Marketing orientation: what it is and how to use in your business

Marketing orientation: one of the most typified searches on the web that has undergone various transformations mainly because of the changes associated with the economic transformations of history. The very first kind of orientation was, inevitably, related to production; here we are in the midst of the first industrial revolution and this current of thought will continue until the 1929 crisis when it is clear that it was necessary to change course, that is, to now focus on selling.

The trade orientation was a transitional phase in which it was agreed that it was necessary to defend its market share and turnover and, precisely during this phase, we started to use certain marketing tools such as advertising, distribution, and the sales network which will then lead to a further change of approach at the end of the 90s: the marketing orientation.

I spoke about this brief introduction on purpose to explain the historical and economic evolution from the 19th century to the present day and to explain what you will find in this article which aims to illustrate how orientation to online marketing and marketing can improve the performance of businesses and entrepreneurial activities. Innovation business strategies are the clear words of changing marketing orientation.

In this article I’m going to show you:

  • the meaning of ”marketing orientation”
  • how to guide you to choose a more marketing or market product
  • what should a business that is oriented toward online marketing do?
  • some real case histories and strategic guidance

What is meant by marketing orientation?

Marketing orientation means that production is designed to meet a need of our potential customer or something our consumer wants. Just the technical meaning makes us understand how the“customer” is at the centre of all business strategies. The customer, as one can easily understand, is always at the centre of each decision, and project because, without client preferences and needs, we would go back to a production-based business, an activity that can no longer be replicated today.

Philip Kotler has orientated the company from the product towards the market by shifting the traditional focus of the commercialization process, he is considered ”the world’s most prominent expert in marketing strategies” and in 2004 he defined marketing in the following terms:

Marketing is the social and management process through which individuals or groups obtain what they need or want through the creation, supply, and free exchange of valuable goods and services.”

Philip Kotler, 2004

A businessman is called upon to implement all the strategies aimed at understanding, anticipating, or arousing the need for a particular product or service among the potential consumer. The need is supposed to have a global meaning that must of course taken into consideration:

  • the worldwide economy and its ongoing globalization;
  • new technologies, innovation, and the driving force behind online markets;
  • all the actors who make up the market;
  • emerging new tendencies (market forecasts).

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Product or market marketing orientation?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, history has gone through different phases depending on the historical-economic moment in which it was. The definition of product marketing indicates that it is the set of all those activities that are implemented to achieve the success of the product. Of course, upstream, you need an in-depth understanding of markets, potential customers, and their most hidden needs. This type of commercialization is positioned at the end of the “funnel” chain; at this stage, the most widely used tools relate, for example, persuasive communication or through the lead generation (in this case we refer to “lead generation” tools). The “listening” phase of this type of marketing is fundamentally important; the product should be tested, proven, and subject to all possible objections.

To carry out the “product marketing“ work better, it is mandatory for the team to:

  • analyze and carefully target the reference market and the consumers involved;
  • carefully review the positioning and then the product communication plan;
  • know your competitiounderNo and their strategies.

You will easily understand that for product marketing, it is essential to create a bond with potential customers, an experience like a subtle “fil rouge” that conveys a sense of improvement to the client when they try the product.

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Moving on to the market marketing orientation; this typology foresees that we start directly from the needs and requirements of consumers. The tastes and preferences of customers must be sought extremely quickly as needs often change rapidly and through the implementation of such a strategy, time is the key to success. Demand, in this type of market marketing orientation, has to be stimulated by a series of actions.

The benefits are manifold when implementing a market-oriented strategy:

  • 360° consumer analysis, enables us to anticipate new future trends based on consumer behaviour.
  • through in-depth analysis of trends, businesses, and the economy in general, it is also possible to forecast consumer behaviour also based on choices made in the financial sphere;
  • By getting to know the customer in-depth, important information and ideas are gathered and learned about how to best keep them.

Even in this kind of approach, the marketing “guru” Philip Kotler has been a great driving force; he was the one to change the direction of the marketing process by moving it from the outside to the inside and emphasizing the importance of listening to the needs of customers and everything that touches the markets.

The choice of marketing orientation to be implemented is certainly complex, the variables are numerous, and one of the main ones is undoubtedly linked to speed, an example of a market-oriented company is certainly Amazon which, for example with its company Amazon Prime has eliminated shipping expenses to customers by retaining them.

In other words, instead of doing research on products (for example, niche products, Made in Italy, etc.), there are businesses geared towards product marketing and therefore implement a whole range of testing so that the consumer wants the product the company is designing.

How does an online marketing-oriented company behave?

After telling you about the different evolutions from history to the present day, I want to talk to you about “online marketing” or “web or digital marketing”. Words that have been used consistently in recent years as “digital” has taken over. We can define online marketing as a set of tools and techniques that are used to promote and present products to the consumer.

Today’s businesses can’t get away from the online world and there is certainly a need to have organizations, digital professionals, and people trained in these areas. Online improvisation is certainly not an option. One of the benefits that online marketing offers is that it caters to a certain market segment, which perceives the need to buy a certain product or service.

 importance of marketing orientation online

But now let’s take a look at the behaviours that businesses looking to the online world need to implement.

Marketing orientation strategies necessarily require extensive research and analysis of the target audience; these are the buyer personas or the “typical consumers”. This is a very important phase, the information gathered must match reality including customers, prospective customers, and people in the target audience but not yet customers.

Research can be conducted in various ways: by analyzing quantitative data or those concerning specific information (age, income, education, geographical region, etc.) or by analyzing qualitative data; perhaps the most difficult to interpret because they involve hobbies, interests and we recognize that they change quickly. Buyer personas must be a starting point in creating the typical profile, they represent the company’s guidelines, a sort of compass that must always be followed.

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Develop goals and all the tools to achieve them

While this may seem obvious, it’s not! Defining your marketing goals is a priority to keep the company going. The objectives can be different, such as increasing sales or positioning yourself in a different market segment, but they have to be measurable, no matter what. Measuring marketing objectives is an essential key because it allows you to correct and modify strategies so that the objectives are achieved. A well-built and comprehensive marketing plan must follow several stages with precision and punctuality:

  • Clear and defined goals: what is our goal?
  • Data monitoring and analysis: definition of how we will assess and measure the results achieved.
  • Client analysis and segmentation: what is our benchmark, and who are the right buyer personas?
  • Positioning the company and defining the services we will add to communicate and convince our audience.
  • Channels we will use to connect with our target audience (including social media).
  • Budget for the campaigns we will be using.
  • Implement marketing plan and related campaigns.

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Analyze channels for use and schedule

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is important to implement a range of measures that allow us to meet our objectives. As an aside, I would like to talk about the channels to be used and their planning. In today’s rapidly changing world, we need to pay particular attention to the channels we will use because each of them has different impacts on the web.

Enterprises and digital professionals have a variety of channels available, firstly it is important to differentiate between external and proprietary channels in marketing-oriented companies; within the first, we find worldwide social networks, newsletters, and email marketing whereas in the latter we have the website, blogs, and e-commerce.

Finally, we find every paid channel where we find Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Linkedin Ads with which, by setting a budget for each campaign, we can do analysis and increase the audience by segmenting it according to the part of the market we want to conquer.

These channels must be seen as different worlds but, yet interacting and supporting each other, with proprietary channels we can convey to our customers all the essence of our business at a time when the end user is particularly interested, with external channels we believe we are in a large market in which we interact with the opinions of many users where the goal is to hit, excite and intrigue the audience.

By analyzing all these aspects, you can understand how crucial it is for companies that deal with online marketing to cure all these aspects concerning image, and communication.

Case History: companies oriented to online marketing


How can we not mention one of the largest companies highly focused on online marketing orientation: Amazon which has been able to innovate, diversify and become a point of reference for all users at an international level?

This company has always thought out of the box, creating and fulfilling all the wishes of its users, also thanks to customer service and a speed of shipments that has always improved over the years. Amazon, as I mentioned previously, carries out marketing strictly related to the product, meticulously and constantly looking for all the “desires” of users. Let’s talk about a site that has climbed the rankings and received an average of million visitors.

The list of companies doing their work online, and I want to give you two more examples in two different areas.


A fashion e-commerce store that has 4,500 brands to its credit and that continues to focus on innovation so much as to launch Zalando Wardrobe or allow its customers to try the products first and then pay later. An idea that immediately triggered the Amazon giants who are ready to take the plunge and launch Wardrobe, very similar to that of Zalando but better in the sense that the clothes can be kept for 7 days and paid for at the end when the user decides to either buy them and then pay for them online, or to return them to the store.


This is another exciting company with an emphasis on online marketing. It’s a widely used platform for those looking for travel, hotels, and experiences. However, why is it used by so many users? Because we have the opportunity to explore, to compare various types of accommodation without necessarily having to do precise research on each structure.

how does a marketing oriented enterprise behave

Digital and society itself have allowed us to get everything we want in a very short time; we live in a frenetic society where in order not to lose market share there is a need to innovate, understand trends, and anticipate them.

To be oriented toward online marketing, it is essential for all companies, many of them start right online to get to retain customers offline.

Remember, however, that training is essential for professional development and should be considered “ongoing”. I would suggest that you take a look at the certifications on new digital professions where, for example, you can find a variety of courses that can be “adapted” to your needs by combining them with Work Experiences that will immediately challenge you.

Conclusions and Strategic Coaching

In conclusion, I hope I’ve been able to give you some useful ideas to think about how to direct your business to online marketing. All actions you take must be the result of careful analysis and flexible planning that can detect changes in market trends. To reach that goal more quickly and improve your performance, you must rely on an expert Coach to help you define and implement your projects.

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