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What is Marketing Orientation?

When most people think about marketing, they automatically think about websites, brochures and sales. It is much more than that. It is about developing a genuine marketing orientation. You may ask what does that mean - the following article will give you a good idea. In order to develop marketing orientation, it is necessary to have the correct systems, behaviours and culture in place to support the new way of operating. Advantages of a Marketing Orientation The first point to address when introducing marketing orientation is to answer the question which every business owner will immediately ask. What is in it for me? Increased profits through increased customer satisfaction Improved understanding of customer requirements New opportunities arise due to greater understanding of markets, customers and competitors Product and service development strategies greatly improved Tapping into the knowledge of employees and directors more effectively Improved levels of employee satisfaction Development of a learning culture Systems to increase both customer retention and customer acquisition How to achieve a genuine Marketing Orientation There are three major influences on achieving a marketing orientation. These are having a focus on your competitors, understanding your customers, and having effective internal co ordination and marketing. This article summarises some of the major points within these areas. Competitor Orientation This is the development of systems and behaviours undertaken to identify, evaluate and understand the competitors in a given industry. How can this be addressed? A structure needs to be established which includes all of the important aspects of the competitors, including strengths and weaknesses, client bases, pricing strategies, branding and service/product portfolios.

This should then be applied to all of the main competitors, which will assist in the strategy development process. Customer Orientation This can be defined as developing a genuine understanding of customer and client requirements, buying behaviours and characteristics. It also involves the aspects of marketing which most people think about - what is the best way of communicating with customers. How can this be achieved? The minimum activities should include an analysis of current customers to identify their characteristics to begin a segmentation process. It should also include some formal effort to gain feedback from your customers on your performance - what is good and bad about your company - what could you do better? This leads to opportunities to develop current and new products and services to better meet the requirements of existing and potential customers. It also involves developing effective solutions for dealing with customer complaints and issues. Inter functional Co-ordination and Internal Marketing Inter functional co-ordination is the degree to which different functions within an organization are coordinated and information and knowledge is shared. For example, does your sales department speak to your production - do they understand the issues and constraints of each other's roles? Internal marketing is the use of marketing communications internally to create and communicate corporate issues and strategies. How can this be achieved? Carry out activities with your staff, geared towards developing their knowledge of and attitudes towards the products and services, the way the organization is run, and the strategy for the future.