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Explain the marketing concept and its importance to an organisation making particular reference to developing relationships with customers.

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Introduction

Explain the marketing concept and its importance to an organisation making particular reference to developing relationships with customers. Marketing consists of individual and organisational activities that facilitate and expedite satisfying exchange relationships in a dynamic environment through the creation, distribution, promotion and pricing of goods, services and ideas.1 The main principles of marketing are to satisfy customers, target the 'right' customers, facilitate exchange relationships, stay ahead of competitors and enhance profitability. The ultimate goal is to satisfy targeted customers, seeking their loyalty and consumption. Creating good relationships with customers is an important factor. The buyer must be satisfied with the goods or service received from the exchange, and the seller must likewise be satisfied with the financial reward received in the exchange. "The marketing concept can be defined as "the philosophy that an organisation should try to provide products that satisfy customers' needs through a co-ordinated set of activities that also allows the organisation to achieve its goals"2 The marketing concept is the idea that to be successful the organisation should focus on meeting customer needs - "The customer is king". A company that adopts the marketing concept is likely to adopt the following principles such as; identify customer needs, provide products at an acceptable price and stress the benefits through promotion. ...read more.

Middle

They are: The Production era, pre - 1920s. Businesses concerned themselves primarily with production. This viewpoint was encapsulated in 'Says Law', which states 'Supply creates its own demand. If a product is made, somebody will want to buy it'.7 The Sales era ran from the 1920s to the 1950s. Businesses realised that products would have to be "sold" to customers. Businesses viewed sales as the major means of increasing profits. The Marketing era developed in the early 1950s. Businesses found that they had to first determine what customers wanted and then produce it. We are currently in the Relationship marketing era. Here the focus is on developing bonds with customers. The focus lies on maintaining a customer's loyalty and making a multi-purchase agreement. Businesses believe brand loyalty is the future and that customers naturally favour a certain brand. To try and gain the custom of consumers, marketing managers have to implement the marketing mix. The marketing mix consists of five factors; price, place, product, promotion and gradually, people. Each one of these components is crucial as a slight alteration of one of these factors may cause the balance of the product to be altered.8 According to Kotler et al. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Achieving customer loyalty can be very gratifying for many organisations and businesses. It is well known that it is generally more profitable to preserve an established client than continually be searching for new ones'.11 'The loyalty of existing customers also represents an entry barrier to competitors because the cost of enticing customers to change loyalties is often prohibitively expensive'.12 "With a recognition that existing customers are the source of most companies' profits, there has been an explosion of interest in understanding customers from a long-term, relationship view. Frequently though this "relationship" view just means trying to sell more things to more customers. If companies are really going to embrace the concept of relationships they have to understand more about what their customers need to build a "shared future" with them. A shared future is a challenging concept since it means that both parties have to understand how the other will help them get to where they want to go and what has happened in the past."13 The survival, growth and profitability of an organisation in a competitive environment are dependent on good customer relations. Businesses understand the need to form bonds with their customers, as this relationship will ultimately decide their potential in the future. ...read more.

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