Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Concept of "Value" in the Theory of Marketing

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Concept of "Value" in the Theory of Marketing

Article excerpt


This paper discusses the use of the term of "value" in the framework of marketing. Analysis of the literature led us to the conclusion that it is necessary to consider the term of "value" in the framework of marketing as a separate category of marketing theory, which includes a whole group of concepts. The basis for our findings served as the analysis of the definition of "value" in the disciplines included in the multi-disciplinary marketing database. The paper suggests that the price is not a marketing measure for "value". In addition, the paper outlines further research aimed at the development and systematization of the concepts included in the category of "value" in marketing.

Keywords: value in marketing, category of marketing, definition of marketing, marketing theory

1. Introduction

Discussion on considering marketing as an independent science has a long history. Specific features of marketing, such as its applied nature, dualism, significant methodological apparatus borrowed from other disciplines come as a barrier when considered as an independent discipline. At the same time, further development of marketing, including the application of its importance as an academic discipline, requires further discussion on the relation of art and science in marketing.

Extensive discussions about marketing as a science started in the 40s of the 20th century, and although major publications were made at 60-70 years, this debate is still going on. (Converse, 1945; Alderson & Cox, 1948, Bartels, 1951; Buzzell, 1964; Taylor, 1965; Hunt, 1976, 1983; O'Shaughnessy & Ryan, 1979; Kotler, 1972; Gummesson, 2002; Golubkov, 2003). Despite a slight decrease the intensity of the discussion, the issues related to marketing science or art continues to occupy minds of researchers. We consider marketing as a science and, as an important aspect; this discussion will focus on discussing the use of the term of "value" in marketing.

2. Literature Review

Some studies show that the analysis of the concept of "value" reveals terminological complexity (Repev, 2010). Especially, we shall highlight the use synonymous concept to both term of "value" and "customer value" in the Russian marketing.

The analysis of the descriptions of the terms in the dictionaries for marketing shows that, for example, the glossary by the American Marketing Association ( ignores the definition of "value". The description contains the terms of "Customer Lifetime Value" and "Economic Profit", which can be treated as one of the names of net operating profit after taxation. In turn, the Russian dictionary of terms for "Marketing", the term of "value" is identified with the utility and benefits to consumers (Golubkov, 2003).

The paper by Porter, "Competitive Advantage", offers the methodology of the possible competitive advantages analysis through a chain of benefit when "the company's operations are divided into the strategically important activities in order to examine the costs and the existing and possible means of differentiation". In this paper, the value also assumes the identity of utility, where the price is its main criterion (Porter, 1985). This approach can be seen in many modern papers (Feller, Shunk, & Callarman, 2006; Nikolaev, 2009; Meshcheriakova, 2010)

In turn, this identity is not unique in the description of the concept of "Marketing 3.0.". (Kotler, Kartavadzhayya, & Setiawan, 2012) point the term of "value" as the key concept; describe the current state of information technology and social cultural and personal space related to it. However, at the same time, a clear definition of this term is not provided. In fact, the authors refer to only a certain region of the senses for the concept.

Prahlad and Ramaswamy in their paper (2006) also describe the space for creating "value" for the consumer, but avoid its clear definition.

A similar situation is shown in the paper by Throsby (2013). …

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