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Marketing orientation – characteristics of marketing orientation


A brief insight into the history of marketing tells us that marketing has gone through three main phases i.e. product orientation, sales orientation, and marketing orientation. This article focuses on marketing orientation only. If you want to know more about marketing, you should find our articles What is marketing and 4Ps of marketing useful.

Definition of marketing orientation

‘In a marketing oriented organisation, the whole firm appreciates the central importance of the customer, and realises that without satisfied customers, there will be no business’ (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2004, p.6).

In marketing orientation, customers are considered to be the most important stakeholder. Therefore, marketing oriented organisations value their customers with utmost significance and allow their wants and needs to drive the firm’s strategic decisions. In fact, most of the companies today are marketing oriented. Without marketing orientation, it is very difficult to survive in today’s fiercely competitive business world.

Characteristics of marketing orientation

There are a number of characteristics which are usually exhibited by the marketing oriented organisations. For example:

  • Marketing oriented firms make the customers their focal point. They carry out market research very often to understand the current and future requirements of the customers
  • Marketing oriented firms spend considerable amount of money in staff training and development so that better customer service can be provided
  • Marketing oriented firms focus on new product development
  • There are a number of benefits of marketing orientation. For example, competitive advantage, customer satisfaction, long-term profitability, customer loyalty, and reduced switching to competitors are to name but a few.

Examples of marketing oriented companies

McDonald’s, Nike, Coca Cola, Travelodge, Gap, and Primark are some of the companies which are well-known for their marketing orientation. In fact, most of the globally recognised companies are marketing orientated. These companies carry out research to find out what their customers want. They respond to the customers’ feedback and monitor their markets constantly to adjust the marketing mix when and where necessary.

In a nutshell, marketing orientation is about doing everything for the customers. This is the philosophy of marketing. Without a full understanding of it, companies will not be able to compete and succeed in the current business climate.

The article publication date: 06 September 2016

Further Reading/References

Lancaster, G. & Reynolds, P. (2004) Marketing, 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management and marketing. He is a graduate of both Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.