A review of recently published academic studies of ad effects reveals that authors did not report qualifying subjects as prospects for the product category used in the research and did not include measures to permit examining findings by prospects and nonprospects. The marketing theoretic implications for advertising
research of the concept of prospect are discussed.
Probably no recent contribution to the business literature has sparked more controversy than Levitt’s (1983) paper on ‘the globalization of markets.’ On the one hand, Levitt argues that the world is shrinking as a marketplace and challenges companies to compete by realizing economics of scale through offering standardized goods and services that will be acceptable on a worldwide basis. On the other hand, many marketing authors scoff at Levitt’s globalization challenge, calling the idea a myth and a dangerous policy (Douglas and Wind, 1987; Kotler, 1986; Sheth, 1986, for example).
The predictive relationship of a large and comprehensive set of personal descriptors to aspects
of product and brand use is examined. The descriptors comprise demographic and general psychographic
variables frequently used in segmentation studies and studies of consumer purchase behavior. The
evidence is overwhelming that the covariates are related to brand use in an identical way for all brands,
indicating that they are not useful for predicting relative brand preference. The covariates are shown to be
predictive of product use. Discussion of the explanatory content of the variables is offered.
Society relies on marketers to ensure that producers make goods/services that offer utility. Reasons are reviewed why marketing scientists/scholars have largely neglected to build the requisite conceptual base. It is argued that such an oversight arose from misapprehensions and mishaps that, happily, may be corrected. Marketers may then possess conceptual tools appropriate to the task of directing how technology is deployed for human purposes.
Dholakis et al. (1987) discuss two views on marketers’ proper role i.e., trying to participate in (Fennell, 1987), or change (Kotler, 1987) consumers’ ongoing projects. They suggest that the two views meet if one construes “long-term benefit” as a product that consumers seek and look to the “marketing system” to provide. While marketers must strive to avoid harming consumers, for a variety of reasons discussed herein, they cannot, with integrity, claim to provide consumers’ long-term benefit.
As psychologists become involved professionally in the activities of everyday lives, the discipline’s lack of a comprehensive model of action is beginning to be acknowledged. Assigned the job of helping producers make goods/services appropriate to user-circumstances, marketers especially feel the lack of a general model of action. Earlier approaches to modeling action are here reviewed. Extensions are offered an directions for further research are indicated.
Applied psychologists face professional assignments orienting them to actions i.e., the real-world impacts that people use their resources to effect. They need a concept of action to aid directly in their tasks, and to assess the great constructs of academic psychology for appropriateness to applied uses. Absence of “human action” among psychology’s subdisciplines left consumer psychologists facing multiple conceptual tasks, in their early attempts to model action. For real-world assignments, deficiencies of existing approaches, dispositional and situational, and advantages of modeling action are discussed. Behavioral processes allocating an individual’s resources are proposed as an appropriate context for studying action.
The agenda for marketing science that I discuss in this chapter is radical in two senses: It is rooted in marketing’s essential contributions to society and to business, and it excludes from consideration-indeed, rejects as a legitimate part of marketing-what is probably the most prevalent notion of marketing outside the profession. Accordingly, this chapter is about two things: (1) marketing’s essential function, contrasted where appropriate with popular misconceptions, and (2) implications of that function for marketing science.
Each of the terms in the triad marketing, ethics, and quality-of-life (QOL) needs some clarification, and their juxtaposition raises additional issues. Indeed, marketing may be the least well articulated of the three and, for present purposes, the most in need of clarification. It is patently impossible to discuss an activity’s
likely impact on QOL, or its ethical implications, in the absence of some precise idea of the nature of that activity. In this regard, marketing is something of an anomaly.
Marketing authors have held that the discipline’s subject matter is exchange. Apparently many fail to take cognizance of the radically different kinds of exchange that underlie marketing and selling. Often, a “selling” model seems implicit as authors discuss “marketing,” leading to errors of omission and commission; the latter in focus here. Until remedied, authors deny conceptual development to marketers’ central question, and daily real-world task: What shall we produce? How shall we use resources for human satisfaction?