The Evolution of Marketing Orientation

Marketing is not a new phenomenon. The period from the stone age to the postmodern era has gone through a vivid layer of change in the pattern of living. It has evolved with human history. Marketing has undergone a significant change and is now a highly effective technique that is a core part of the business.

The process of marketing is manipulative. When we try to visualize its pattern, it's really hard to guess how it started and evolved. For centuries, tailor-made marketing, which is done today, has gone through varied phases. With the growth of technologies, it has been redefined into many phases of growth.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is getting products available to a desired segment of people to enhance their standard of living. It is the process by which value is created for the customers by building strong relationships with them. The relationship will offer them loyalty from customers in return so that they can be retained. The major goal of marketing has always been to seek the attention of people while at the same time lying within the realm of their rate of return.

Now let us quickly understand the evolution of marketing orientations −

Production concept

The first concept in marketing is the production concept. This concept believes that when you make the product available in bulk at a low price, people will buy it. It relied on the law that customers pay for those products that are easily found and cheap. The production concept ushered in the industrial revolution. The best example of a company is Slater-Mills and Ford Motor Company. Their sole marketing tool was to produce low-priced products so that everyone could buy them. The concept lost its significance because of the following reasons −

  • To facilitate mass production, there is a decrease in the quality of products.

  • Customers will not find value in products if they are cheap and of low quality.

  • They will not be motivated to buy these products.

  • There are different segments of people whose sole motive is different from buying only cheap quality product.

Product concept

The second concept is the product concept. This concept holds that if you produce a product with the best quality, people will buy it. This concept also failed because there are different segments within the categories of customers.

Selling concept

The third concept is the selling concept. This concept is believed in captivating sales. It states that a customer can only buy the product if he witnesses an attractive promotion. The companies really believed then that sales promotion was the only technique by which a product could reach the minds of customers, and after that, they would surely buy the product.

At that point in time, advertisements through different media channels like radio, print, and television were excessively popular. There was door-to-door selling. This concept also became vague because of its negative impact on customers.

Marketing concept

It was not until the 1940s that industries realized focusing only on business needs to be hindered by customer satisfaction. Then came the era when businesses started focusing on the needs of customers. The businesses started identifying the needs of the customers, and they started channeling activities that fulfilled those needs. Hence the evolution of marketing concepts. It solely believed in the concept that understanding the needs of the customer is the first and foremost responsibility of the business.

Customer satisfaction is the prime motive of the business in this concept. Providing a higher level of satisfaction than the present competitors was the prime motive of the marketer. The market got segmented according to the purchasing goals of the customers. The uniqueness of the product is seen widely in the marketing concept. They started segmenting people based on their needs and preferences. This type of market segmentation helps every category of customers fulfill their needs. They believed that marketing products were vital for the flourishing of products and get a mutual benefit.

Societal Marketing Concept

Then came the era of societal marketing orientation in 1970, when businesses realized that they had some responsibility toward the customer and the environment's well-being. The 60s and 70s era saw many unethical companies come into being, and then came the question of the welfare of society and the environment at large. This concept stated that the formulation of the business strategy should be such that it caters to the well-being of society and the environment at large. It focuses on satisfying the daily needs of the customers while at the same time maintaining the welfare of society and the environment.

This concept gained popularity because the effect of large businesses was widely seen as a degradation of society and its environment. The marketers understood that caring for our mother earth was also one of the key reasons to be in the good books of the customers. Then came the advent of eco-friendly products. This type of marketing creates a positive image of the business among the customers.

Digital Marketing concept

The era after the 1990s is witnessing a change in the drift of marketing practices. Now businesses are digitally marketing their products. It is the most convenient way of doing it. Because of globalisation and technological growth, it has been possible. Now marketers can easily promote their products. Almost half of the total population today is digitally viable, so grasping them on a huge scale is now easy.

Marketers who struggled with the traditional way of marketing now have a way to do it easily and smoothly. It is because, through the traditional method, it is not easy to generate abundant leads. The old marketing techniques were limited, and reaching out to potential customers was not easy. The digital marketing revolution opened a new channel for better traffic generation and promotion of products and services. They can effectively reach the target customers.

The use of mobile phones and other devices has added a creamy layer of profit to digital marketing. Since everyone now has a smartphone, reaching a target audience is not a tedious and tiring thing to do. The advent of the digital era is also resulting in a wide variety of jobs at different digital media sites.


Thus, we can see how the concept of marketing has evolved over the centuries. Marketing is not the result of a few days or a few months. It has taken centuries to refine and redevelop itself. After the industrial revolution, it took its time. Production was the sole motive during the revolution. Then came the sales and marketing concepts that the marketers used to stay ahead of their potential competitors.

The markets then believed that developing a strong relationship and bond with the customers is the first and foremost thing to keep them happy. Finally, the era of social and digital marketing has started. Companies are now aware of its environmental consequences. Now the traditional method is being replaced by digital marketing.

Evolution has helped the customer segments improve their standard of living and get the ease of getting the right product at the right place and at the right time. The evolution has affected the economy of the nation.

To sum up, let's look at the below table −

Production concept

Product concept

Selling concept

Marketing concept

Societal concept

Digital Marketing

Mass production

Quality product

aggressive selling

Identification of needs

Consideration of ethics

Online Marketing

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023

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