Marketing must be Customer Centric

Marketing must be Customer Centric
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By Binish Qadri

The concept of marketing can be viewed from social and managerial perspectives. At its simplest, marketing can be defined as an exchange transaction that takes place between the buyer and the seller. It occupies an important position in the organisation of business unit. The traditional view of marketing asserts that the customer will accept whatever product the seller presents to him or her. But, this point of view of marketing has now changed. The modern concept may be viewed from the customer’s point of view for it recognizes the fact that customer is the King of the Market. Marketing is and should be centred on the customer. The producer does not produce whatever he likes but whatever consumer wants. Kotler (1983) has rightly remarked ‘‘Marketing is analysis, organising, planning and controlling of the firm’s customer-impinging resources, policies, activities with a view to a profit’’.
Marketing is a total system of business, an ongoing process of (1) discovering and translating consumer needs and desires into products and services(through planning and producing the planned products),(2)creating demand for these products and services(through pricing and promotion), (3) serving the consumer demand (through planned physical distribution) with the help of marketing channels, and then, in turn (4) expanding the market even in the face of keen competition (Sherlekar, 2006) .
In any planned economic development programme, marketing of goods and services is sine qua non for maintaining equilibrium between production and consumption. Marketing is the basic reason for the existence of a business organisation. It is the starting point of all activities. It works as a guidebook for all business/non-business organizations. It is a powerful tool which alone can satisfy the needs and wants of consumers at the place and price they desire.
The success mantra of a business depends largely on the effectiveness with which its marketing strategies are formulated and implemented. Marketing is said to be the eyes and ears of a business organisation because it keeps the business in close contact with its economic, political, social and technological environment and informs it of events that can influence its activities as per requirements of the market (Sherlekar, 2006).
It helps in selection of a good range of products in constant demand and suggests to the management board the scope for improving and developing new products to satisfy the changing customer needs. Customers are the main protagonists and decide what products suit their needs. Therefore, we can say marketing satisfies our needs by providing all forms of utility i.e. form utility, person utility, exchange utility, place utility and time utility. It can be summed up as consisting of: sales in a planned way; creation of customers and creating of demand and satisfying it. Following are the essential elements of marketing:
1. Identifying the customers who are chosen as the target of marketing efforts;
2. Understanding the needs and wants of target customers;
3. Development of products and services for satisfying the needs of the target customers;
4. Satisfying needs of target customers better than the competitors;
5. Ensuring reasonable profit by performing all these activities.
Customer needs are always subject to the straight attack by rivals who desire to serve those same needs in the market. Henceforth, marketing managers and administrators have to develop marketing strategies to overcome market competition. There are various factors governing the needs of customers: economic, social, cultural and political. For these reason, managers and administrators of marketing must have sufficient, suitable and useful information regarding these changing environmental reasons affecting customer needs and behaviour. Successful marketing, in terms of satisfaction of needs and wants of the consumers, is a function of several mutually dependent constituents which underlines the need for proper marketing strategy and integrated all-inclusive planning along with the selective use of specific tools and techniques.
Marketing is not just the matter of value addition but its sole resolution is consumption (Crawford, 1997) for the satisfaction of the wants of consumer, highlighted beautifully by Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations (1776), in the following words: “Consumption is the sole end 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.” (As cited by Crawford, 1997). Successful marketing alone can assure profitable growth of any business and for a successful marketing, marketing planning and strategies are indispensable.

Crawford, M.I. (1997). Agricultural and Food Marketing Management. Marketing and Agribusiness texts. Chapter 1. Retrieved from http://www.fao.Org/docrep/004/W3240E/W3240E01.htm#ch1.4
Kotler, P. (1983), Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control, New Delhi: Prentice Hall Of India Pvt.Ltd. P.6.
Sherlekar, A.S. (2006).Marketing Management. Integrated Value-based Managerial Approach under Current Market Driven and Competitive Global Marketing. Thirteenth Revised Edition. Himalaya Publishing House.

The author is a Research Scholar at the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir, an Academic Counsellor, IGNOU STUDY CENTRE 1209,S.P. College, Srinagar and Editor in EPH – International Journal of Business and Management Science & Asian Journal of Managerial Science. She is also the IJRULA title awards, 2018 winner (Best Researcher, 2018) and can be reached at: