The goal of this book is to open the door to marketing exchange a little bit further. Marketing defines itself (through the American Marketing Association) as involving exchange, yet very little is written about marketing from an exchange perspective. We have no central core to our discipline.
I see the contributions made by the various authors here as important to the goal of helping to establish the marketing infrastructure, and it is my expectation that this book will serve as an important primer for the next generation of marketing thinkers and textbook writers. I asked each author or set of authors to develop their topic because each is an expert in his or her specialty. Some of these people I asked to turn their thinking ten degrees, giving their work exchange perspective. Others were already working from that perspective. Now, you might ask what is an exchange perspective.
The basic marketing that we have taught in colleges over the last two decades (I can talk about those two decades from personal experience) has had a managerial focus. When I first began teaching, marketing was taught and written about from the perspective of a manager in his corporate office seated in a leather chair, smoking his cigar, and moving customers around to create segments. Over time we got to a point where we had bell-bottomed managers, but only briefly, the cigar fell away, occasionally that manager might be a she, and the organization might be a nonprofit agency. But we are still sitting in that corporate office or agency office shoving customers around in an effort to work our magic on them more efficiently.
An exchange perspective can be described easily by thinking of the corner butcher or neighborhood store of earlier generations. This "mom-and-pop" shop owned a claw, which is a long device for pulling boxed goods down from the higher shelves. To them "vertical marketing" was a description of how they displayed their stock.
Mom and Pop knew each of their customers and knew their likes and dislikes. They knew what meats their customers wanted on certain days and how their customers wanted their meat cut. If something wasn't right about the order, the customer knew whom to talk with about it. The gossip over the counter was important element of the shopping trip.