Early marketing thought was created as a field of applied economics in the United States, in the late 1950s. This essay talks about the past, present and future of Modern Marketing, as a platform for better understanding the increasingly complex distributions systems of Modern Marketing. Firstly, the role economics played in the emergence of modern marketing will be described along with economic status and its effect on how marketing thrived. Secondly, the changes in the marketing management mix will be discussed.
And lastly the essay will highlight why the future of marketing rests on the ability of organisations to “think out of the box” and develop programmes that are innovative, creative, and highly engaging. Firstly, the Second World War plays a part in changing the contextual situation in which modern marketing was forming during the 1950s; this included a rise in innovative technology, a shift to urban living, and the scientific revolution of marketing. The consequence of both the industrial revolution and war during the 1950’s was mass production.
As marketers now understood that value not only came from the availability of supply and production, but also from the desire to consume (Meek, R. , Ryan, A. , and Lenney, P. , 2010 chp1). Therefore creating a need for more academic attention to be paid on not only market distribution, but also to tools that could influence consumption such as, effective advertisement (Meek, R. , Ryan, A. , and Lenney, P, 2010 chp1). Thus, when the war resulted in a rise in technology and a shift to urban living it influenced the field of marketing in how goods and serviced could be advertised and distributed (Magocsi, 1999).
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Through advertisements on the television companies were able to use visual stimulations to persuade viewers into buying their good and/or services. Additionally, the infrastructures of condense cities helped in the distribution of goods (Meek, R. , Ryan, A. , and Lenney, P, 2010 chp1), as modern marketing cantered on brand image and segmentation. In addition, the scientific revolution of modern marketing took place during the 1950s. Ford begun an initiative to instill the scientific theory into business. This ater became popular between marketers. US Business Schools increased their admissions requirement to include scientific qualifications (Meek, R. , Ryan, A. , and Lenney, P, 2010 chp1). Nonetheless, there were some, such as Hutchinson, who disagreed. As a consequence this debate brought out new modern marketing concepts such as uniqueness of organizational positioning, heterogeneous markets, competition based on differential advantage and the marketing mix (Meek, R. , Ryan, A. , and Lenney, P, 2010 chp1).
Furthermore, the ‘post-war’ state in which America was in also played a part in the rise of modern marketing, as there was great need to make up for lost time at war, thus pent-up consumer demand fuelled exceptionally strong economic growth (Eyerman and Lofgren, 1995). This led to an intensified increase in intra-market competition as the amount of firms- both local and foreign- increased (Jackson, 1985; Gummesson, 1987). That expanded to some developed consumer goods markets converting them from growth to mature markets (Hammarkvist et al. 1982). However, in reality, there was fear of the economic system collapsing, particularly during the 1950s as many Americans believed that the end of World War II and the consequent drop in military spending might bring back the hard times of the Great Depression, in addition to the existing economic dilemma in the USA, which revolved on how to make sure the increasing production capacity was met by continued consumption. Therefore, there was need to validate marketing; to ensure that it worked every time.
Brown (1996: 254) refers to this as “the abandonment of its intuitive, seat-of-the pants style wisdom, for a more elevated, professional, progressive and scholarly ethos”. Thereby leading to a demand for marketing education. The shift in philosophical position is expressed in the mix management paradigm – proposed by Borden (1964); where the emphasis in the approach is on profit maximisation, as a result of the micro-economic paradigm on which it is based.
However, Borden’s concept was considered too long and unmanageable, therefore several authors began to develop brief re-presentations of key marketing variables which could easily be remembered and hence applied (Frey 1961; Howard 1957; Lazer and Kelly 1962; McCarthy 1960). Of all the mixes submitted only McCarthy’s 4Ps had survived, therefore becoming the authorised ‘received view’ (Van Waterschoot and Van den Bulte, 1960). Secondly, since the 1950s a number of factors, including rising incomes, declining birth rates, increased education, and a longer life p have changed the landscape dramatically.
Firstly, an increase in incomes means the consumer has more disposable income to spend on goods and services, thus companies have had to think of new ways to attract better informed, more educated consumers. In addition, marketers had to cater to an older generation as consumer’s life p increased. Progressively, most of marketing’s dominant logic has been shifted from the exchange of tangible good toward the exchange of intangibles, specialised skills, knowledge, and processes; which points marketing towards a more integrated view of goods and services also providing a richer foundation for the expansion of marketing thought and practice.
The 1990s were seen as a sea-change in the attitudes of business within the Anglo-American sphere of financial influence. ” (Meek & Lenney, 2012: 13). The aftermath of short-term profit on the share price made marketers defensive, many could argue they still haven’t recovered. Marketers, particularly in Scandinavia, began to recognise that the traditional marketing approach averted marketers away from the original customer-oriented perspective. Subsequently, history advances through the ‘lens of relationship marketing research’.
However, The ‘rise of relationship marketing’ (Saren, 2007: 12) doesn’t mean that ideas haven’t been developed since the first edition in 2001. Furthermore, in a postmodern society, i. e. the modern context that we find ourselves in, there is almost no time for substance, just for image. “The real, for all practical purposes, is, at the level of surface, glossed; everyday experiences its representation”, (Denzin, 1991: 124). Reality has lost its appeal because of how exciting and available images are through advertising everywhere.
It has become all about the ‘brand’ for example, Apple IPhone, although a new phone is released almost every 6 months with slight changes, people are quick to get the newest version in fear of being ‘left behind’. Therefore, an emphasis on form and style is necessitated (Brown 1995c; Firat and Shultz 1997) meaning marketing’s creative side has had to be rediscovered. Lastly, in order to truly satisfy consumers’ needs, marketing must allow the consumer to play an active role in creating the offering itself.
Because there is a difference between what the customer really wants and what the company is offering – i. . the ‘customer sacrifice gap’ (Gilmore and Pine, 1997) – it is being recognised that it may be profitable to customise products products/services to meet the individual needs of consumers. For example, Nike’s range of ‘NikeiD’ shoes, where one can custom-build a perfect shoe from a menu of colour, material and performance options. This shows how a company can be interactive. Finally, the idea that consumption bettered life is not being undermined. Consumption is not always possible so it brings with “inequalities and environmental degradation” (O’Malley, Patterson, 1998).
Thus future marketing must be conscious of its social role and consequences, so as to “encourage sustainability” marketers must “discourage consumption for their sake (O’Malley, Patterson, 1998). In conclusion, the effect of the Second World War in the 1950’s changed the contextual situations that ended up shaping modern marketing. Furthermore, the emergence of the marketing mix as well as the conflict of theory contributed to the change in modern marketing. And finally, in order for marketing to survive future contextual situations it must make an effort to be creative, interactive and, participative.
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