The upcoming discussion will update you about the difference between marketing concept and societal marketing concept.
“Marketing concept starts with the company’s target customers and their needs and wants. The company integrates and co-ordinates all the activities that will affect customer satisfaction. The company achieves profit through creating and maintaining customer satisfaction. In essence, the marketing concept is consumers’ needs and wants-orientation backed by integrated marketing effort aimed at generating customer satisfaction as the key to satisfying organisational goals” observes Philip Kotler.
Marketing concept accepts the consumer as the king. It is different from selling concept because it starts with the customer needs and wants, integrates marketing functions, and offers consumer satisfaction at a profit whereas selling concept is concerned only with the sales volume and the company’s needs.
Unfortunately, there are not nary companies in the advanced countries such as U.S.A. which have adopted marketing concept. Only a handful of than such as Procter and Gamble, IBM, Gillette, Kodak, GEC, and few other have adopted marketing concept in true sense.
Most companies have not reached ‘full marketing maturity stage’. As Kotler says, ‘most companies do not grasp or embrace the marketing concept until driven to it by circumstance’.
The marketing concept, thus, needs a central place or position in the business firm if customers needs and wants have to be correctly understood and satisfied. It needs to influence and control over other departments of a firm if the customers have to be satisfied.
This satisfaction is possible to be delivered if the other departments such as production, finance, personnel, and R&D perform their functions in constant collaboration and rapport with the marketing department.
This aspect can be illustrated by a diagram as under:
It will be seen that though the customer or consumer is at the center of the circle, he is satisfied by the marketing concept which is assisted by other four functions of management whereas selling concept means that the consumer is zero.
Societal marketing concept goes beyond the marketing concept because it is concerned with the long-term benefits of the consumers and the well-being of society. It involves the control of pollution, inflation, shortages and neglect of social services.
The question is whether the firm that does an excellent job of servicing, serving, and satisfying an individual customer wants is definitely acting in the long-run interests of the consumers and society. The marketing concept side-steps the potential conflicts between the consumer wants, consumer interests and the long-run societal welfare.
Thus, we can state that the marketing concept is narrower in meaning and content than societal marketing concept. If, for instance, wine and whisky are injurious to health why should the manufacturers produce than? Why should they manufacture cigarettes and harm the consumers’ health and waste money?
In India, it has become a big nuisance and a menace. In other words, we can state that the manufacturing companies have forgotten their social responsibilities because they are much concerned with profit only.
Following the remarks of Philip Kotler, it can be said that the societal marketing concept holds the organisational task to determine the needs, wants, and interests of the target markets and to deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the well-being of the consumers and society.
The societal marketing concept calls upon the marketers to balance three considerations in setting their marketing policies namely:
1. Company profits,
2. Consumer satisfaction, and
3. Society interests.
In India, societal marketing concept has hardly been grasped by the marketing/manufacturing companies. Golden Tobacco Company indulges in manufacturing and aggressive advertising of harmful cigarettes, yet it speaks of its having good management. Even same magazines such as Business India or Business World give good images of such companies. But the truth is that it does not fit into the societal marketing concept.
Societal marketing concept is a basic necessity in India. This requires veil qualified and competent professionals in the marketing department.