefront of its market in terms of believing that their product is the best in the market. They may, however, not be up-to-speed with the latest developments and consumer preferences and therefore may find that their competitors start to overtake them. However, none of these three alternatives is likely to prove successful in anything but the short term. Companies have choices as to how they orientate their business and ensure they target the right market. By using the marketing mix thoroughly and effectively as a total concept, companies can benefit and use the theory to their advantage. They must, however, ensure that the mix is correct: if they do not give any single component sufficient attention, the mix will fail to produce the right results. ...read more.

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