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Is Marketing Management an Art or a Science?

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Is Marketing Management an art or a science?

This topic was persistent debate between marketers very often over fifty years, art and science pulls each other on the composition of marketing management, because no one can clearly defined the overall boundary of a marketer's domain. To analysis the proportion of art and science, first step will be identifying the characteristics of respective nature, major difference and distribution for marketing management behaviour. The classification between art and science of marketing management may help marketers to establish adequate strategies, to facilitate satisfying exchange relationship with customers in different market segment. For example, if the targeted market is at 45 to 55 years old peoples, their buying behaviour is inelastic for new products or ideas, the demand of specific services or products are stable and not easy to change, marketing activities firmly rooted in data. The marketing management of this market segment will be tends to scientific strategy, past data collection and statistical analysing the market trends are very important, marketers could use the scientific analysis result to design the product, setup the distribution places, decide the prices and promote the product (Market Mix determination). However, if the targeted market is the families income between 60,000 to 100,000 HK dollars per month, the discretionary income of those families are relative high, they want ultimate in prestige; features; quality and design of products or services. The marketing management will be inclining to artistic approach, market surveys and research for the trends; tastes; quality and features requirement are important in this segment to establish the marketing mix strategy. On the other hand, different marketing variables have their own management characteristic, one is scientifically managed art, and another one is artistically managed science.

Art is senses or emotions; it surrounds a various range of creations, human behaviours and manner of expression. In marketing mix of marketing management, Product is one of the variable involves artistic activities, "it deals with researching needs and wants of customers and designing a product that satisfies them" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 8). The activities including creating band name, packaging design, warranty and repair services, image, style and quality features, the ideological responds of customer for activities could be a prerequisite of a successful marketing. Marketing research is "to inform an organisation about customers' needs and desires, marketing opportunities for particular goods and services" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 87), it help marketers to determinate the product creation for specified market. "Humanistic inquiry is compared specifically with the positivist approach currently used by most marketing researchers, research consistent with one's personal beliefs about the nature of reality" (Hirschman 1986). Apparently, marketing research is a scientific approach to collect customers' data and analyzing, but the process of interpreting research findings are also involve some artistic attitudes.

Another variable was Promotion in marketing mix; it also involves artistic activities to convince peoples about the product benefit, can aim to increase public awareness of the organisation and new or existing products. Promotional activities can also "educate customers about product features or urge people to take a particular stance on a political or social issue, remind purchasers that the product is still available" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 10). "An operant behaviourist account of complex human activity such as purchase and consumption is overwhelmingly interpretivist. Situational and speciational discontinuities between even the human operant experiment and the behaviour in question make the interpretive stance inevitable" (Foxall 1995). "All behavioral manifestations of the human being, including the least and the most significant, are revealing and expressive of his personality, by which we mean that individual principle of which he is the carrier" (Levy 1981). Advertising is the most effective way to promote a product, producing; concept and design is principally artistic considerations for advertisement.

Science was a knowledge gained by investigation, observation, experimental research, classification of data to resulting in a prediction of consequences. "Science has a special status, not because it is a sure way of producing truths and avoiding falsehood, because it is a communal practice of a community with a remarkable and rigid morality" (Hunt 1999). "The stream of thought that dominated twentieth-century philosophy of science has been logical (or modern) empiricism, which owes its origins to the logical positivists of the 1920s. In fact, the perspectives of the logical empiricists have been dubbed the "received view" of philosophy of science" (Suppe 1977). Distribution in marketing mix was to satisfy customers, products must be available at the right time and in convenient location, "marketing managers in conjunction with logistics managers must ensure that products are available in the quantities desired to reach as many target market customers as possible" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 8-9). To obtain a precise prediction of market, scientific calculation of past data gathered is very important, "it could help organisation to perform the order processing, inventory management, material handling, warehousing and transportation" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 339).

In marketing mix, Pricing was the major variable for marketing management, because "customers are concerned about the value obtained in an exchange" (Pride et al. 2007, p. 8). A statistical calculation for the supply of product, cost (variable cost and fixed cost), elasticity of price and demand should be perform before determine the price, scientific prediction for the pricing responds of customers are helpful for marketers to establish the pricing strategy. The economy nowadays; mostly products



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