A look at successful marketing organizations in India and abroad leads us to conclude that marketing orientation involves a six dimensional approach.
Successful marketing companies continuously monitor customer needs, wants and preferences. Unfulfilled consumer needs drive their new products development efforts as shown in the example of Asian Paints Tractor brand of paste distemper.
An integrated approach to exploiting market opportunities
Successful marketing companies integrate all elements of the marketing Mix, and just merely advertising and selling, into a sound business plan that could help them to successfully fight competition. Take for example, the launch of and subsequent rage for Maggi Noodles all over India. The company (Food Specialities Ltd.) understood the customer needs and also effectively serviced it by adopting an integrated marketing mix. Lipton also launched (almost at the same time) Macaroni and noodles with an intensive promotion campaign, but failed. Besides, marketing orientation involves a very high degree of pre-occupation with the quality of the product. Companies like Hindustan Lever, Procter and Gamble(P&G), Godrej, Johnson and Johnson, Asian paints, etc. have one thing in common, viz., their passion for premium quality products. Their marketing mix emphasizes product quality as an important element of their marketing plan.
These companies look at money spent on marketing not as an expenditure but as an investment . In other words, they do not take a short route to success, as there is none. Rather, they look at the market from three to five year perspective and hence look at maximizing their returns from an advertising campaign or tactical price reductions over these years rather than just in one year. This aspect seems to get ignored by many companies. They still are not prepared to invest in market share development activities and perceive any advertising campaign or price reduction as a marketing expenditure. For example, a medium-sized company engaged in manufacture and marketing of consumer and pharmaceutical products wanted to increase the price of one of his products, namely, fibre mats which were selling very well. Their entire output of one shift used to get sold out primarily to Indians going to Gulf countries. Unable to appreciate the marketing investment perspective, they switched to the most common tactic, namely, launching an ad campaign on T.V. But couldnâ€™t sustain it for long and the results undoubtedly have not been very encouraging .
Highly developed marketing systems
Successful marketing companies have highly developed marketing systems that act as market barometers. All major marketing decisions are based on the basis of market information emerging from these systems. Test marketing is used effectively for making any change in the marketing mix.
Marketing culture pervades the organization
An important characteristic of these organizations is that everybody, from the Chief Executive to the lowest level, is market oriented. Customer is given the key importance and accordingly his interests over-ride organizational interests. Entrepreneurial spirit soars high and people are encouraged to try new ideas.
Speed in Responding to customerâ€™s problems
Another important aspect of customer orientation is the speed at which customerâ€™s problems are resolved. Increasingly, this facet will determine the competitive advantage of organizations.