Marketing is constantly changing, which is influenced, among others, by market development. Within this field, there are many concepts that aim to distinguish the company from the competition, achieve high profits and ensure its success. They focus on different aspects and each business can apply the strategy that best suits its needs. Here are some popular marketing concepts worth knowing.
What are Marketing Concepts?
A concept is a general plan of action or how to solve a problem. In the context of marketing, it is a strategy adopted by the company that allows it to achieve its goal. Most often it is higher profits, increased popularity or being a leader in the industry. Taking into account such an explanation of the concept, one can distinguish, inter alia, the concept of production, sale and product. Each of them is based on a different mode of action, planned on the basis of specific beliefs.
The production concept was mentioned at the beginning for a reason. This is the first philosophy in the field of marketing that was followed for a long time, from the mid-nineteenth century to the twentieth century. It boiled down to the assumption that consumers care about products available at low prices. This meant that enterprises focused on reducing production costs, so that the amounts offered for goods were as low as possible – in this way they wanted to meet the needs of customers.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the situation changed and the product concept emerged. Its main goal was to constantly improve the product, without paying attention to the changing needs and requirements of consumers. It was assumed that buyers want functional goods of high quality. In the 1930s there was an economic crisis. Then another marketing concept, i.e. sales, appeared. In many companies, a special department for the sale of products began to be created. It was believed that properly selected marketing techniques (e.g. advertising) allowed for effective purchase incentives, regardless of the type of goods.
Very quickly, after 20 years, the period of the sales concept ended. Then a completely new philosophy emerged, according to which companies were to identify and shape the needs of customers, that was their goal. From then on, it became important what buyers buy now and what they will choose in the future. The main aim was to propose valuable products to customers, meet their needs and ensure their satisfaction.
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The basis, i.e. the marketing mix
When talking about marketing concepts, it’s best to start with the basics, i.e. the marketing mix. In other words, it is a marketing composition, i.e. a collection of interrelated elements. These include tools, processes and activities that allow the company to properly influence the market (especially competition) and customers. The fundamental concept that can be considered the basis is the 4P marketing mix. The name comes from the 4 elements that make up it, that is:
– Price – should be set appropriately, based on a detailed analysis. The price depends on factors such as distribution, promotion and production costs,
– Product – physical goods or service offered. The product is to fulfill specific functions, be of high quality and ensure customer satisfaction,
– Place (place, distribution) – channels through which the product or service will reach customers. Place also relates to issues such as, for example, the way goods are arranged on store shelves,
– Promotion – activities aimed at informing customers about the product, increasing the demand. It is not only direct sales, but also, for example, promotion on the Internet.
Using the above 4 elements, it is possible to develop a detailed advertising campaign. The 4P concept has been modified over the years due to the emergence of new possibilities and tools. In 1990, the 4C marketing mix was created:
– Cost – cost incurred by the customer,
– Customer value – customer needs,
– Convenience – shopping comfort,
– Communication – two-way communication between the company and the client.
It can be easily seen that this concept focuses on buyers, not businesses. From the 4P mix marketing, a more extended version was also selected, the 7P, and its additional elements are:
This is a more comprehensive approach, taking into account, inter alia, company employees, visual aspects, as well as all the processes that affect the quality of the product or service. The 7P concept is still very popular because it is well adapted to modern reality.
The concept of marketing 4.0 began in 2015. Its definition was formulated by Philip Kotler, one of the greatest authorities in the broadly understood marketing area. In order to understand it well, it is first worth knowing the approach of marketing 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. The first mentioned concept focused on the product, to make a purchase decision, it was usually enough to know what product is available and what its functions are. Marketing 2.0 focused on creating relationships with customers. The development of new technologies made it possible to increase the number of channels with recipients, in addition, it became necessary to meet the constantly growing expectations of buyers. Due to the fact that the market was constantly changing, marketing 3.0 appeared. Marketing activities from the offline sphere to the online world began to be transferred on a large scale. It was also realized that the very high quality of products or refined sales is not everything, because every detail plays an important role in the process of making a purchase decision.
Many people thought that the concept of marketing 3.0 would play an important role even for several decades. However, version 4.0 came out relatively quickly and replaced it. According to P. Kotler and other marketing experts, it was inevitable due to the continuous technological development and new trends, including the growing popularity of social media and content marketing. Initially, at the top of the market hierarchy were companies that directed their one-sided message to recipients. Currently, it is different, customers are placed on an equal footing with enterprises, and they can often contribute to the development of products and services. In addition, communication has changed from one-way to multi-directional. Recipients can contact both the company directly and exchange information with each other. Thus, the purchasing process has become more interactive.
Marketing 4.0 is an approach according to which building a loyal community around the brand is not enough. This is because it is a long process, and with our current pace of life, building loyalty is too slow. According to this concept, it is important to advocate, thanks to which you can be successful and at the same time reduce costs related to marketing activities. This is likely because news about the company spreads very quickly (especially via the Internet) and reaches a wide audience, which may include many potential customers.
Marketing 4.0 is not over yet. According to scientists, this is only a transition period due to the fact that the digital market is still shaping. Marketing must be ready for the next changes, as new technologies are constantly appearing, and artificial intelligence is starting to play an increasingly important role. It gives many opportunities to improve the purchasing path and build Customer Experience (CX).
Philip Kotler is also responsible for introducing the concept of marketing 5.0. He published his reflections on this topic in the book “Marketing 5.0. Next Tech Technologies ”. Work on this item was also carried out by two other authors: Hermawan Kartajaya and Ivan Setiawan, and its premiere took place during the pandemic. At that time, many companies had to change their current action plan in order to stay on the market.
According to the new concept, artificial intelligence can be helpful, for example, when preparing a personalized offer. In addition, through machine learning, the company has the opportunity to analyze the chances of a product’s success, skipping many steps that were previously necessary. Marketing 5.0 also takes into account other modern solutions, such as:
– Internet of Things (IoT),
– virtual reality (VR)
– augmented reality (AR),
This approach is to make companies aware of what opportunities are available today. They are under no obligation to use them, but should be aware that they are at their disposal. The new concept shows that modern technologies allow you to improve marketing. The extent to which a company uses marketing 5.0 and its tools largely depends on the industry.
Marketing concepts have evolved and will continue to do so. It is influenced not only by the progressive digitization, but also by the changing behavior and needs of customers. The philosophies used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have long been considered obsolete and are currently proven in a few industries. Marketing professionals must be aware that this area is still evolving. In order to achieve success, one must respond to the changing reality and test the next available approaches, tools and methods.