Marketing Concepts

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In marketing, businesses will design strategies that satisfy customers’ needs, increase sales, maximize profit and beat their competition. That is a nice truth and statement, but many might ask, “what philosophy is the best for a company in setting marketing strategies?”

Well, in this article we will discuss 5 different concepts of marketing that each have a specific function in a holistic marketing strategy. The concepts are:

  1. The Production Concept
  2. The Product Concept
  3. The Selling Concept
  4. The Marketing Concept
  5. The Societal Marketing Concept

Now, you might be wondering what each of those entails and before you get the cart before the horse, let’s break down each of these marketing concepts in detail. We might even find some strong examples and trends of usage throughout history!

Let’s dive in!

The Five Marketing Concepts Described

The five basic marketing concepts are a key part of putting together any new marketing campaign. Here’s what you need to know.

The Production Concept

The production concept is the most operations-oriented than any of the other marketing concepts on this list. It speaks to the human truth that we prefer products that are easily available and inexpensive.

This concept was founded during the production era of early Capitalism in the mid-1950s.  During that era, businesses concerned themselves primarily with production, manufacturing, and efficiency issues. This is also the time when the “Says Law” was created exciting the idea of supply and demand.

The basic idea of this concept is that businesses will want to produce widely cheap products in maximum volumes to maximize profitability and scale. Businesses assume that consumers are primarily interested in product availability and low prices while customer’s needs might not be fully addressed.

Such an approach is probably most effective when a business operates in very high growth markets or where the potential for economies of scale is significant.

The problem with this concept is that businesses run the danger of not creating quality products and might have customer service problems with impersonal production. An example of this is the use of developing country to output cheaper products in higher quantities. Another historical example is Ford automobiles that manufactured a ton of cars through its assembly line but all came out the same without customizations or user input.

The Product Concept

The product concept is not so much about the production and business output but focuses more on the customer.

Potential customers favour products that offer quality, performance, or innovative features.

This marketing concept believes in potential customers and how their brand loyalty is closely tied to options of products, the quality of those products and the benefits they get from the product and the business they invest in.

This is seen most commonly with our obsession with Apple products and looking forward to their new gadgets and features upon launch!

In this marketing concept, businesses will concentrate on making superior products and improving them over time. The problem is many businesses do not balance the need for a product all while realizing what the marketing needs. There is a fine line between focusing on the customer and still defining your role and leadership in the industry.

The Selling Concept

The selling concept is the bread and butter of marketing efforts as it believes that people will not buy enough of a business’s product so businesses need to persuade them to do so.

Of course, in today’s marketing, we know that selling is not the way to full marketing success. We more so find this marketing concept popular in the days of WWII where there was aggressive advertising to promote people to buy bonds and different products.

This concept puts a lot of power into the hands of a business who has a whole plan to effectively stimulate more buying with its potential customers. A lot of the time we also see this action used when a business has to deal with overcapacity and needing to sell what they make rather than what the market needs or wants.

Businesses that choose to use this marketing concept must be good at finding potential customers and emotionally sell them on the benefits of their “not needed product.”

The Marketing Concept

The marketing concept is the concept of competition. It is a marketing concept that believes that the success of a business depends on the marketing efforts that deliver a better value proposition than its competitors.

This concept focuses on the needs and wants of target marketing as well as delivering value better than its competition. Through marketing, it’s your goal to be the preferred option compared to your competitors. Competitive advantage is key!

We find typically this in the 1950s era of companies trying to carve themselves out in the industry. We also can look at the modern-day competition between Pepsi and Coke who sell similar items but their value propositions are completely different!

Pepsi: Focuses on winning over the younger generations

Coke: Focuses on winning over everyone in a more holistic approach!

The marketing concept has evolved into a fifth and more refined company orientation: the societal marketing concept.

The Societal Marketing Concept

The societal marketing concept is the most progressive and modern-day applicable marketing mindset to have. It is a marketing concept that believes in giving back to society by producing better products that help the world be a better place.

This orientation arose as some questioned whether marketing and businesses are addressing the massive problems society has like environmental deterioration, resource shortages,  population growth, poverty, and social disruption.

A business in today’s world will need to ask itself the following question in relation to this marketing concept: Are businesses that create products people love acting in the best long-run interests of consumers and society?

For example, McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants and not really getting this “societal marketing thing…” Most fast-food companies offer tasty but unhealthy food. (The bane of our existences)

The food typically will have high fat content and will then supplement those meals with fries, pies and soda which also are not healthy choices either. The food is then wrapped in convenient packing which most times ends up on the ground somewhere as waste.

Now, I love McDonald’s food and a lot of people enjoy what fast-food chains offer therefore satisfying consumer wants but at what cost? These companies, although making customers happy, maybe hurting consumer health and causing environmental problems.


All of these marketing concept mindsets can help you achieve organizational goals depending on if you understand the needs and wants of your target market while delivering quality products people prefer.

Under the marketing concept, customer focus and value are the routes to achieve sales and profits.

The marketing concept is a customer-centred “sense and responds” philosophy. The job is not to find the right customers for your product but to find the right products for your customers.

If you need some help with understanding more marketing philosophy and marketing concepts