Look how far we’ve come! 27 years of JMM Conference Special Issues

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2017 marks the 50th event since the first Teachers of Marketing Conference was held in Harrogate (1966), and a virtual special issue of the Journal of Marketing Management is intended to mark this very significant anniversary.

The annual conference has been a valuable venue for members of the Academy to meet, debate issues and present early versions of their work. My own first conference was at the University of Loughborough in 1993 where I found myself in the unenviable position of being the warm up for the inimitable Stephen Brown in a Retail Marketing track! While much of this work has subsequently appeared in the Journal of Marketing Management and other scholarly publications, the conference special issue has been an important celebration of the best papers presented every year.

The first special issue appeared in 1990 following the conference at Oxford Polytechnic and there has been one each year since. In the early days papers were chosen to appear in the Special Issue before the conference was held and the hard copy of the journal was available in delegates’ conference packs. In a sense this was a Special Issue for the conference rather than one of the conference! More recently, papers have been shortlisted following the annual conference with the special issue being published in the following year to allow for a second and more robust reviewing process in line with the requirements of the Journal of Marketing Management. In all cases, the special issue is edited by the conference organisers and intended to reflect the conference theme and/or the best papers within particular tracks. In total, then, we have 26 conference special issues involving 222 papers. Choosing the papers to appear in this issue to celebrate the 50th Anniversary has been a challenging task and undoubtedly my selection will be different to the ones that someone else might choose. In putting this issue together I am mindful that the Academy of Marketing Annual Conference promotes an ethos of diversity and inclusivity, that each year the full gamut of research areas and agendas are represented at the conference and that methodological pluralism is celebrated. It is my hope that the 13 papers I have selected do justice to representing the academic contributions at the conference over this period.

In putting together this special issue I reviewed the conference themes over the last fifty years to get a sense of the kind(s) of things that have preoccupied members of the Academy. The overarching category that dominates is concerned with appraising our achievements and charting our future direction(s). This is captured in themes including: New Directions (1979); Future Imperfect (1981); Past, Present and Future (1989); Recent Developments (1990); Preparing for the New Millennium (1991); Emerging Issues (1993); A Vision for the Next 25 Years (1996); Evolution and Innovation for the Next Generation (1999); A Marketing Odyssey (2001); Signs for the Future (2002); History of the Next Decade (2003); and Looking Back, Going Forward (2017). These suggest that, as an Academy, we are concerned about whether the foundational theories and concepts that we employ remain useful for contemporary and future marketing endeavours.

This idea of the utility or relevance of our theories and concepts dovetails very nicely with the second most overarching category which broadly deals with issues concerning the real or imagined disjuncture between the theories deployed by members of the Academy in research and teaching and the very real challenges of marketing in practice. These conference themes include: Developments in Marketing – Theory, Practice and Teaching (1977); Marketing Theory and Practice (1978); Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice (1995); Adding Value Through Marketing (1998); Bridging the Divide (2000); Marketing Excellence (2006); Marketing Theory Into Practice (2007) and Marketing Relevance (2013). The third category considers the wider role of Marketing and of the Academy in society. Here themes include: Marketing – Unity in Diversity (1994); Virtue in Marketing (2004); Building Business, Shaping Society (2005); Reflective Marketing in a Material World (2008); Transformational Marketing (2010); The Magic in Marketing (2015) and Radical Marketing (2016). All allude to exploring a higher purpose or agenda for marketing and/or our Academy beyond that of managerial relevance. The fourth dominant category (although one I have constructed retrospectively) relates to places and spaces whether real or imagined. These include: Marketing as a Non-American Activity (1974); Marketing in the New Europe and Beyond (1991); Marketing Without Borders (1997); Putting Marketing in its Place (2009); Marketing Fields Forever (2011) and Marketing Dimensions: People, Places & Spaces (2014). These deal with the utility of adopting theories developed in US context, the challenges of new markets, and marketing dimensions of people, places and spaces. What is common in the fifth and final category is that the conference theme was very focused on a particular topic. The majority of these conferences took place during the 1980s and include Buyer Behaviour (1976); The 4Ps Revisited (1983); Marketing Education (1984); Managing Marketing (1986); Effective Research and Good Practice in Marketing (1987); and, more recently, Catching the Technology Wave (2012).

Given the significant themes addressed by the Academy to date one might expect to find a clear trajectory of the past, present and future of marketing within the pages of these 26 conference special issues. However, the reality is that while these themes were intended to speak to contemporaneous debates and important issues in the Academy they were also designed to attract conference delegates. Indeed, it remains an important ethos of the Academy that its annual conference encourages inclusivity and represents a venue for those interested in research and teaching to meet, to engage with new ideas and to present their own work. Thus, within these pages there are many issues and challenges raised, by authors who wish to test theory and those who strive to carve out new theories, captured in a plethora conceptual and empirical works. In choosing the papers to include in this special issue I have been mindful of representing this diversity while simultaneously reflecting significant issues, many of which remain pressing today.

The first paper in the special issue is one that introduced what at the time was a radical new idea but which has ultimately shaped an important agenda in marketing and beyond. The paper ‘Green Consumerism and the Societal Marketing Concept: Marketing Strategies for the 1990s’ (Prothero, 1990) argued that marketing needs to adopt a long-term perspective rather than “the short-term window dressing approach taken by many marketing departments” (Prothero, 1990, p.87). It revisited and critiqued the marketing concept as foundational to marketing and argued for the adoption of a societal marketing concept. The paper highlighted that the destruction of the environment was perhaps the biggest challenge facing marketers in the 1990s, a challenge that few marketers and even fewer academics took on board at the time. The paper laid out a business case for engaging with the environment by arguing that consumer demand for greener products existed. As such, the paper not only introduced what has subsequently become a critical issue in marketing but demonstrates how a radical idea (that marketing should be concerned with environmental issues) can be introduced to the Academy through our annual conference.

The second paper in this special issue ‘Close to the Customer: but is it Really a Relationship?’ is a personal favourite. At a time when Relationship Marketing ideas were being adopted very un-reflexively, Barnes (1994) introduced a cautious note – that the concept of a buyer-seller relationship was in danger of degenerating into ‘buzzword’ status. Drawing on the social psychology literature and insights from consumer research Barnes critiques the emerging literature, highlights practical and theoretical challenges and charts a useful agenda for future research. This paper very much stands the test of time and those interested in relationship marketing, service-dominant logic, service logic, customer engagement and so on would do well to revisit this important work.

‘Internal Marketing: Concepts, Measurement and Application’ considers whether Internal Marketing “was necessary, merely nice, irrelevant or indeed illegitimate” (Foreman & Money, 1995, p.755). The paper critiques the extant literature and develops an interesting typology based upon who applies internal marketing and who is its focus. Using items generated through group discussions and existing checklists (Berry, et al., 1991) the authors distinguish between different components of IM, namely vision, reward and development. This paper raises important issues that remain unanswered today including whether there is a role for IM within organisations and whether IM is simply synonymous with good HR. If IM is useful, then the authors direct future researchers towards the service marketing literature.

‘Measures of Marketing Success’ by Ambler and Kokkinaki (1997) considers another issue that remains at the forefront of marketing today. The paper challenges whether performance measures used as dependent variables in published research, while acceptable for academic purposes, actually measure marketing success in ways that are meaningful to the marketing organisations on which the studies are based. In addressing this question the authors review six leading marketing journals and the Strategic Management Journal. They conclude that their “findings do not provide comfort as to the reliability of performance evaluation research” particularly when “a firm’s activities and resources are directed to a different goal to that selected by the researcher” and thus, “the findings may be misleading” (Ambler & Kokkinaki, 1997, p.674). This paper is therefore essential reading for those interested in ensuring that marketing academics are reflecting marketing practices in authentic ways as well as those intending to render their own work relevant for enhancing practice.

‘Sex ‘n’ Shopping: A “Novel” Approach to Consumer Research’ (Brown, 1995) is a celebration of the postmodern turn in consumer research. Based on the premise that marketing can learn a lot from art and literature, and in particular the view that “creative authors and artists are endowed with an unrivalled understanding of the human condition (moreso, certainly than the ‘typical’ marketing researcher, armed with a battery of blunt survey instruments” (Brown, 1995, p.769), Brown turns to popular literature, what he calls the ‘sex ‘n’ shopping novels. The paper subjects Judith Krantz’ novels Scruples (1978) and Scruples Two (1992) to a content analysis to explore how consumption (and, in particular brands) are represented and celebrated within their pages. The paper highlights the potential of literary analysis in appreciating consumption in a postmodern world. Such insights remain underplayed in positivistic approaches to marketing scholarship and are thus deserving of further research.

Maclaran and Catterall’s (2000) paper ‘Bridging the Knowledge Divide: Issues on the Feminisation of Marketing Practice’ argues that the failure to consider the politics of being a marketing practitioner is implicated in the growing divide between theory and practice. The paper highlights the influx of women into the marketing profession, particularly in marketing roles associated with a strong customer interface. Importantly, while the role of women as consumers is largely taken for granted in the discipline “this has not been matched by a similar emphasis on females in marketing professions” (Maclaran & Catterall, 2000, p.636). The paper addresses two important and related issues: the feminisation of the marketing workplace and the feminisation of marketing discourse. Highlighting that there are few answers to the questions raised, the paper calls for more research on the ‘private’ concerns and lives of those who do marketing work (male and female) in order to generate compelling insights into the realities of marketing practice.

‘Interpreting the Past, Writing the Future’ is concerned with making sense of epistemological conundrums, in particular those that must be negotiated by interpretive consumer researchers (ICR). Shankar and Patterson (2001) (re)present the development of ICR as a mythical journey. The paper goes far beyond outlining the ontological, axiological and epistemological positions of interpretive researchers vis a vis positivist positions. Rather, by charting the evolution of ICR through a number of distinct phases it distinguishes the ontological, axiological and epistemological concerns that emerge as the field matures. This paper is useful reading for consumer researchers attempting to negotiate the implications of the methodological and epistemological choices they make. In particular, appreciation of this mythical journey is essential to avoid one common concern of reviewers, that evaluative criteria from one phase of ICR are inappropriately applied to methodologies inspired by another.

The focus on understanding consumption is central to the next paper ‘The Sociology of Consumption: The Hidden Facet of Marketing’ (Cherrier & Murray, 2004). This paper highlights that much extant consumer research is based on flawed ontological assumptions: “In a global and complex world, arguing that consumers are in control over their life and that they can freely write their own stories appears too simplistic. Society and human beings are indeed too complex and too subtle to simply take a pure agentic approach to marketing.” (Cherrier & Murray, 2004, p.510). Following the work of Baudrilliard they highlight the importance of understanding cultural codes and sign value in order to begin to fully appreciate consumers and the complexity of consumption. In particular, this paper serves to encourage consumer researchers to question the theories that are largely axiomatic in our discipline.

O’Reilly’s (2005) paper ‘Cultural Brands/Branding Cultures’ makes an important contribution to examining the interface between culture and business with specific reference to branding. The paper explores the ways in which meaning making has been theorised in consumption and cultural studies. Importantly, the paper argues for greater attention to understanding branding practices as cultural phenomena. While there are particular implications for those engaged in Arts marketing (cultural brands), since all brands are symbolic articulations of production and consumption, it does have wider implications.

Two important issues that inform marketing research and practice are concomitantly addressed in ‘Examining the Effect of Market Orientation on Innovativeness’ (Tajeddini, Trueman & Larsen, 2006). Based on a study of SMEs within the Swiss watch industry the study investigates the extent to which market orientation has a positive impact on innovativeness and business performance. The paper concludes that customer orientation, competitor orientation and inter-functional coordination are each antecedents to innovativeness. In so doing, the paper links marketing strategy with corporate strategy. In terms of managerial implications, the study highlights the importance of creating an internal business environment conducive to innovative activities.

Brownlie, Hewer and Ferguson (2007) explicitly deal with the theory/practice divide in their paper ‘Theory into Practice: Meditations on Cultures of Accountability and Interdisciplinarity in Marketing Research’.Accounts of the gap between theory and practice typically employ the rhetoric of ‘distance’ between the interlocking cultures” and the nature of the current “so-called knowledge crisis is commonly understood in terms of the widening gap between the received wisdom of marketing practice that inform scholarship and the contemporary ‘reality’ of work within the occupation”. Adopting a different approach, this paper de-constructs this unhelpful dichotomy which sets the Academy up for a ‘heroic struggle’ to reduce the divide (in which we inevitably fail). It offers an alternative understanding involving “the making of marketing knowledge products, and the interdisciplinary social practices required of them” (Brownlie, et al., 2007, p.395). This allows the Academy to adopt a broader understanding of the concept of ‘relevance’ informed by interdisciplinary research which ultimately would increase the propensity for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Rather than considering the potential users of marketing theory the next paper (Mis)trust in marketing: a reflection on consumers’ attitudes and perceptions (Heath & Heath, 2008) deals with consumers, who are inevitably the targets of much marketing practice. The authors point out that while much academic research has been concerned with understanding consumers’ motivations, attitudes and behaviours, “surprisingly little attention is given to consumers’ view of marketing itself” (Heath & Heath, 2008, p.1025). The paper thoroughly reviews the extant literature concerned with the impact of marketing on consumers not in terms of their buying behaviour but in terms of the subsequent quality of their lives. Based on in-depth interviews with consumers the paper highlights the prevalence of negative attitudes towards marketing. Importantly, the paper presents what the authors believe to be “a profound gap between the marketing concept and consumers’ perceptions of the discipline” (Heath & Heath, 2008, p.1036). While this study is exploratory in nature it does highlight that perceptions of marketing amongst consumers and others is certainly deserving of additional attention and the paper outlines some directions for research in this regard.

The final paperEvaluating Market-Segmentation Research Priorities: Targeting Re-Emancipation by Quinn and Dibb (2010) also address the messy theory/practice issue but from quite a different perspective. Using the academic market-segmentation agenda, the paper considers the degree to which theory and practice priorities are aligned. The study is empirical and is based on results from an online survey of academics writing and publishing in the area. It highlights that the academic priorities have changed little in thirty years of research and remains largely based on Wind’s (1978) initial scoping of the field. As a result, the segmentation research agenda has become too narrow and has failed to respond to changes in the marketing context and marketing practices over that period. “Consequently, the findings highlight the need for broader debate regarding the nature, purpose, and scope of academic research in market segmentation” (Quinn & Dibb, 2010, p.1253). This study is important not only because it calls for a re-emancipation of this important field of research but also because it offers a robust methodological approach for assessing other important areas of research within the Academy.

The papers in the special issue reflect the introduction of important new ideas within the marketing discipline and the interrogation of existing/dominant ones. They demonstrate that the Academy is concerned with advancing marketing theory and with a desire to learn from marketing practice as well as to inform it. They represent the breadth of research interests of members of the Academy, their axiological assumptions and their methodological preferences and thus there is much to be celebrated here. However, few of the compelling issues that are raised by these papers have been resolved. These issues are undoubtedly challenging but engaging with them will inevitably result in a richer Academy, one that is confident enough to initiate debates regarding what it is we do, whose interests we serve and what we want to be remembered for. In conclusion, we have come a long way from the initial meeting of the Academy in Harrogate in 1966, but we clearly have much to do. The conference themes serve an important role in capturing the diversity of the Academy as well as acting as a call to arms to explore significant themes and pressing issues. I am confident that the Academy of Marketing through its annual conference will continue to support and foster rich discussion and debate.

Professor Lisa O’Malley, University of Limerick
Chair, Academy of Marketing Research Committee

References

Ambler, T., & Kokkinaki, F. (1997). Measures of marketing success. Journal of Marketing Management, 13(7), 665-678. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1997.9964503
Barnes, J. G. (1994). Close to the customer: but is it really a relationship? Journal of Marketing Management, 10(7), 561-570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1994.9964304
Berry, L. L., Conant, J. S., & Parasuraman, A. (1991). A framework for conducting a services marketing audit. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 19(3), 255-268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02726500
Brown, S. (1995). Sex ‘n’ Shopping: a “Novel” approach to consumer research. Journal of Marketing Management, 11(8), 769-783. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1995.9964389
Brownlie, D., Hewer, P., & Ferguson, P. (2007). Theory into practice: meditations on cultures of accountability and interdisciplinarity in marketing research. Journal of Marketing Management, 23(5-6), 395-409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725707X212739
Cherrier, H., & Murray, J. B. (2004). The sociology of consumption: the hidden facet of marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 20(5-6), 509-525. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/0267257041323954
Foreman, S. K., & Money, A. H. (1995). Internal marketing: concepts, measurement and application. Journal of Marketing Management, 11(8), 755-768. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1995.9964388
Heath, T. P. M., & Heath, M. (2008). (Mis) trust in marketing: a reflection on consumers’ attitudes and perceptions. Journal of Marketing Management, 24(9-10), 1025-1039. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725708X382037
Krantz, Judith (1978). Scruples, London, Warner Books.
Krantz, Judith (1992). Scruples Two, London, Bantam Books.
Maclaran, P., & Catterall, M. (2000). Bridging the knowledge divide: Issues on the feminisation of marketing practice. Journal of Marketing Management, 16(6), 635-646. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725700785045958
O’Reilly, D. (2005). Cultural brands/branding cultures. Journal of Marketing Management, 21(5-6), 573-588. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/0267257054307336
Prothero, A. (1990). Green consumerism and the societal marketing concept: marketing strategies for the 1990’s. Journal of Marketing Management, 6(2), 87-103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1990.9964119
Quinn, L., & Dibb, S. (2010). Evaluating market-segmentation research priorities: Targeting re-emancipation. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(13-14), 1239-1255. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2010.523010
Shankar, A., & Patterson, M. (2001). Interpreting the past, writing the future. Journal of Marketing Management, 17(5-6), 481-501. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725701323366890
Tajeddini, K., Trueman, M., & Larsen, G. (2006). Examining the effect of market orientation on innovativeness. Journal of Marketing Management, 22(5-6), 529-551. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725706777978640
Wind, Y. (1978). Issues and advances in segmentation research. Journal of Marketing Research, 317-337. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3150580

Abstracts

Ambler, T., & Kokkinaki, F. (1997). Measures of marketing success. Journal of Marketing Management, 13(7), 665-678. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1997.9964503
A mismatch of the meaning of “success”, as perceived by researcher and the firms researched, renders research less relevant and possibly, where the firm’s resources are not directed at the goals selected by the researcher, misleading. This paper is concerned with the dependent variables used for business or marketing “success”, not its drivers, in seven leading marketing and strategy journals. The findings are that researcher, not respondent, views of performance dominate the literature which raises issues of relevance. Researchers are not necessarily being normative, and should be thoughtful in their selection of marketing performance objectives, i.e. the outcomes they seek to explain. A checklist of dependent variable considerations is provided together with a tentative definition of “success” against which performance may be compared.

Barnes, J. G. (1994). Close to the customer: but is it really a relationship? Journal of Marketing Management, 10(7), 561-570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1994.9964304
Everyone is developing relationships. Customers are being invited to have relationships with telephone companies, banks, auto dealers, airlines, and other suppliers of products and services. Relationship marketing is being touted as an effective strategy to guide companies into the next millennium. Recently there has been widespread reference to relationship marketing in the popular literature, and the concept has been embraced by many companies and organizations. There is little consensus, however, on what the concept means and even less consistency in how it is practised. What is relationship marketing? Practising marketers and articles in the trade press use the term in one way, while authors in academic journals seem often to be referring to something quite different. This paper reviews how the concept has been viewed by marketing authors and draws from social psychology to shed light on the characteristics of relationships. Some insights are drawn from a preliminary analysis of the results of focus group interviews that suggest how consumers describe their relationships with businesses.

Brown, S. (1995). Sex ‘n’ Shopping: a “Novel” approach to consumer research. Journal of Marketing Management, 11(8), 769-783. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1995.9964389
In recent years, several prominent consumer researchers have advocated the analysis of works of literature and art. Pathbreaking though these studies have proved, they are characterized by their focus on élite rather than popular literary forms. This paper extends the so-called “marketing in Shakespeare” approach to works of romantic fiction, many of which are renowned for their brand name-dropping. A content analysis of brand names in two “sex ‘n’ shopping” novels is undertaken and comparisons are made with an earlier study of mainstream popular fiction.

Brownlie, D., Hewer, P., & Ferguson, P. (2007). Theory into practice: meditations on cultures of accountability and interdisciplinarity in marketing research. Journal of Marketing Management, 23(5-6), 395-409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725707X212739
Nowadays managerial culture is an increasingly critical ingredient of successful knowledge production. For some scholars and practitioners the apparent disconnect between funders, users and researchers as sites of production and consumption comes with costs to the marketing academy and its various stakeholder communities. Closing the perceived gap between theory and practice assumes the proportions of a heroic struggle between the sacred and the profane; between the abstract high-mindedness of theory and the lowly but useful deeds of practice. Various perspectives are offered by way of analysing the origins of this gap, as illustrated in the recent special issue of Marketing Intelligence and Planning (2004). The academy organises itself as if systems of accountability and accessibility in knowledge making are clearly understood and enforceable through the construct ‘relevance’. We argue that the academy needs to better understand the inescapable part it plays in circulating unhelpful discourses of marketing theory and practice, and the imputed differences between them it authorises. We offer an alternative understanding that seeks to move the discipline beyond the isolationist stance unwittingly constructed by the problematic dualism of ‘theory – practice’, pointing to the need to better understand the making of marketing knowledge products, and the interdisciplinary social practices increasingly required of them.

Cherrier, H., & Murray, J. B. (2004). The sociology of consumption: the hidden facet of marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 20(5-6), 509-525. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/0267257041323954
Is marketing virtuous? The concept of marketing aims to “facilitate and expedite satisfying exchange relationships in a dynamic environment” (Dibb, Simkin, Pride, and Ferrell 1997, p.3) and “enables consumers to choose a brand which seems to have the best potential for satisfaction” (Enis and Cox 1997, p. 89). As Marketing is driven by a desire to satisfy consumer needs (Pride, and Ferrell 2000), one can easily conclude that marketing is virtuous. The problem, of course, is the ontological simplicity of such argument. Today, arguing that consumers are in control over their life and that they can freely write their own stories appears too simplistic. Society and human beings are indeed too complex and too subtle to simply take a pure agentic approach to marketing. Consumers’ motivations for buying goods are multiple and hybrid, made of many fragments of personal roles, of history, and of social experiences. The result is intricate and messy; consumer practices are not unified in the pyramidal order, and are not completely congruent with social, ethnic, or geographical groupings. Along with this position, we offer Baudrillard’s structural approach to marketing as a conceptual warning, suggesting the need for more reflection and critique on the virtue of marketing.

Foreman, S. K., & Money, A. H. (1995). Internal marketing: concepts, measurement and application. Journal of Marketing Management, 11(8), 755-768. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1995.9964388
Internal marketing issues have been discussed widely for a number of years yet this remains an area in marketing with many fundamental questions unanswered. Previous research has not satisfactorily addressed a number of crucial issues in its development. The lack of attention to detail has hindered its progress and thus relegated it to the sidelines. As part of a wider study which investigates internal marketing from a transaction cost perspective, this paper sets the scene and explores the different views and applications of internal marketing. It addresses those fundamental questions that have not been thoroughly considered in the past. What are the principles that form the foundations for internal marketing? Does internal marketing belong in all organizations? Is internal marketing merely synonymous with good human resource management or should the organization pursue internal marketing in conjunction with external marketing activities? Then, with the transaction cost framework in mind, this paper considers how internal marketing can be measured and whether it is necessary, merely nice, irrelevant or indeed illegitimate.

Heath, T. P. M., & Heath, M. (2008). (Mis) trust in marketing: a reflection on consumers’ attitudes and perceptions. Journal of Marketing Management, 24(9-10), 1025-1039. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725708X382037
Consumers are at the focal point of marketers’ attention. However, while extensive research is devoted to understanding consumers’ motivations, attitudes and behaviour, surprisingly little attention is given to the consumers’ views of marketing itself. This paper explores consumers’ attitudes towards marketing and their perceptions of it, reflecting critically upon their views. Since much criticism of marketing focuses on its role in promoting consumption, we also consider perceptions of current levels of consumption and the extent to which marketing is held responsible for them. Based on 29 in-depth interviews we find evidence suggesting the prevalence of negative attitudes towards marketing, especially associated with deceptive or dishonest campaigns, although marketing’s informative role is acknowledged. Importantly, findings reveal a limited understanding of the discipline, suggesting a gap between the concept of marketing and consumers’ perceptions of it. This paper sends marketers important messages from consumers and offers grounds for further debate.

Maclaran, P., & Catterall, M. (2000). Bridging the knowledge divide: Issues on the feminisation of marketing practice. Journal of Marketing Management, 16(6), 635-646. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725700785045958
This paper discusses the gap in our knowledge concerning the influx of women into the marketing profession in recent years. It shows how the complexities that surround this feminisation are relevant to both marketing practice and discourse. In so doing the authors highlight the importance of feminisation as an issue not only for the women who fill our marketing programmes and do marketing work as practitioners, but also for the profession and the academy more generally.

O’Reilly, D. (2005). Cultural brands/branding cultures. Journal of Marketing Management, 21(5-6), 573-588. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/0267257054307336
This conceptual paper examines the interface between culture and business, with specific reference to branding. It argues that, while considerable strides have been made in recent years to develop Arts Marketing theory, the subject now needs to take account of wider social and cultural issues. The paper explores the way in which processes of meaning-making have been theorised in consumption and cultural studies. It argues for a view of the symbolic dimensions of branding practices that positions them within the circuit of culture, as a cultural phenomenon. It is argued that brands are symbolic articulators of production and consumption. In this sense, all brands are representational texts, and are socially, not merely managerially, constructed. Different kinds of cultural brands are identified, including cultrepreneurs, cultural corporates and commercial corporates, and their practices in relation to business and culture are discussed. It is suggested that marketing (including branding) is not a neutral analytical repertoire for the study of exchange relationships, but is itself a particular kind of cultural brand, namely an ideological myopia which operates in the service of capital. It is suggested that Arts Marketing practitioners and scholars consider these wider issues in formulating their marketing practices and research strategies.

Prothero, A. (1990). Green consumerism and the societal marketing concept: marketing strategies for the 1990’s. Journal of Marketing Management, 6(2), 87-103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.1990.9964119
This paper examines the impact of these trends on the role of the marketing department in the 1990’s. Essentially, when the buying habits of consumers are being strangely influenced by green and other environmental issues, the paper argues that the marketing concept and subsequent strategies need to be rethought. The paper then imaginatively develops the concept of societal marketing within this framework, arguing for the need for a long term marketing perspective rather than the short term window dressing approach taken by many marketing departments.

Quinn, L., & Dibb, S. (2010). Evaluating market-segmentation research priorities: Targeting re-emancipation. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(13-14), 1239-1255. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2010.523010
Set against a transforming social and economic climate, this empirical study reignites debate about the degree to which theory and practice priorities are aligned in the academic market-segmentation research agenda. Results from an online survey of academics researching and publishing in the market-segmentation field suggest little change in the scope or content of these priorities in the past 30 years. This reopens discussion about the slowly changing nature of the segmentation research agenda and raises questions about the ways in which research priorities are shaped by the external environment. The findings further suggest that the conflicting nature of academic and practitioner requirements is a barrier to opportunities for a successful academic/practitioner interface. We conclude that the segmentation research agenda has become too narrow, outlining the need to broaden debate and re-emancipate this important field of research.

Shankar, A., & Patterson, M. (2001). Interpreting the past, writing the future. Journal of Marketing Management, 17(5-6), 481-501. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725701323366890
Using the metaphor of Homer’s Odyssey, this paper provides a characterization of the development of interpretive consumer research. Initially this development is shown to have been circumscribed by the machinations of positivism. However, following the disruptive influences of postmodernism/post-structuralism, issues such as methodological pluralism, reflexivity and representation are considered to signify the way forward to an interpretive consumer research with confidence in its axioms.

Tajeddini, K., Trueman, M., & Larsen, G. (2006). Examining the effect of market orientation on innovativeness. Journal of Marketing Management, 22(5-6), 529-551. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725706777978640
For the past decade innovativeness, as opposed to innovation, has received considerable attention in the academic literature as well as the corporate arena because it is considered to promote a competitive advantage. This study examines the link between innovativeness and performance of SMEs in the Swiss watch industry, in terms of customer orientation, competition orientation and inter-functional coordination. It uses performance measures such as market share, percentage of new product sales to total sales and return on investment (ROI), and has developed a new research scale of innovativeness. The results show that customer orientation has a positive effect on performance as well as the level of innovativeness in each company. There are also strategic implications for CEOs and managers as far as the methodological limitations and future research directions are concerned.

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Lisa O’Malley

Lisa O’Malley

Professor Lisa O’Malley has been a member of the Academy of Marketing since 1993. She is currently Chair of the Academy of Marketing Research Committee and is committed to raising the quality of research within the Academy and to enhancing its profile within the wider management research community. Her research interests are diverse and range from studies of intra-organisational collaboration, relationships and networks to work on consumption and identity, sustainability and consumer-organisational relationships. As a critical marketing scholar she is particularly interested in the utility of our underpinning theories, the impact of marketing on quality of life and the role of marketing in the corporation. Recent work has been published in the Journal of Marketing Management, Consumption, Markets and Culture, the Journal of Macromarketing, the Journal of Business Ethics, Industrial Marketing Management, and Marketing Theory.

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