The difference between consumer-oriented and product-oriented marketing lies in the approach taken to communicate with customers. No company is forced to choose between the two. In fact, the best campaigns include both kinds of messaging to reach the widest possible audience. There may be instances, however, where you can't use both kinds of messaging. In those cases, it's important to test to see which approach is more persuasive with your audience.
Consumer-oriented messages, sometimes referred to as market-oriented messages, are defined by the Business Dictionary as communication that focuses on the needs of the consumer. For example, a billboard that is consumer oriented discusses how a product can be used by the consumer to resolve a current pain point. A consumer-oriented marketing message for body lotion could say, “Making your dry skin silky, smooth and hydrated with just one application.”
Product-oriented messages are defined by the Business Dictionary as communication that keeps a focus on the qualities of the product. The marketing message is more technical and detailed. For example, a product-oriented marketing message for body lotion could say, “Our lotion is made with all natural ingredients such as aloe, oatmeal and water.” This type of message is great for a consumer who has very specific needs, like if he requires oatmeal skin cream to soothe a rash.
Integrate the two types of messaging into an overall campaign for the best results. Your consumer base is likely made up of two groups of people, one that is persuaded by consumer-oriented messages and another that is moved by product-oriented messages. Don’t alienate one group by not having a message that speaks to it. Create a template for each of your ads within a campaign. The template is used to create two versions of each ad, one with consumer-oriented messaging and one with product-oriented messaging.
Run an A/B test on messaging when you can't create two different ads, such as on a company website. An A/B test is defined by Brick Marketing as a method testing two variations of a message to see which is more effective with readers. Each visitor is shown one version of the message and her subsequent behavior is tracked. The message that produces the best results is the test winner. For example, if the consumer-oriented message causes visitors to stay on the site longer, it would be the winner. Once a winner is determined, the test is complete and the winning message is shown to all future visitors.
Kristina Allen began writing professionally in 2009. She has written editorial content as well as marketing collateral for a number of corporations and small businesses like Comcast Cable and Come Recommended. Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts in public communication from Florida Atlantic University and is pursuing a Master of Arts in communication from the same university.