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14 Jan

Marketing Strategy : Customer Orientation Vs Competitor Orientation

Competition is the usual behavior that occurs between two or more parties, in business, competition is the way that such company provides better value to its products so that it became more popular than other companies. Customers usually choosing best products in the market, in regard to customer satisfaction, “the business unit should set up a marketing intelligence system to track trends and important developments and any related opportunities and threats” Philip Kotler and Keller (2008, p.50) so that each business require a proper marketing concept to consider all factors that affects the profitability, thus, marketing orientation is the way for aligning different approaches according to external environment (Richard A. Heiens, 2000, p.1).

Correct marketing concept is one of concepts that considering both customers and competitors, “it holds that the key to achieving organizational goals is being more effective than competitors” Kotler and Keller (2008, p.19) so that competitor orientation can be seen as one key points in parallel with customer orientation that leads the company to success in its business and high performance, thus, from that perspective, providing a good product that satisfying customer is not the whole win factor, because another provider might apply competitive advantage strategy to win the business.

Requirements for both orientations

Maintaining balance between customer and competitor orientations is the way that the company considers both orientations according to their affects on the company’s status in terms of performance for earning more profit for both short and long terms, the term balance might not mean equally applying both orientations, it will be more focus on one and less focus on other, for example: competitor orientation is more effective in developed market, and when the industry is good and resources are available; customer orientation is more affective (Kevin Zheng Zhou et al, 2007, p.316) the same case also stated by Richard A. Heiens (2000, p. 3) as described that customer focus is better for growing markets while competitor focus is better for stable markets.

In conclusion, managers should consider both orientations because each of them affects the company’s performance so that the firm can get advantages from both orientations (Homburg, C and et al, 2007, p. 14) so that maintaining balance between both orientations is challenge that manager can develop effective marketing plan in different cases by incorporating affects of both concepts into marketing plan and business strategy.


  • Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller (2008) 'Marketing Management', 13th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN-10: 0136009980
  • Homburg, C, Grozdanovic, M, & Klarmann, M 2007, 'Responsiveness to Customers and Competitors:The Role of Affective and Cognitive Organizational Systems', Journal Of Marketing, 71, 3, pp. 18-38, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 November 2011.
  • Zhou, K, Brown, J, Dev, C, & Agarwal, S 2007, 'The Effects of Customer and Competitor Orientations on Performance in Global Markets: A Contingency Analysis', Journal Of International Business Studies, 38, 2, pp. 303-319, JSTOR Arts & Sciences IV, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 November 2011.
  • Richard A. Heiens (2000) Market Orientation: Toward an Integrated Framework [Online]. Available From: (Accessed:19 November 2011)

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