Relationship Marketing Theory
Within the parameters of the aforementioned debate, two questions impose themselves. The first relates to whether the controversy is reflective of disagreement over the marketing concept and the functions embraced therein, and the second to whether the evolution of the marketing concept has been such that a disconnect between the original function and intent of marketing and its current purposes and ends have developed. Through a discursive analysis of three articles on the marketing concept and the evolutionary process experienced, this essay shall attempt to answer these questions.
In their discussion on the marketing concept, Brownlie and Saren (1992) undertake a historical analysis of the term. Proceeding from the premise that marketing’s contemporaneous definitional parameters and associated functions have significantly transcended its original definition and associated functions, the authors maintain that the referenced gulf functions as space within which controversy rages. In order to understand this argument, it is contingent upon us to offer a critical summary of the article.
As stated by the authors, "the marketing concept has a long and distinguished lineage and is widely acknowledged as the cornerstone of the discipline" (Brownlie and Saren, 1992, p. 34). Even prior to its pedagogical evolution some four to five decades ago, marketing was a fundamental componential element of the business process insofar as it functioned as the only existent strategy for the assessment of market/consumer demands and the means by which responses to these demands were publicized or brought to consumer/market attention. In other words, and as may be inferred from the article, marketing evolved in conjunction with modern business.
As may be discerned from the above, the importance of marketing to business, or the existent co-dependent relationship they shared, is a widely acknowledged and incontrovertible fact. To this extent, one may determine the presence of a consensus regarding the importance of marketing to business and, additional agreement regarding the basic function and purpose of marketing. In its most simplistic terms, marketing is the strategy by which a business communicates with its external environment with the supposed intention of popularising the business and its products/services and, consequently, enhancing its market share.
While consensus exists around the basic definition and function of marketing, the evolution of the concept has complicated the issue insofar as it has rendered the concept and he practices far more complicated than initially envisioned. As Brownlie and Saren (1992) assert, over the years, marketing has "has developed a sophisticated array of technologies for describing and analyzing markets and the interfaces between them and the organization" (37) has formulated the performance standards by which an organization can be judged and has developed a methodology for enhancing competitiveness. It has extended beyond its original concern of analyzing a market and enhancing communications between a .business and its external environment and has evolved into a strategic ideology for the articulation of a strategy for the attainment of market dominance and the formulation of a best business practice guideline.