Elements of Market-Orientation

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Many practitioners agree that market orientation is the essence of modern marketing management and strategy. The difficulty of market orientation resides in the fact that no one has specifically linked marketing management to measuring the implications of business profit and loss performance. To date, practitioners are deepening their understanding and ability to measure the influence of market orientation and its effect on a firm’s profitability. Further, studies have shown that aligning a corporation’s culture with specific market orientation generates exceptional value for customers. Consequently, a market-oriented and culturally aligned sales-force takes into account multiple means for creating value for the company and benefits for consumers. Market-oriented companies conceptualize and recognize common threads and conclude that a market oriented cultural is a function of customer-orientation, competitor-orientation, and inter-functional-coordination alongside a company’s long-term mission and its profit projections. Thus, a business that seeks long-term profits must also value a customer-oriented culture.

Customer-orientation is a marketing variable whereby the seller thoroughly understands the buyer’s value chain and present and future product needs. Corporations must strategically and tactically position themselves to generate value for the consumer in two fundamental areas: by increasing product benefits relative to the consumer’s costs and by decreasing the consumer’s costs relative to the consumer’s benefits – not an easy task. Competitor-orientation addresses the seller’s assessment of existing and future competitors. Sellers must understand and overcome competitor’s strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses. The application and infusion of technologies, to outperform competitors, to a large extent will advance the success of a formidable seller. Further, inter-functional-coordination is a strategy to summons and deploy resources to create unprecedented value for target markets. Hence, an organization seeks a window of opportunity within the purchaser’s value chain, not just to sell products and services but to also generate value for the buyer.

Dr. Johnny D. Magwood
Northeast Utilities Service Company
V.P. Customer Experience & Chief Customer Officer; Northeast Utilities Service Company. J. D. Power Smart Grid Advisory Council; Chairman- Housing Authority Baltimore City; Next Generation Utilities Advisory Board; Utility Knowledge Customer Service Council; CS Advisory Council; Magistrate Judge Seletion Committee. Marketing Executive Council; Mechanical Engineer - The Johns Hopkins University; MBA - Loyola University of Maryland; DBA - University of Phoenix; Doctoral dissertation; Mergers and Acquisition: The Role of Corporate Executives' Relationships with Stakeholders

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