The Holistic Marketing Philosophy (2000-now):
The holistic marketing concept suggests that the 21st century businesses need a new set of belief and practice toward business operation that is more complete and cohesive than the traditional application of the marketing concept. The holistic marketing recognizes that “everything matter” in marketing. Holistic marketing is based on the assumption that the approach to marketing should be the adoption of all activities of marketing. Thus, holistic marketing includes internal marketing, performance marketing, integrated marketing and relationship marketing. Holistic marketing concept seems to be an embodiment of marketing practice rather than a concept or philosophy of business.
Moving from the production and product to the selling, through to the marketing era, to the societal marketing era; and to the holistic marketing era, businesses are thought a great lesson of where marketing was, where it has gotten to and where it is heading towards as customer become more complex and the business environment become more turbulent.
The evolution helps appreciate that changes in customer characteristics and preferences, over time, is inevitable, and that companies must be aware and operate their businesses in harmony with the changing needs of the market. Although any given business can operate under any of the philosophies, the underlying precept of the development of the marketing concept is that these philosophies form a hierarchy, with later philosophies being considered superior to those of earlier ones as the formation of the market change. Thus, organisation’s movement from earlier philosophy to latter ones constitutes improvement in business practices to meet the market needs of a particular time period with specific type of customers. Also such movement may mean abolition of some earlier philosophies.
Though the different philosophies of marketing might be practiced today by one company or the other, the dominant philosophy in contemporary business is the marketing philosophy. The societal marketing philosophy and the marketing philosophy overlap; and are substantiated by the holistic marketing philosophy. The societal marketing concept suggests that marketing discussions should go beyond just ‘economic transaction’. The holistic marketing orientation just emphasis on some specific practices that enhances the market oriented behaviour of a firm. The different philosophies of marketing cannot be described in isolation. They should be discussed with the business objective and marketing conditions and practices at the time in mind. Though businesses have varying objectives, the most common is to create and retain profitable customers.
The marketing concept has had wider acceptance since its emergence as a business philosophy in the 1950s. It is basically the belief that company’s attention be shifted from problem of production to problem of marketing, from the product that the firm can make to the product the customers wants the firm to make, from company itself to the market place. The emphasis is to make the customer decides what his needs are and not the company doing so on the consumer’s behalf. The concept assumes that “goods are being made to satisfy rather than to sell”. The marketing concept seems more superior to the other concepts, though not at the apex of the hierarchy because it emerged much earlier than other business philosophies. Almost all the concepts have aspects that highlight the marketing philosophy.
For instance, efficient and quality production in the production and product philosophies highlight the importance of the customer in product decision. Also customer persuasion, a function of the selling orientation involves customer intimacy and relationship management, which is also a factor in the marketing concept.