The Evolution of Marketing Orientation
Marketing orientation is a business principle that focuses on pinpointing and meeting the known and studied needs and wants of customers. While product orientation and sales orientation place a business premium on what a company manufactures and promoting sales, marketing orientation links business success to understanding the behaviors and habits of consumers. Following the developments and trends of an increasingly international and tech-savvy marketplace, today’s marketing orientation reflects the globalization, increased consumer awareness and technological proliferation of current day.
The expansion of the online marketplace and proliferation of digital media has created a more informed and saturated market environment. Because consumers are increasingly knowledgeable and have access to more and more product options, making customer interaction and research a top priority offers a competitive edge in a competitive customer market. Having a thorough understanding of the discerning consumer market allows businesses to develop and fine tune and products consumers actually want and are willing to pay for.
As domestic brands expand into non-native markets, business thought and strategy has taken on an increasingly globalized focus. International expansion poses new challenges to modern marketers who must make products universally approachable and acceptable within differing cultural contexts. Current marketing orientation often focuses on the linguistic, moral, cultural, legal and political differences that arise in various international contexts. Today’s marketers must remain sensitive to specific cultural contexts to safeguard against potentially costly blunders in foreign markets.
The communicative nature of social media also allows marketers to easily engage with consumers, allowing them to better understand and react to the wants and needs of customers. The conversational dynamic of social media has allowed marketers to become more knowledgeable about market gaps and perceptions without using conventional methods such as in-person focus groups, interviews and surveys. By leveraging social media, marketers can more quickly learn and react to customer desires. By simply observing various social media channels, marketers can also stay in tune with and keep track of what’s trending in the marketplace.
With more and more business transactions happening online, ranging from product sales to handling customer complaints, marketers are easily able to track, gauge and measure consumer habits and buying trends. With the advent of online analytics, other offline tools and a preoccupation with measurement, marketing orientation has become more scientific and quantifiable.