Many companies nowadays tend to focus more on earnings and get more profits so as to conquer the largest market share. However, one important thing which they should not forget during this endeavour is the customer. The customer is the one who can help the business man achieve his objectives. Hence the term – customer oriented marketing.
In the need of making more money to remain viable, companies can choose between focusing on introducing innovative products for which currently there is no demand and demand needs to be created (push strategy) or introduce products based on the needs of customer (pull strategy). The latter one is known as the customer oriented marketing strategy.
High sales volumes and increased profit margins can also be achieved through a customer oriented marketing strategy and according to the statistics it might be achieved with even better results then through traditional strategies.
Focusing on a customer oriented marketing strategy equals putting the customer in the center of all you goals and strategies. Basically this strategy focuses on the customers’ needs and their satisfaction. For getting a better overview of them, the simplest step is to pay attention and to evaluate your competitor’s offer in contrast with your customer’s needs and identify which of those needs are not met by your opponents.
The main ingredient in the customer oriented marketing consists in research of your customer’s needs. The research can involve focus group discussions, surveys, interviews, feedbacks, etc. Investing in the research of the customer behavior, considered a prior step before proceeding to product development, involves high costs, and this can be one of the main disadvantages.
But if we were to take into consideration that customers who purchase more frequently are more cost attractive than chasing new customers, the strategy might seem more profitable and sustainable. Happy and satisfied customers are going to continue to buy from you. Moreover they are going to spread the word to their family and friends, thus helping to enlarge your customer base.
As mentioned earlier, research of your customer’s needs is one important ingredient of the customer oriented marketing strategy. Another ingredient having the same level of importance for the success of the strategy are the employees, who can be described as the main point of interaction between your company and your targeted customers.
Hence, marketers have also started to focus on holistic marketing as it is a part of customer oriented management. If, at all points of customer interactions, the brand values of the company are resonated, then ultimately the customer gets highly satisfied with the experience, which is the best example of customer oriented marketing.
I believe that the advantages of applying the customer oriented marketing strategy are quite obvious in terms of long term profitability as well as facility in defining the role of the employees in achieving a common goal of satisfying customer needs, but we should not underestimate its disadvantages, besides the high costs of market research which might lower the profit margins.
Challenges with Customer oriented marketing Approach
The strategy generally works for big companies as they are the one with the necessary resources for investing in research and diminishing the risks of underestimating the market and the customers.
Risk of underestimating your customers can also be a great drawback as managers have to keep in mind the fast peace with which people change their buying behaviors and needs . With more and more highly informed customers, companies need to be flexible when employing the strategy, remaining consistently able to up-date it.
In order to conclude we are going to mention two companies which have succeeded in applying the strategy. One of them is the car manufacturer, AUDI, which in 2008 has been named the best market oriented company in the history of the automotive industry. Finally, the second example consists in the well-known airline company, the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which has become a major market player in the industry by learning to listen their customers through a concept, they call “moments of truth”.