Contemporary Approaches of Marketing

(by Priyank Panthari)

In the last blog entry we discussed how marketing has evolved over time and how its definition and scope underwent the consequent changes. The earlier marketing approaches slowly gave way to the newer approaches, corresponding to the changing trends in the consumer's buying behaviours, perceptions and expectations about the products and services. Today, we will describe what constitutes the contemporary approaches in marketing.
The contemporary approaches refer to an era when 'marketing' as a business discipline became the most important element of the business marketing strategy. The stress was now on the customers, their specific needs and perceptions about the products or services. In other words, the customer was really the 'King', and every firm strove to find ways to please him the best and win his loyalty in return.

The 'marketing orientation' is perhaps the most popular orientation among all contemporary orientations. It involves a process in which a firm essentially prioritises its marketing plans around the 'marketing concept' and then supplies products or offers services to suit changing consumer tastes. A good example of this approach is to observe how many firms nowadays utilise market researches to analyse the consumer's desires and expectations and then try to match those desires and expectations by suitable R&D (research and development) efforts. This way they can come up with products or services that have high probability to be welcomed by consumers and more importantly have potential to satisfy their needs. The next step is to utilise the effective and efficient promotion techniques to address the desired target markets. These are the guiding principles on which all the contemporary approaches are based with or without minor variations.

The contemporary approaches can be subdivided into the following types :-
  • Relationship Marketing
  • Business / Industrial Marketing
  • Social Marketing

Relationship marketing is all about building healthy and long lasting relationships between the firm and its customers and then to efficiently leverage this customer base using suitable marketing techniques. This approach has been used since the 1960s and is followed till today.
Business Marketing, as the name implies, is applicable to the B2B (Business to Business) domain. In this context the marketing takes place between businesses or organisations. Consequently the marketing efforts have to be altered in a way to suit corporate customer needs as compared to end customer needs. This approach has been used since the 1980s and is followed till today.
Social Marketing is the same as the basic marketing orientation except that more emphasis is put on complying with existing social norms and abstaining from any activities that might be detrimental to society at large. Social marketing is a relatively newer addition to the marketing approaches but it is rapidly becoming a critical component of marketing strategies.

That sums up the contemporary marketing approaches in general. In the coming weeks we will analyse these approaches more deeply.

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