Today, marketing plays an important role in business success. “Marketing drives successful organization, but it is often misinterpreted and sometimes gets bad press” (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013: 4). Peter Drucker stated that “the basic function of marketing is to attract and retain customers at a profit”. On the other hand, British Institute of Marketing (BIM) defines “Marketing is the management process for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” Along with rapid globalization, changing information technology, changing consumer profile and intensity of competition, “marketing is more sophisticated than the past” (Dalgic and Yeniceri, ...view middle of the document...
Narver (1990) asserted that is obtained through increased benefits for buyers with regard to expenses or decreasing of buyers' expenses with regard to their benefits. Customer orientation is actions and attempts for customer satisfaction and interactions used by sellers for their customers; it is trying to satisfy customer's needs (Thomas, 2001).Finally, Ingram (2008: 38) defined customer orientation is “placing as much emphasis on the customer’s interests as your own”.
Mascarenhas (2007: 120) argued that “customer orientation differs from market orientation”. The concept of marketing orientation simply concentrates on customers and competitors whereas the marketing concept of customer orientation only focus on single entity: customers (Hunt and Morgan, 1995).
The main purpose of customer orientation is satisfying the customer. However, many managers do not use this marketing strategy for their companies. Another strategy applied to business is a production orientation, which aims for efficiency in products rather than effectiveness of customers’ need. Besides, many firms misunderstand between customer orientation and sales orientation. They think these orientation all based on selling skills to have more customers and sales. It is obvious that sales orientation tries to utilize sales trends instead of satisfying customer’s needs (Thomas, 2001), sellers use their sales skills to make buyers buy their products to gain higher sales. In contrast, in term of customer orientation, companies help their consumers create superior value.
3. Benefits of being customer oriented
Customer orientation has been shown to have positive effects on performance of the company (Narver and Slater, 1990; Singh and Ranchhod, 2004). This strategy can help the company enhance their brand as well as build loyal relation with customers. Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation with the main products is electronic equipment. This corporation has made a strong as well as a prestige brand by meeting customer’s needs. Sony’s products are durable, electricity saving, variable design and good customer service. Besides, the life of mature products can be extended based on loyalty of customers. If the customer really believes in brand, they are willing to buy the next generations of the product or the new products of the company. Apple is an example, Steve Jobs was successful with the first iPhone in 2007 and continue with the high sales of the next generations such as iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
II. Customer orientation in aspects of marketing mix
“Customer is king”, as a motto, lead the company to be successful in the crowded and intensive competitive market (Mignon and He, 2005: 24). In the context of the marketing mix, the firm should learn how to satisfy customer and changing customer’s lifestyle and behaviour in all factors of the marketing mix.
1. Customer oriented product
Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick (2013: 308) assert that...