The market-led organisation
The market-led organisation

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The market-led organisation

2.2 Marketing as a job title

The term ‘marketing’ became common in the UK during the 1960s. During that time it was quite common for businesses to rename their sales departments marketing departments. Communications and sales managers became marketing managers. Stephen King called this ‘thrust marketing’ (King, 1985). Although the functional name changed, managers typically still placed an emphasis on selling what the organisation made or the services it offered, cutting costs and manipulating prices, rather than giving their customers what they needed. This type of organisation can be described as production orientated. A common form of production orientation can occur when an organisation becomes too focused on cutting costs to achieve economies of scale and loses sight of what their customers really need, as the following example illustrates.

Example 1 Manufacturing cartons

Tetra Pak, the Swedish carton manufacturer, makes 68 billion cartons a year for worldwide customers like Del Monte and Gerber. The problem was that the cartons were difficult to open, and tended to spill the contents on the floor. Tetra Pak did not invest in innovation to solve the problem because it was trying to control costs tightly in order to maintain its position as a low-cost provider. The result was that it lost its market share to its main rival, Norway's Elo Pack, who produced a carton with a proper spout which better met the customers’ needs.

(based on Brassington and Pettitt, 2000, p. 14)

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