The period the human society is going through is now reflected in various specialized
works by names that express its traits (characteristics) in comparison with previous periods:
the new economy (11), the knowledge economy, etc.. In the new economy, each science
redefines its object, method, and scientific tool. Marketing is no exception to this trend, its
contents being continuously redefined and reflected in the framework of some concepts that
reported in previous stages of marketing development are grouped in a new concept, called
modern marketing. Modern marketing traces its origin to the primitive forms of trade. As
people began to adopt the techniques of work specialization, a need for individuals and
organizations to facilitate the process of exchange emerged. Until about 1900, however,
marketing was little more than physical distribution. We can trace the development of
modern marketing through three stages the production era, the Product era and the era of the
According to Philip Kotler (2001), marketing includes 5 competing concepts That the recent
2 concepts are the most modern competing concepts and modern marketing is integrated of
them. These 5 concepts are:
● Production Era
The production era, one of the oldest in business, holds that consumers prefer products that
are widely available and inexpensive. Managers of production-oriented businesses
concentrate on achieving high production efficiency, low costs, and mass distribution. This
orientation makes sense in developing countries, where consumers are more interested in
obtaining the product than in its features. It is also used when a company wants to expand the
market. Texas Instruments is a leading exponent of this concept. It concentrates on building
production volume and upgrading technology in order to bring costs down, leading to lower
prices and expansion of the market. This orientation has also been a key strategy of many
● Product Era
Other businesses are guided by the product concept, which holds that consumers
Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review (OMAN Chapter) Vol. 2, No.6, Jan. 2013
Favor those products that offer the most quality, performance, or innovative features.
Managers in these organizations focus on making superior products and improving them over
time, assuming that buyers can appraise quality and performance.
● Selling Era
The selling era, another common business orientation, holds that consumers and
businesses, if left alone, will ordinarily not buy enough of the organization’s products. The
organization must, therefore, undertake an aggressive selling and promotion effort. This
concept assumes that consumers must be coaxed into buying, so the company has a battery of
selling and promotion tools to stimulate buying.
● Marketing Era
The marketing era, based on central tenets crystallized in the mid-1950s, challenges the
three business orientations we just discussed. 18 The marketing concept holds that the key to
achieving organizational goals consists of the company being more effective than its
competitors in creating, delivering, and communicating customer value to its chosen target
Theodore Levitt of Harvard drew a perceptive contrast between the selling and marketing era:
“Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is
preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of
satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things
associated with creating, delivering and finally consuming it.”
The marketing era rests on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing,
The selling era takes an inside-out perspective. It starts with the factory, focuses on existing
products, and calls for heavy selling and promoting to produce profitable sales. The
marketing era takes an outside in perspective.
It starts with a well-defined market, focuses on customer needs, coordinates activities that
affect customers, and produces profits by satisfying customers.
Target Market: Companies do best when they choose their target market(s) carefully and
prepare tailored marketing programs. For example, when cosmetics giant Estee Lauder
recognized the increased buying power of minority groups, its prescriptive subsidiary
launched an “All Skins” line offering 115 foundation shades for different skin tones.
Prescriptive credits All Skins for a 45 percent sales increase since this product line was
►Customer Needs: A company can carefully define its target market yet fail to correctly
understand the customers’ needs. Clearly, understanding customer needs and wants is not
always simple. Some customers have needs of which they are not fully conscious; some
cannot articulate these needs or use words that require some interpretation. We can
distinguish among five types of needs: (1) stated needs, (2) real needs, (3) unstated needs, (4)
delight needs, and (5) secret needs.
► Integrated Marketing: When all of the company’s departments work together to serve
the customers’ interests, the result is integrated marketing. Integrated marketing takes place
on two levels. First, the various marketing functions sales force, advertising, customer
service, product management, marketing research must work together. All of these functions
must be coordinated from the customer’s point of view.
Second, marketing must be embraced by the other departments. According to David Packard
of Hewlett-Packard “Marketing is far too important to be left only to the marketing
department” Marketing is not a department so much as a companywide orientation.
Profitability: The ultimate purpose of the marketing concept is to help organizations
achieve their objectives. In the case of private firms, the major objective is profit; in the case
of nonprofit and public organizations, it is surviving and attracting enough funds to perform
useful work. Private firms should aim to achieve profits as a consequence of creating superior
customer value, by satisfying customer needs better than competitors. For example, Perdue
Farms has achieved above-average margins marketing chicken a commodity if there ever was
one! The company has always aimed to control breeding and other factors in order to produce
tender-tasting chickens for which discriminating customers will pay more.
● Societal Marketing Era
Some have questioned whether the marketing concept is an appropriate philosophy in an
age of environmental deterioration, resource shortages, explosive population growth, world
hunger and poverty, and neglected social services. Are companies that successfully satisfy
consumer wants necessarily acting in the best, long-run interests of consumers and society?
The marketing concept sidesteps the potential conflicts among consumer wants, consumer
interests, and long-run societal welfare.
Yet some firms and industries are criticized for satisfying consumer wants at society’s
expense. Such situations call for a new term that enlarges the marketing concept. We propose
calling it the societal marketing concept, which holds that the organization’s task is to
determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired
satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or
enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.