Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Three-Component Definition of Strategic Marketing

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Three-Component Definition of Strategic Marketing

Article excerpt

Abstract

Conceptual frameworks for "marketing" and "strategy" were developed with the aim of finding common grounds to form a social theory framework for strategic marketing. This was carried out by reviewing and distilling relevant contributions in the marketing and strategy literatures. Models for the two disciplines were further developed which formed the basis for building the framework for strategic marketing. Finally, the resultant strategic marketing model was examined vis-à-vis definitions of strategic marketing in the literature. The review of the marketing literature revealed that the subject centres on relationship; while strategy is centred on environmental analysis for competitive advantage. The encompassing framework which emerged revealed that although strategic marketing begins with environmental analysis, it involves two other central elements: positioning and competitive advantage.

Keywords: definition, marketing, strategy, strategic marketing

1. Introduction

Building a construct for strategic marketing over time, has involved an integration of the apparent disciplines of strategy and marketing. From the early definitions of marketing by the American Marketing Association (AMA) such as its 1935 definition, to contributions of scholars and practitioners of the discipline, the conceptualization of the subject has been informed by the evolving philosophies and orientations which dominated the field at any given time. The same can be said of the strategy literature.

In the midst of the varying contributions between the 1960s and the 1980s, the first landmark conceptual framework which formed the basis for defining strategic marketing emerged (i.e. Greenley; 1989). His contribution has become a lasting principle in defining strategic marketing which he underlines as originating from the strategic planning process and which in itself, originates from the firm's vision and objectives. This conceptualization of strategic marketing has continued to remain relevant till date.

However, the question is whether the subject has evolved from the development of the two disciplines - from the publication of Greenley's work till date. It is therefore important to carry out an extensive review of the literatures; following the trajectories in the development of both disciplines: marketing and strategy. The purpose is to develop a social theory framework of strategic marketing by extensively reviewing the marketing literature and the strategy literature. The new theory will be juxtaposed against theories of strategic marketing established by leading scholars in the field starting with Greenley (1989). The result of this comparison will further advance the scope of knowledge in determining the viability of the new construct; that is whether it holds strength or whether there is need for further research in building a social theory framework for strategic marketing.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

As much as the definitions of marketing and strategy are necessary to aid the understanding of the concepts, it is of paramount importance to understand the theoretical foundations which informs the definition of the subjects. These foundations drive the development of the subject and explain the evolution of their discourse over time. In the extant literature, different approaches to the definition of both disciplines influence even the marketing orientation and strategic formulations propounded by scholars and adapted by experts in the industry. The theories which inform the subjects are best delineated along both subjects by examining the theories of the respective subjects through their respective literatures. It is important to note that the thematic dimension which defines both subjects is overlapping; varying amongst authors. Therefore, they are not necessarily exquisitely specified.

2.2 Marketing Literature

The marketing literature unveils 32 themes between varied authors namely: management decision, customer-based, human need, environmental impact, profitable relationship enhancement, promise fulfillment, profitable customer relationship, stakeholder value, customer service, customer quality, customer retention, supplier-customer relationship, customer stimulation, customer equity, academic discipline, management process, firm-customer exchange, science, evolving lifecycles, critical process, culture (i. …

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