It does not occur to him that he might be able to do better if he were willing to find out what people really wanted and adapt his product to suit their tastes.
Like Mr. Vague, many businessmen get by with this self-centred approach because they do not have much competition. But, in today’s world, competition is bound to increase, and trying to overcome it by merely cutting prices is not a very satisfactory answer and could lead to disaster.
Mr. Vague would be wise to consider how he might change his products to make them more attractive to people in comparison with those of his competitors, so that they might be willing to pay a higher price for them.
Moving into export markets could be the way for Mr. Vague to expand his business and overcome the impact of greater competition at home.
But, he stands a much greater chance of succeeding, if he tries to adapt his product to suit the tastes of the buyers. He certainly should not expect prospective customers to change their tastes to suit his product.
If he has taken the trouble to find out about the tastes of people in Industries – about the kind of shirts that are popular – he might have been able to make some suitable samples to show at the Fair, and perhaps he would have achieved happier results!
We have been speaking about the tastes of customers. But that is only one aspect of market requirements. As we shall see, there are many others. And the businessman, who takes the trouble to find out what those requirements are, and who tries to meet them, stands the greatest chance of success. This is what is meant by the Marketing approach.
Marketing is important even when selling some basic commodity that everyone needs. If you are in a market supplying products which people do not necessarily need or can buy from other sources, then the proper marketing approach became even more important.
Let us consider some typical cases from developing countries to see how this approach applies.