The major evolution in the history of marketing thought shifted the focus of marketing from the customer or the product to the customer in the context of the broader external environment, knowing the customer for the product or service is not enough. To succeed, marketers must know the customer in a context including the competition with its products and services, government policy and regulation, and the broader economic, social aid political macro forces the evolution of markets.
Another aspect of strategic marketing is the shift from profit to stakeholder benefits. Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest in the activity of a company. They include the employees, management, customers, society, and government, to mention only the most prominent. In this competitive world, marketing must focus on the customer in context and deliver value by creating stakeholder benefits for both customers and employees. However, profitability is not forgotten in the marketing strategic concept. Profit is still a critical objective and measure of marketing success, but it is not all end in itself.
The aim of marketing is to create value for stakeholders, and the key stakeholder is the customer. If your customer can get greater value from your competitor because your competitor is willing to accept a lower level of profit reward for investors and management, the customer will choose your competitor, and you will be out of business.
The essence of strategic marketing can be summarized in the form of the following three principles:
1. Customer Value and the Value Equation:
Creating customer value that is greater than the value created by competitors is the essence of marketing. Customer value can be increased by expanding or improving the product and or service benefits or by reducing the price or by a combination of 4 P’s (Marketing Mix) compared with competitors products, if the benefits are strong enough and valued by customers, a company can win customers easily.
2. Competitive or Differential Advantage:
This is the second great principle of marketing. A competitive advantage is a total offer, vis-a-vis relevant competition, that is more attractive lo customers. The advantage could exist in any element if the company’s offer the product, the price, the advertising and point-of-sale promotion, and the distribution of the product. The total offer must be more attractive than that of the competitor in order to create a competitive advantage. If the company is in a local industry, these competitors will be local. In a national industry, they will be national, and in a global industry, they will be global.
Focus or the concentration of attention is required to succeed in the task of creating customer value at a competitive advantage in the industry. Many enterprises, large and small, are successful because they have understood and applied this principle. A clear focus on customer needs and wants; on the competitive offer is to given for the customers to mobilize the effort needed to maintain a differential advantage. This can be accomplished only by focusing or concentrating resources and efforts on customer needs and wants, and on how to deliver a product that will meet the expectations of customers.