The question that will be focused on in this paper is whether the main functions of the University involve the full implementation of the marketing concept and by definition focus on consumer satisfaction as the overriding goal. This is reflected in the marketing mix of product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. (Booms & Bitner, 1981). This paper will endeavour to asses the current level of customer focus and the implications of those findings.
The Marketing Concept
What do we mean by customer focus or customer centrality within an organisation and what are the benefits of such an approach. The marketing concept proposes that companies achieve their profit and other objectives by satisfying (even delighting) customers (Day, 1984). The marketing concept places the customer as the central figure and has a long and distinguished lineage, widely acknowledged as the cornerstone of the marketing discipline (Kotler & Levy, 1969).
The value placed upon the marketing concept stems from its perceived ability to define the benchmarks against which marketing can be judged, measuring this by market share and profitability. To apply the marketing concept in practice we see high-performance organisations do well under this criteria and low-performance organisations scoreing poorly against the marketing concept criteria (Brownlie & Saren, 1992).
To apply the concept three conditions should be met.
1) Company activity should be focused upon providing customer satisfaction rather than, for example product convenience. For a large organisations such as the University the range of 'potential' customer needs is so large that the choice of what to provide strongly limits development direction (Brownlie & Saren, 1992). By definition, such choices must be made on the basis of several criteria other than the consumer e.g. expertise, resources, qualified staff, strategic objectives, existing experiences and related sources of income generation. In...