Nowadays, customer has more choice when select a product since new technologies and new media have made it easier for consumers to find more information about goods and service (includes price) and to more easily and efficiently, from the comfortable home to get the answers they need to make more informed decision. (Philip Kotler. 2010) Therefore, more than ever before, marketing has evolved from the early days of production orientation to today`s societal marketing concept in order to provide the certain goods and service with right benefits and high value to reach the targeted customer. However, not every company has applied the up to date marketing concept. In this essay, the author will investigate the motivations that why some companies still operate under the old marketing concept through some examples; moreover ,the author will analyze how the marketing concept affect the company profitability and customer satisfaction.(Leon G. Schiffman. 2010)
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Today the societal marketing concept which is the most up to date marketing concept, it has widely been used in many organizations in order to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and delivers the expected satisfaction more effectively than competitors, also in a way that could improve the society’s well-being. (Philip Kotler. 2010)McDonald’s as one of the world leading fast-food Company that practice the social marketing concept in term of being more environmentally and produce healthy food. Restaurant businesses are taking the world’s energy user, and almost 80 percent the energy a restaurant uses is lost due to inefficient food cooking, holding, and storage.(PAGE 20 LINE 5) McDonald’s try to build up an image of eco-friendly company by taking steps such as: McDonald’s has adopted recycling packaging for all its products; moreover, On Tuesday, July 14, the company carried out the first “green” McDonalds in the U.S, featuring electric car recharging (CSD staff. 2009), also in 2009 McDonald’s announced that it plans to convert its UK fleet of 155 trucks to run on biofuel made from recycled vegetable fat from 900 restaurants. They claim, it will save 1,650 tons of carbon per year. (Tom lyttelton. 2009) Moreover, people now do not have much worry about hungry, and they concern more about how healthy is the food they are eating. McDonalds is used to have an image of junk food, the company has faced increasing criticism about the type of food it sells in the United States such as diet of chips and burgers that caused obesity in children.(Mary Gahan.2003) However, the company attempt to transfer the image to healthy food by using new oils to fry their products, they say the new oil produces less of the type of cholesterol that can lead to strokes and heart attacks, and it also reduces the levels of dangerous trans fat by half.(Kim Severson.2002) Also, McDonald’s restaurants is attempting to revamp its image by launching a new campaign, the campaign, called McDonald’s Real Life Choices; McDonald’s restaurants will showcase posters and brochures featuring with information of calories, fat or carbohydrates on all products of McDonald’s Real Life Choices. (Mary Shomon. 2004) All these actions undertaken by McDonald’s have tried to transfer McDonald’s to a healthy and environmental brand.
However, now there are many companies are still running their business under old marketing approach to make profits. A good example within hospitality industry could be Starbucks coffee. The company says: “We spend a lot of time in origin countries searching for the finest coffees – ones with distinct flavors that enchant, amaze and captivate. But of the thousands we encounter, only a precious few are deemed exceptional enough to become Starbucks Reserveâ„¢ coffees.”(Starbucks.2011) The product concept holds that consumer prefers existing product and product forms, and the job of management is too developing good visions of these products. This misses the point that consumers are trying to satisfy needs and might turn it entirely different products to better satisfy those needs.(Philip Kotler. 2010) in other words, it is an approach to business that centers its activities on continually improving and refining its products, assuming that customers simply want the best possible quality for their money. The management focused on how to make their café has better tasting and at an affordable price. (ibid) Starbucks coffee believes that the improvement of the coffee could keep satisfying their customer. Unfortunately, customer wants changed, but Starbucks did not keep up with these changes. The company still produced great coffee, but many of their customers no longer wanted to drink coffee every time, they want to have more choice such as alcohol or soft drinks. Starbucks apply not only product concept in to their business but also the selling concept which holds that consumers will not buy enough of the organization`s products unless the organization undertakes a large selling and promotion effort. The aim of a selling focus is to get every possible sale, not to worry about satisfaction after the sale or the revenue contribution of the sale. (Philip Kotler. 2010) the selling concept exists within the hospitality industry. A major contributing factor is overcapacity. In the case, if there are not much people drink Starbucks coffee, but the company still need to pay the rent of the house and staff costs. So the company always undertakes a great promotion such as: Starbucks always promote their new coffee in a way like “buy one and get the second one for free”. (Christine Huard. 2010) The company always makes good business because of the promotion brings very much people to its business. However, people who come to Starbucks not only because of good tasting coffee but also the atmosphere like comfortable seat, free internet accessed. The space became tight, the internet speed dropped down, friends can not talk to each other in a quite environment due to the crowed of people. It could lead to unsatisfied customer.
The old marketing approach has been accepted not only in hospitality industry but also in many other industries; an example is Gillette which mainly operates the business in product concept, Gillette are still producing typical shaving products nowadays. Because they believe that traditional shave approach holds more thoroughly clean than e-shaving good, therefore they hold that they can obtain loyal customers by improving the quality of their product. It is true traditional shave has its own advantage; the needs of some customer could be satisfied. But if some of people which do not much care about their personal-grooming and just want to have an easier life; the e-shaving product which could better satisfy their needs and demands. It may conduct a decrease of profitability due to the needs and wants of customer has changed.Another example is insurance business, many insurance companies adopt selling concept in order to maximize their profits. People may not need their product or services. Therefore, these companies engage in hard selling to push the product, and create awareness to the public. However, consumers normally tend to avoid buying some things that are not essential; because compared to their daily lives, people needs and wants are not activated for this. Therefore, customer has almost no loyalty to the company. So if another insurance company offers a better deal, the customer will easily leave the business.
From the experience of previous examples, it is definitely doable that company could still be profitable by using old marketing approach. However, the management or decision maker also needs to look at the limitation of these approaches. The similar of all these old marketing approach is tending to ignore the customers need and wants. In Starbucks case, the company has seen that in greater china region, people have a stronger tea drinking culture. So in order to surprise and delight customers in Taiwan with a twist on the popular and familiar, Starbucks Coffee Taiwan developed and introduced the Green Tea FrappuccinoÂ® Blended Crème beverage in 2002 (Starbucks. 2011) Moreover, Starbucks coffee has recently changed their logo tend to bring an eco-friendly image to their customer, and it set a goal of by 2015 to have recycling available in all of our stores where we control waste collection and serve 25% of beverages in reusable cups.(ibid) These steps prove that Starbucks tend to apply societal marketing concept to its business ,and Starbucks is actually getting advantages from it .
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Marketing management wants to design strategies that will build profitable relationships with target consumers.According to the marketing concept, the purpose of marketing is to understand the needs and wants of customers and to create customer value through satisfaction and quality more effectively and efficiently than competitors in order to increase the value of the organization .so it does not matter the marketing concept is old or newest, the most important thing is to understand your targeted market needs and wants. Moreover, company is not necessarily to keep using the same concept all the time, it could be changed by changing of target customer perceptive. The core of adopting marketing concept is to find out the most suitable one that provides the guiding reference for appropriate marketing action. It is always good to look back of the limitation when any companies apply any marketing concept into their business. And ask themselves how can we serve our customers best?
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