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Concepts of Marketing

Provided by IFC, adapted from Business Edge® workbook, “Introduction to Marketing Concepts"

Each company may have a different viewpoint on how to reach its market. One company may believe that if they produce on a large scale and keep the cost low, they can easily sell more products. Another company may think that it will be easier to sell more products if they improve its quality and make it more attractive to customers.

Marketing activities around the world are guided by certain philosophies that determine how companies market their goods to customers. These are called Marketing Concepts. Over time, five concepts have emerged to fit the market demand at a given period. As markets and human needs evolved, so have the concepts of marketing. 

Which of the below concepts a company should adapt depends on a number of factors like nature of the business, type of the product and the geography where the business operates. Examine each of the concepts below to determine where your business stands in relation to the concepts of marketing.  

The Production Concept

The Product Concept

The Selling Concept

The Marketing Concept (The Customer Approach)

The Hollistic Marketing Concept


The Selling, Product and Production Concepts focus on existing products and building sales volume as the source of profits. This may get short-term sales, but there is little concern here about who the customer is and what his/her preferences or reasons for buying might be.

On the other hand, the Marketing Concept focuses on identifying and satisfying customer needs as the source of profits. The Holistic Marketing Concept has an all-inclusive approach to marketing, suggesting that goods or services that guarantee success are a product of interrelated marketing activities.

Marketers operate consistent with one of the above concepts depending on the type of product they offer and/or their geographic location. However, the Holistic Marketing Concept is increasingly becoming the go-to approach for marketers around the world.

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