Which Marketing Philosophy Is Dominant Today? | W3 Lab

Which Marketing Philosophy Is Dominant Today?

We hear the terms marketing concept and marketing philosophy all the time, but they’re rarely explained, and even more rarely spoken about in detail.

Since marketing is the process of creating, communicating and delivering products to customers with the aim of satisfying their needs, the purpose of a marketing philosophy is to identify and fulfill those needs, as well as wants and demands.

This makes the concept of marketing philosophy extremely important, even crucial, to the success of marketing.

Depending on the business and a wide set of circumstances, there are 5 marketing philosophies (or concepts) that businesses can apply when marketing their products:

  1. The production concept
  2. The product concept
  3. The selling concept
  4. The marketing concept
  5. The societal marketing concept

Some of them work better than others depending on the type of business, so let’s see what each of them entails.

marketing concepts - marketing philosophy
Marketing is ever-changing | Source

1. The production concept

As the name suggests, this marketing philosophy is all about production.

This means that the businesses that utilize it create inexpensive and widely available products, which is something their customers want.

A good example is Henry Ford and his famous cars.

Before him, cars were extremely expensive because they weren’t mass-produced.

In fact, they were made by hand and would take ages to build. Ford realized that everyone needed cars, not only the wealthy, and decided to make them widely available.  

Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t invent this concept, and both mass production and assembly lines were used before him. In fact, one of his engineers, named William ‘Pa’ Klann, introduced the idea to Ford after visiting a slaughterhouse in Chicago and getting inspired by their so-called ‘disassembly line’.

production marketing concept - henry ford assembly line
The Ford assembly line in 1913 | Source

Additionally, China was the first to utilize mass production to make metal parts for tools, armor, and weapons, and then the concept got to Europe and created the Industrial Revolution.

Furthermore, during the early 12th century, Venice started making ships using something similar to the production line in the shipyard called the Venetian Arsenal.

However, Ford and his Model T remain a good example of the marketing philosophy of production and business knowing what their customers need and making it available to them by mass producing it and making it widely available. In 1908, the price of the Model T was around $825, and in 1912 it was around $575.

How affordable is that?

production marketing concept
The Model T in 1910 | Source

Today, this marketing philosophy isn’t as used as it was in the previous century.

Today’s brands are more focused on other marketing concepts, which there will be a word about in the following paragraphs.

2. The product marketing concept

Unlike the production marketing philosophy which is focused on mass-producing inexpensive products, this concept favors high-quality products and holds the belief that the consumers won’t mind the high price because of the quality.

The businesses that utilize this marketing philosophy assume that the customers prefer products that are of greater quality, so they spend a lot of time working on their products, improving them and coming up with new features.

They’re fully focused on their products, paying less attention to the customer needs and markets, which can sometimes lead to bad product sales.

A great example of the product marketing philosophy is Apple.

They’ve been working on their models for years and coming up with new features, which convince their customers to stay.

Their products are expensive, but you don’t get just any kind of product: you get the most cutting-edge technology.

apple and product marketing philosophy - product marketing concept
Apple products | Source

3. The selling concept

While the production and product concepts are all about production, this marketing philosophy is focused on the promotion of products because it believes that the customers won’t buy the products if they’re not being advertised to them.

The businesses that utilize this marketing philosophy believe that they can sell any product with the use of advertising. What lead to the emergence of this concept was the very Industrial Revolution. During it, there was a lot demand, which leads to a lot of competition between businesses.

They became more efficient in production, which then led to overproduction and a surplus of products. Companies needed to sell the extra stock somehow, hence the emergence of the selling marketing philosophy.

selling marketing philosophy - selling marketing concept
Unsold products most often end up being put on sale and then promoted.

They started creating entire selling departments that had the aim of coaxing customers into buying as many products as they could.

Nowadays, this marketing philosophy is still used a lot, and for a similar reason, which is dead stock.

Dead stock presents products that a company is not able to sell and that has to be stored, which costs the company money. The way they get rid of it is by using the selling marketing philosophy, putting it on sale and encouraging people to buy it.

4. Marketing concept

This concept is all about learning as much as you can about your customers, and only then creating a product that you know they need.

Out of all the marketing philosophies, this one is probably used the most in marketing nowadays.

This is probably because it is hard to sell anything nowadays without knowing your target audience really well and appealing to them. Hence why this marketing philosophy places a lot of importance on the customer and their wants and needs.

marketing concept
Knowing your audience is crucial if you want your business to succeed | Source

Unlike the selling marketing concept, which doesn’t care about the needs of the customer and the market, the marketing concept is all about that.

Related: What is holistic marketing concept!

Arch Wilkinson Shaw, a famous American entrepreneur, said that the goal of this marketing philosophy is to satisfy needs rather than to sell goods.

By being the first to come up with a product can give the company a huge head start and enable them to establish themselves as the giant in that market.

But this is not enough; they also need to constantly work on their products and to keep learning about the ever-changing needs of their customers if they don’t want their competitors to beat them.

5. The societal marketing concept

This marketing philosophy is all about knowing your customers’ needs, while also caring about the well-being of the society and the environment.

It sees businesses as parts of society and promotes their participation in the solving of important issues, like pollution, world hunger, and illiteracy.

With all the pollution issues that we’ve had in the past few months and climate change being in full swing, it is important that businesses show that they care about these issues, because if they seem like they don’t care, they might lose a lot of customers.

Therefore, many businesses today donate and participate in all sorts of charities, as well as promote them.

body shop marketing concept - marketing philosophy body shop
The Body Shop promotes cruelty free cosmetics and advocates for the ban of animal testing

Throughout the years, we’ve seen an emergence of companies that market their products as vegan and cruelty-free, as well as more and more businesses addressing the importance of recycling and lowering the use of plastic.


There are 5 philosophies or concepts in marketing: the production concept, the product concept, the selling concept, the marketing concept, and the societal marketing concept. Each with its characteristics and uses.

The production concept is all about the mass production of products with the goal of making them inexpensive and available to the consumers, while the product philosophy focuses on the quality of the products.

The selling concept deals with the selling of dead stock, which presents the products the company didn’t succeed in selling.

The marketing concept places the focus on the customer and their needs and wants, while the societal marketing concept does the same while speaking up about important issues, like pollution and animal testing.

As mentioned, they’re all used for different purposes and by different businesses: the production philosophy is used when companies try to expand, the product concept has found its use in the technology market, the selling philosophy is used when there’s a lot of unsold products, and the marketing and societal marketing concepts are used most frequently, by all sorts of businesses and brands.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about these 5 concepts and thank you for reading!

Marija Milosavljević
Marija Milosavljević

Graduated as first in her class. Incredibly quiet and shy until the lag in Warframe turns her into a raging death-bunny.

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