Marketing constitutes one of the important functions of an organization. Along with production, finance and accounting, human resource management, research and development, purchase and stores, and numerous other functions, marketing contributes to the ability of the organization to succeed. The marketing concepts hold that the key for the achievement of the organizational goals consists in determining the needs and wants of the target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than the competitors. Under marketing concepts, the emphasis is on selling satisfaction and not merely on the selling the product. The objective of marketing is not the maximization of profitable sales volume, but to earn profits through the satisfaction of the customers.
In spite of some claims that the knowledge of the society with regards to marketing is improving, there are opinions which indicate that the marketing is not yet very well understood subject in several organizations. The arbitrary nature of the marketing stems from the constantly shifting perspectives in socio-cultural and technological contexts, with marketing today considered to be of a dynamic nature rather than a static concept. Marketing in the present day environment is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with others. The core issues related to the marketing of the products are shown in Fig 1.
Fig 4 Comparison of the main features of the selling and the marketing concepts
Selling is an action which converts the product into cash but marketing is the complete process of meeting and satisfying the needs of the customers. Marketing consists of all those activities which are associated with product planning, pricing, promoting and distributing the product. Selling focuses on the needs of the selling organization whereas marketing concentrates on the needs of the customers. Tab 1 gives a detailed comparison between the selling concept and the marketing concept.
|Tab 1 Comparison of selling concept and marketing concept|
|Sl. No.||Selling concept||Marketing concept|
|1||Selling concept is based upon the volume of production without thinking of the customer.||Marketing concept is based on producing products needed by the customers the satisfaction of the customers.|
|2||Organization first makes the product and then figures how to sell it||Organization determines the customer requirements first and then produces the product which meets the customer requirements.|
|3||Selling begins with the organization which is pre-occupied all the time with meeting the requirements of selling.||Marketing begins with the customer and focuses constantly on the needs of the customer.|
|4||Selling begins with the existing activities and products of the organization.||Under marketing, all activities and products take their direction from the customers and their needs.|
|5||Selling emphasizes on the saleable products of the organization. It seeks to convert products into cash and getting rid of the stocks. It is concerned with the methods and techniques of getting the customers to part with their cash in exchange for the products.||Marketing emphasizes identification of the opportunity available in the market. It seeks to convert customer needs into the organizational products. It emphasizes on fulfilling these needs.|
|6||Selling over emphasizes the exchange aspect without caring for the value satisfactions inherent in the exchange.||Marketing is primarily concerned with the value satisfaction which travels to the customer through the exchange.|
|7||Selling views organization as a product producing entity.||Marketing views organization as an entity as a part of the process for satisfying the customer.|
|8||The selling organization determines which product is to be offered.||Customer determines the product which is to be offered by the organization. The organization makes a total offering which matches and satisfies the identified needs of the customers.|
|9||The product precedes the selling efforts which are the consequence of the product available on hand.||The consequence of the marketing efforts is the identification of the product which is needed by the customer. The organization produces the identified product in its own interest.|
|10||In selling concept, packaging is essentially seen as a mere protection or a mere container for the product.||In marketing concept, it is seen from the point of view of the customer. it is designed to provide the maximum possible convenience and satisfaction to the customer.|
|11||In selling concept, emphasis is on the product.||In marketing concept, emphasis is on the requirements of the customers.|
|12||Selling concept is based upon the transfer of title and possession.||Marketing concept is based on the satisfaction of the customers.|
|13||In selling concept, production cost determines the price.||In marketing concept, customer determines the price and price determines the product costs.|
|14||In selling concept, organizational management is oriented towards sale volume.||In marketing concept, organizational management is oriented towards profit.|
|15||In the selling concept, planning is short term oriented in terms of daily sale of the product.||In marketing concept, planning is long run oriented in terms of new products and future market demands etc.|
|16||The selling concept has inside-out perspective.||The marketing concept has outside-in perspective.|
|17||Transportation, storage, and other distribution functions are perceived as mere extensions of the production function.||Transportation, storage, and other distribution functions are seen as vital services to be willingly provided to the customer in a manner which delivers the products without any damage.|
|18||The emphasis is to sell somehow. There is no coordination among the different functions involved in the total process leading to the product selling.||The emphasis is on an integrated approach. The integrated approach includes product, production, promotion, pricing, and distribution.|
|19||Different departments of the organization operate in separate water tight compartments.||All the departments of the organization operate in close coordination with the sole purpose of providing satisfaction to the customer.|
|20||In the organizations practicing selling concept, production is the central function and sales is a subordinate or secondary function.||In the organization practicing marketing concept, marketing is the key function and the entire organization is organized for supporting the marketing function.|
|21||Selling concept views the customer as a link in the organizational process of product selling.||Marketing concept views the customer as the very purpose of the existence of the organization. It sees the organization from the view point of the customer with customer consciousness spreading in the entire organization all the time.|
Selling can be considered as the modern version of the exchange under barter system where product is exchanged for the cash. When the focus is on selling, the sale persons think that their task begins only after completion of the production of the products which are to be sold by them. In selling concept the role of the sale department begin subsequent to the product production and it is the last link of the chain of organizational departments.
Under selling concept, aggressive sales methods are justified to meet the sale targets and meeting the needs and satisfaction of the customers are taken for granted. On the other hand, marketing is a wider and all pervasive activity of the organization. The marketing activity commences with the identification of the customer needs and does not end till feedback on the customer satisfaction from the consumption of the product is received. It is a long chain of activities which comprises production, packaging, promotion, pricing, distribution, and then the selling. Customer needs become the guiding force behind all these activities. Profits are not ignored but they are built up on a long basis.