How can consumer behavior research help Internet marketers increase their chances of success? Marketers have long argued that the marketing concept is the appropriate philosophy for conducting business. Simply stated, the marketing concept suggests an organization should satisfy consumer needs and wants to make profits. To implement the marketing concept, organizations must understand their customers and stay close to them to provide products and services that consumers will purchase and use appropriately.
For many years, the marketing concept was not fully understood or implemented properly by U.S. firms. Often, even firms that accepted the marketing concept in principle did not recognize that the marketing concept required the organization to change its existing practices dramatically. In general, these firms viewed implementing the marketing concept as a marketing task rather than something in which the entire organization had to be involved. Although these companies conducted marketing and consumer research, this research was seldom used as the basis for designing not just the marketing strategy but also the entire organizational strategy.
Today many of the most successful companies in the world have become so by designing the entire organization to serve consumers and stay close to them. These companies are committed to developing quality products and services and selling them at a price that gives consumers high value. In these companies, the marketing department, as well as design, engineering, production, human resources, finance, and other departments, focus on doing their jobs in ways that enhance the value of products to consumers. Some firms have found they can actually increase product quality and reduce costs at the same time, and they encourage employees throughout the company to seek ways to do so. Other firms first determine what consumers want and how much they are willing to pay for a product and then design, produce, and market the best-quality product they can for the price consumers are willing to pay.
Companies are making changes to serve consumers better for three major reasons.
First, the dramatic success of Japanese companies, such as