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.