Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Adoption of Strategic Marketing Practices among Indian Manufacturers

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Adoption of Strategic Marketing Practices among Indian Manufacturers

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

During the latter part of the 20th century an appreciation of marketing's contribution to a firm's competitive success underwent a sea-change. As a result, no longer was its role seen as being restricted to a set of tactical, essentially short-term activities associated with the various elements of the marketing mix such as undertaking promotional campaigns, making sales or providing an after sales service. Rather, marketing became firmly established as an important and necessary strategic level activity concerned with decisions about which markets to target; how best to deploy the firm's resources and capabilities to build superior customer value; and how the firm can position itself for competitive advantage over the longer-term (Hooley, Piercy and Nicoulaud, 2008). In short, within marketing circles, the term 'strategic marketing' has now gone into the vernacular. It has become synonymous with an on-going, company-wide and customer-led planning approach that facilitates the firm's ability to successfully adapt to, and take advantage of, the fast changing and increasingly volatile modern business environment. Specifically, the normative model of strategic marketing comprises five sequential stages, namely: a situation analysis, objective-setting, strategy formulation, implementation, and control (Cohen, 1998; Chaston and Mangle, 2002; Tybout and Calder, 2010), with each stage encompassing a number of practices.

Interest in strategic marketing reached its peak in the early-to-mid 1980s amid an explosion of prescriptive and research-based manuals, textbooks and articles on the subject (Romano and Ratnatunga, 1995; Brooksbank, Kirby, Taylor and Jones-Evans, 1999), creating a momentum that has seen it continue onwards into the new millennium as an ever-evolving topic that still attracts a good deal of scholarly attention today. Indeed, over the years numerous 'success' studies, mostly from Europe and North America, have in one way or another, illuminated our understanding of marketing's contribution to firm performance as a strategic discipline. Although this body of work includes studies that examine different types and sizes of firms operating in different markets at different points in time, they all, nonetheless, share the same basic aim: "to profile the marketing activities of successful firms, and compare them against those of less successful firms in order to offer insights to researchers and managers into ways of improving firm performance" (Gray, Matear, Deans and Garrett, 2007, p.72). One substantive point of difference, however, relates to the perspective on the topic at hand. Indeed in this respect it is useful to view this body of work as being largely made up of two separate sub-categories of 'research genre', both of which have been running in parallel with one another since the 1980s.

The first and more prominent research genre can be referred to as the 'market orientation' genre (see for example, Peters and Waterman, 1982; Narver and Slater, 1990; Jaworski and Kohli, 1993; Deng and Dart, 1994; Gray, Matear, Boshoff and Matheson, 1998; Matear, Osborne, Garrett and Gray, 2002). In essence, this genre seeks to identify and understand all those activities that combine to enable a firm to be market-driven, as well as the degree to which this orientation differentiates the high performers. To this extent, the practices of strategic marketing are often subsumed under what might be called a 'holistic' perspective on the topic. Furthermore, research within this genre is often inductive in nature and it thereby serves to inform us about how marketing as a strategic discipline is evolving and what is new. The second research genre within the marketing 'success' literature can be referred to as the 'strategic marketing practices' genre (see for example, Hooley, West and Lynch, 1984; Doyle, Saunders and Wong, 1985; Brooksbank, Kirby and Wright, 1992; Brooksbank,et al., 1999; Siu, Fang and Lin, 2004; Huan, Brooksbank, Taylor and Babis, 2008). …

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