A market is an object such as a group or a network, while marketing is an activity or process such as selling or promoting. You can orient your business toward one or both but, in general, most marketing-oriented companies have the market as at least one focus. Market-oriented companies, on the other hand, may not be oriented toward the discipline of marketing. They can be market-oriented but have no other focus for their activities.


Markets consist of consumers, competitors and regulatory organizations. If your business has a market orientation, you focus your activities on potential customers and competitors while complying with regulations. If your business is marketing-oriented, you have the same focus for your market-related activities, but you add other concerns. Familiarity with your market is one aspect of marketing, and it guides efforts in the operations of the company. Effective marketing has several other components.


Selling means persuading consumers to buy your product. Market-oriented companies may study their market to find out what sales strategy works best and use it to persuade potential customers. Marketing-oriented companies study the market to find out what consumers want, what price they will pay, where they want to make their purchases and how the company can reach them. If yours is a marketing-oriented company, you inform potential customers that the product they are looking for is available at a price they can afford in a convenient location. For your promotion, you use media channels that your potential customers favor.


Market-oriented companies know what the customers want, but they may or may not focus on products and manufacturing. If you are executing a marketing strategy, product design, price and quality are key aspects of your planning and execution. Knowing your market is a first step in the marketing process. While a market orientation may lead toward the same goals, a marketing orientation forces you to follow the marketing process and develop products that meet the needs of your target market customers.

Customer Service

Whether you are in a market-oriented company or a marketing-oriented one, your primary goal in customer service is to ensure that customers are satisfied. Beyond that immediate objective, the marketing process regards customer service as an opportunity to interact with customers and obtain feedback on how effectively the company is implementing its marketing strategy. Based on feedback from customer service and other sources, a marketing-oriented company will improve the product and adjust its marketing strategy.