Developing a Customer-Centered Mindset
That one can be a successful marketer only if one has adopted the proper marketing mindset. This means having a clear appreciation
for what marketing comprises and what it can do for the organization. More important, it means developing a philosophy of marketing
that puts the customer at the center of everything one does.
It is not intimidation, coercion, deceptive advertising or hard selling.
It is sound, effective technology for creating exchanges and influencing behaviour that when properly applied, must be socially
beneficent because its major premise is responding to customer needs and wants.
Developing the proper mindset so that it will become second nature in our day to day marketing practices.
Marketing Management is the process of planning and executing programs designed to influence the behaviour of target audiences by
creating and maintaining beneficial exchanges for the purposes of satisfying individual and organizational objectives.
A product mindset toward marketing holds that success will come to those organizations that bring to market goods and services they
are convinced will be good for the public.
A sales mindset toward marketing holds that success will come to those organizations that best persuade customers to accept offerings
rather than competitors’ or rather than no offering at all.
A customer mindset toward marketing holds that success will come to those organizations that best determines the perceptions, needs,
and wants of target markets, and continually satisfies them through the design, communication, pricing, and delivery of appropriate
and competitively viable offerings.
A customer-centered organization is one that makes every effort to sense, serve, and satisfy the needs and wants of its clients and
publics within the constraints of its budget.
Detecting an organization’s orientation:
Some clues to assess that are:
1. The offer is seen as inherently desirable
- The very nature of the offerings promoted in the nonprofit sector often leads their sponsors to have an
extremely high opinion of the value of their offerings. They simply see the behavior they are promoting as
inherently desirable. They find it hard to believe that anyone would turn them down!
2. Lack of organizational success is attributed to customer ignorance, absence of motivation or both
- If someone does not respond to their marketing efforts, either potential customers do not truly understand the
offering, or they are not motivated enough to take action.
3. A minor role is afforded customer research
- Many non-profit managers think that research is too expensive, or it is needed only for major decisions. Also
that is will only tell them what they already know.
4. Marketing is defined as primarily promotion
- As in there view that eliminating ignorance and increasing motivation is the challenge then it is inevitable that
the tool one will focus on is better communication. i.e image, posters, copywriting, brochure redesign, better
salespeople, ads, press releases. Therefore, other elements of the marketing mix; pricing, distribution, offer
redesign etc are “not really the problem”.
5. One ‘ best marketing strategy is typically employed in approaching the market
- Since the nonprofit administrator is not often in as close touch with the market as a customer-oriented
marketer would be, they may view the market as monolithic or at least as having only a few crudely defined
market segments. As a result, they would tend to see the need for only one or two marketing strategies aimed at
the most obvious market segment. This climate precludes the experimentation either with alternative strategies
or with variations across a number of subtle subsegments.
6. Generic competition tends to be ignored
- In the nonprofit sector, while many organizations do, in fact, compete i.e. heart fund with the cancer society,
many institutions do not have clear competitors because their services or so-called products are intangible or
stress unique behaviour changes. So those marketing blood donations or forest-fire prevention are not
immediately apparent. But undoubtedly compete with other charities for donors or greater – the status quo!
Group discussion on the characteristics of a Customer-Centered Organization. What would be the characteristics of a sophisticated
Marketing is a means to achieve the organizations goal. It is a process (a set of tools), this is under the control of top management who
decides which goals marketing can help achieve.
The starting point for an effective marketing strategy is the proper marketing mindset.
Several clues can be used to identify nonprofits that are still mired in an organization-centered perspective.
Customer-centered strategies begin with the customer and their needs and wants. They rely on research findings, that their markets
ought to be segmented, adopt a customers’ perspective, competition comes from widely diverse sources not just from similar products
and services. Finally, they use all elements of the marketing mix (design of offering, cost reduction, distribution and promotion), not