“Think Customer”

Holistic Marketing incorporates internal marketing ensuring that everyone in the organization embraces appropriate marketing principles, especially senior management. Internal marketing is the task of hiring, training, and motivating able employees who want to serve customers well. Smart marketers recognize that marketing activities within the company can be as important as, or even more so than, marketing activities directed outside the company. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company’s staff is ready to provide it.

Internal marketing must take place on two levels. At one level, the various marketing functions sales force, advertising, customer service, product management, market research must work together. Too often, the sales force thinks product managers set prices or sale quotas “too high” or the advertising director and a brand manager cannot agree on an advertising campaign. All these marketing functions must be coordinated from the customer’s point of view. The following example highlights the coordination problem:

The marketing vice president of a major European airline wants to increase the airline’s traffic share. His strategy is to build up customer satisfaction through providing better food, cleaner cabins, better-trained cabin crews, and lower fares; yet he has no authority in these matters. The catering department chooses food that keeps food costs down; the maintenance department uses cleaning services that keep down cleaning costs; the human resources department hires people without regard to whether they are naturally friendly; the finance department sets the fares. Because these departments generally take cost or production point of view, the vice president of marketing is stymied in creating an integrated marketing mix.

At another level, marketing must be embraced by the other departments; they must also “think customer”. Marketing is not a department so much as a company orientation. Marketing thinking must be persuasive throughout the company. Xerox goes so far as to include in every job description an explanation of how that job affects the customer. Xerox factory mangers know that visits to the factory can help sell a potential customer if the factory is clean and efficient. Xerox accountants know customer attitudes are affected by Xerox’s billing accuracy and promptness in returning calls.

Social Responsibility marketing:

Holistic marketing incorporates social responsibility marketing and understanding broader concerns and the ethical, environmental, legal and social context of marketing activities and programs. The cause and effects of marketing clearly extend beyond the company and the consumer to society as a whole. Social responsibility also requires that marketers carefully consider the role that they are playing and could play in terms of social welfare.

The fast food hamburger industry offers tasty but unhealthy food. Te hamburgers have a high fat content, and the restaurant promote fries and pies, two products high in starch and fat. The products are wrapped in convenient packaging, which leads to much waste. In satisfying consumer wants, these restaurants mat be hurting consumer health and causing environmental problems.

Recognizing these criticisms, companies like McDonald’s have added healthier items to their menus (e.g. salads) and introduced environment initiatives (e.g. replacing polystyrene foam sandwich clamshells with paper wraps and lightweight recycled boxes). Recently, McDonald’s announced its largest environment initiative to date. McDonald’s Corp which buys 2.5 billion pounds of poultry, beef, and pork a year for its 30,000 restaurants worldwide ordered its suppliers to eliminate the use of antibiotics that are also given to human, specially when those drugs are used to make chickens, pigs and , less often, cattle grow faster. We saw lots of evidence that showed the declining rate of effectiveness of antibiotics in human medicine, said Bob Langert McDonald’s senior director of social responsibility. W started to look at what we could do.

Situations like this one call for a new tem that enlarges the marketing concept. Among those suggested are “humanistic marketing” and ecological marketing. We propose calling it the societal marketing concept. The societal marketing concept holds that the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well being.

The societal marketing concept calls upon marketers to build social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices. They must balance and juggle the often conflicting criteria of company profits, consumes want satisfaction, and public interest.

Yet a number of companies including the Body hop, Ben &Jerry’s and Patagonia have achieved notable sales and profit gains by adopting and practicing a form of the societal marketing concept called cause-related marketing. This is an activity by which a company with an image, product, or service to market builds a relationship or partnership with a ‘cause’ or a number of ‘causes’ for mutual benefits.

Companies see cause-related marketing as an opportunity to enhance their corporate reputation, raise brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, build sales, and increase press coverage. They believe that customers will increasingly look for signs of good corporate citizenship that goes beyond supplying rational and emotional benefits.