Know the Marketing Concept and Other Marketing Management Philosophies

Know the Marketing Concept and Other Marketing Management Philosophies

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Dec 13, 2023 16:11 IST

Marketing management philosophies encompass five core concepts: Production focuses on mass production and affordability, Product prioritises high-quality offerings like Apple's innovations, Selling relies on aggressive tactics to drive sales, Marketing centres on delivering value to consumers through understanding needs and integrated efforts, while Societal considers long-term societal welfare like Coca-Cola's sustainability initiatives. These philosophies guide businesses based on customer focus, innovation, aggressive selling, and social responsibility, impacting modern marketing strategies.

Marketing concept

Marketing activities broadly revolve around managerial and societal factors. 

The scope of marketing management covers strategic tools such as the marketing mix with modifiable variables/parameters. Identifying and fulfilling customer needs, wants and demands, distribution channels, making decisions, etc., are managerial in nature. Such activities help in growing revenue and making customers happy in exchange for products or services. 

But as a societal function, marketing is about meeting what the customer and society together value, too. That is how the company can positively impact society and show concern for society’s well-being in the long run. It is also how a company can outrank competitors using tactics like green marketing

What this implies is that marketing activities are not just guided by transactions and improving the bottom line. Factors such as social responsibility can also play a huge role in creating a marketing plan and meeting the long-term interests of an organisation. 

But again, the societal factor can be one of the guiding principles for a type of business. For others, the focus may be mass production or delivering high-quality products. And for some, the company may be just focused on selling. 

Based on the type of target market and business, marketing activities fit into five broad types of concepts, of which, the marketing concept is one. These concepts are also known as marketing management philosophies, as they are guiding factors for any kind of marketing activity. 

Let’s explore them one by one. 

Marketing Concept in Relation to Other Marketing Management Philosophies

Before diving into the marketing management philosophies or concepts, know that companies do not use all of them at once. But they do implement one or more together. 

Production Concept

It is a given that consumers want the best products that are easily available and also affordable. That’s how a company can quickly mass produce to generate more sales

This also indicates that the production costs should be optimised. By doing so, basic and conventionally considered customer needs such as availability and affordability are covered. 

Here, marketers refer to the classical economic theory, Say’s Law of Markets. This theory started resurfacing in the growing capitalist market of the West in the 1950s. It states that demand is created by the production of goods. That is, you look into the demand in your target market and supply it. 

Multinational brands, large businesses in developing countries and those who manufacture products outside their countries can leverage the production concept. But it may not apply to small businesses. Here are some counterarguments regarding it. 

  • It works only when the demand is more than the supply and not the other way around.
  • There is too much focus on production than quality, which can be detrimental for a company in the long run. 
  • It does not look into customer satisfaction or any kind of personalisation. 

Example of Production Concept

China is the largest exporter of goods since 2009, according to Investopedia. Some high-end international brands are able to reduce their costs and make their products available to the mass market.  

Product Concept

The product concept is based on the idea that consumers prefer the best quality or have unique specs. The more quality brands offer in lieu of the product concept, the more expensive it will be. 

The product concept is mostly used by tech companies. Such companies can use the product concept and sell their offerings at a much higher price irrespective of competition. This concept can work wonders for brands that consistently innovate and add better features than competitors. 

One disadvantage of this concept is that it is not able to reach those audiences who are looking for affordable products. 

Example of Product Concept

Apple remains one of the biggest examples that utilise the product concept. The brand is a lifestyle for every product owner.  And no matter how much pricier each new version gets, they are in demand. Apple also constantly innovates with unique features. 

Selling Concept

It banks on the principle that consumers will not purchase from a brand unless it sells it to them. Marketers who leverage it do not look into factors such as customer needs. As the primary objective is to grow revenue, marketers use aggressive selling tactics. 

The selling concept has many drawbacks in the modern marketing scenario. First, the consumer is aware of the market, and they prefer to research on their own. Hard selling tactics can work against a company’s favour. 

Example of Selling Concept

One of the most known examples is insurance companies. Insurance agents connect with consumers assuming that insurance is good for them. 

Marketing Concept

This concept utilises how a business can provide value to the customer. The philosophy, however, dates back to the 18th century. It was Adam Smith, who in his book, The Wealth of Nations (1776), quoted

“Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.” 

This concept was revived in the 1950s. And you can already imagine why brands may focus on this aspect more than any of the above philosophies. Unlike the selling concept, the focus in the marketing concept is on the consumer. 

In general, businesses that have many competitors have this type of market orientation. They constantly deploy strategies to provide better value to customers than their competitors. 

According to Philip Kotler, in his book, Marketing Management (2000), this marketing concept is based on four pillars. 

  • Target Market – Companies are able to communicate better with the potential customers when they are aware of the market. If you read about target marketing strategies, you will see the different ways to interact with the right audiences through the right channels. 
  • Customer Needs – Philip Kotler mentions that a business may not know its customer needs even after determining a target market. Mostly because the customers are not able to articulate their needs properly. So the author goes on to categorise needs into different types of needs. They are ‘real’, ‘stated’, ‘unstated’, ‘delight’ and ‘secret’ needs. You may also explore Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
  • Integrated Marketing – This refers to marketing efforts taken by all the different functions of marketing in an organisation – sales, marketing research, etc. You may further indulge in the integrated marketing communications concept, where the marketing activities are holistic so that the message is also uniform. 
  • Profitability – The goal of the marketing concept is about realising how much profit a business can earn.  

Example of Marketing Concept

In the modern scenario where more than half of the world population is online, businesses look into providing value to the customer through digital marketing. But all types of digital marketing may or may not be fruitful to this end.

A commonly used tactic for online audiences is content marketing. As the customer is the primary focus, marketers further add inbound marketing strategies to make the overall customer experience better. 

Societal Marketing Concept

In the societal marketing concept, a business focuses on satisfying customer needs but also tries to preserve or enhance health or the environment in the long run.  For example, brands resort to CSR activities to uproot illiteracy, make the planet greener, etc. 

Example of Societal Marketing Concept

Coca-Cola is one brand that leverages the societal marketing concept in the best way. It focuses on aspects such as sustainability. It started its World Without Waste initiative, where it started developing 100% recyclable packaging. 

Parting Thoughts

While these are the five marketing management philosophies covering the marketing concept, you may also look into the holistic marketing concept


What is the difference between market and marketing?

The market refers to the actual place or system where buyers and sellers interact to trade goods or services. It represents the environment where products are bought and sold, encompassing the demand, supply, competition, and various economic forces.

On the other hand, marketing pertains to the strategic activities and processes employed by businesses or organisations to promote, advertise, sell, and distribute their products or services within that market. It involves understanding customer needs, creating products, setting prices, devising promotional strategies, and selecting suitable distribution channels to reach and satisfy consumers within the market.

Explore our blog on the difference between market and marketing

What are the main basics of marketing?

The four key fundamentals of marketing are often referred to as the "4 Ps".

Product: This involves developing a product or service that meets the needs and desires of customers. It includes design, quality, features, branding, and packaging.

Price: Determining the right price for the product or service that reflects its value to customers while also considering costs, competition, and market demand.

Place: Selecting the appropriate distribution channels and locations to make the product or service easily accessible to the target audience. This involves decisions about where and how the product will be available for purchase.

Promotion: Implementing strategies and tactics to create awareness and interest in the product or service. This includes advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and other promotional activities aimed at communicating with and persuading the target market.

What are the 4 C's of marketing?

The "4 Cs" in marketing represent a customer-oriented approach, focusing on the following aspects:

Customer: This refers to understanding the needs, preferences, and behaviour of the target customers. It involves creating products or services that cater to these specific needs and delivering value to satisfy customers.

Cost: Cost represents more than just the price of the product. It encompasses the total cost to the customer, including time, effort, and any other expenses associated with acquiring and using the product or service. Understanding the perceived value compared to the cost is crucial in marketing.

Convenience: Convenience refers to making the purchasing process easy and accessible for customers. This involves providing convenient channels for buying, user-friendly interfaces, hassle-free transactions, and overall ease in accessing the product or service.

Communication: Communication involves the exchange of information between the company and its customers. Effective communication strategies aim to convey the value of the product or service, build relationships, and engage customers through various channels such as advertising, social media, customer service, and other interactions.

What is branding in marketing?

Branding in marketing is the process of creating a distinct identity and perception for a product, service, company, or individual in the minds of consumers. It involves developing a unique name, logo, symbol, design, or combination of these elements that differentiate the offering from competitors.

What is the difference between Sales Concept and Marketing Concept, according to Philip Kotler?

According to Kotler, 

  • The Sales Concept prioritises the seller's needs, whereas the Marketing Concept prioritises the needs of the buyer.
  • The Sales Concept revolves around converting the product into cash for the seller, while the Marketing Concept focuses on satisfying customer needs by offering the product as a solution to their problems.
About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio