Dr. Maximilian Groh
Dr. Maximilian Groh    Love e-commmerce & brand management, meaningful relationships, and getting things done. Fascinated by people, work, leadership, and strategy.

Implications of the paradigm shifts in marketing


Implications of the paradigm shifts in marketing

A significant paradigm shift has occurred in marketing over the past three decades in which the focus of marketing practice has been away from the idea of exchanging a product or service with consumers to the idea of creating value and creating relationships with consumers (heth, J. N. & Uslay, C., 2007. Implications of the revised definition of marketing: From exchange to value creation. American Marketing Association, 26(2), 302-307). This paradigm shift has had several implications in marketing management practice for the marketing executive. The days of creating overly generalized, one-way messages that informed consumers of why they needed to purchase a product or service have been replaced with a need to engage consumers in on-going interactions, and to be able to respond to changing cultural attitudes quickly (Penaloza, L. & Venkatesh, A., 2006. Furthermore evolving the new dominant logic of marketing: From services to the social construction of markets.Marketing Theory, 6(3), 299-316).

The purpose of this article is to examine the implications of the paradigm shifts in marketing for marketing management practice from the viewpoint of a marketing executive. The ideas presented in this article are focused on the paradigm shift that has taken place in recent years, as well as what that paradigm shift has meant for creating and overseeing marketing management practice. The importance of the ideas presented in this article is that insights are provided about the concerns that the marketing executive needs to hold with regards to managing marketing practices. The underlying point for marketing executives is that marketing practice is no longer about a concern for the needs of a company. Instead, marketing practice must focus on the needs of the consumer and creating a relationship with the consumer.

Paradigm Shift and Implications for Marketing Practice

While a single, linear paradigm shift has not occurred within marketing over the past 30 years, the general trend that has occurred has been away from exchange marketing to value creation and relationship marketing (Sheth, J. N. & Uslay, C., 2007. Implications of the revised definition of marketing: From exchange to value creation. American Marketing Association, 26(2), 302-307). Exchange marketing was focused on the idea that an exchange of a product or service needed to occur in order to solve a problem or enhance a situation (Penaloza, L. & Venkatesh, A., 2006. Furthermore evolving the new dominant logic of marketing: From services to the social construction of markets.Marketing Theory, 6(3), 299-316)). In this way, marketing executives were concerned about creating a message to explain to consumers how a given product or service should be purchased because of the benefits that it could provide in order to solve a problem or enhance a situation.

The paradigm shift that has occurred to value creation and relationship marketing in which a company focuses on the needs of the consumer provides a product or service to meet that need and then continues the relationship as a way to extending value creation over the long-term (Sheth, J. N. & Uslay, C., 2007. Implications of the revised definition of marketing: From exchange to value creation. American Marketing Association, 26(2), 302-307). An essential part of this value creation paradigm in marketing is creation relationships and on-going interactions. Rather than selling a product or service to a consumer, companies engage with consumers in order to better understand that needs, not just at the current moment but over a period.

Companies listen to the needs and desires of consumers (Penaloza, L. & Venkatesh, A., 2006. Furthermore evolving the new dominant logic of marketing: From services to the social construction of markets.Marketing Theory, 6(3), 299-316).In this way, the consumer becomes part of the marketing decision-making process.

With the paradigm shift that has occurred in marketing, the question that arises is what is the implication of this paradigm shift for marketing executives. One of the implications of the paradigm shift is that marketing executives must view relationships with consumers and opportunities to create relationships with consumers as an essential part of the marketing process (Crowther, P. & Donland, L., 2011. Value-creation space: The role of events in a service-dominant marketing paradigm. Journal of Marketing Management, 27, 1444-1463). For example, the use of the internet and social media cannot be viewed as a waste of resources or as a secondary marketing approach. Instead, marketing executives must use the internet and social media on a full-time basis in order to interact directly with consumers. However, merely using the internet and social media to interact with consumers is not enough. Marketing executives must use such interactions to understand the meanings that consumers assign to various interactions and contexts within their lives (Penaloza, L. & Venkatesh, A., 2006. Furthermore evolving the new dominant logic of marketing: From services to the social construction of markets.Marketing Theory, 6(3), 299-316).

The importance of understanding the meanings that consumers to assign to various interactions and products and services is the ability to better position a company and its products in the lives of consumers (Penaloza, L. & Venkatesh, A., 2006. Furthermore evolving the new dominant logic of marketing: From services to the social construction of markets.Marketing Theory, 6(3), 299-316). A company that understands and appreciates the social and cultural values of its consumers and how they respond to broader social and cultural issues is able to become an active part of the lives of those consumers. In contrast, a company that is focused only on its values can easily be perceived as not caring about its targeted consumers. Even more, this type of company can alienate its targeted consumers.

In the current era of social media and the internet, consumers want to feel as though they are in control (Domegan, C. T., 2008. Social marketing: Implications for contemporary marketing practices classification scheme. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 23(2), 135-141).The paradigm shift to relationship marketing has been a response to the changing nature of consumers who are more willing to not purchase at all if a company is perceived not to be focused on their needs and their desires (Sheth, J. N. & Uslay, C., 2007. Implications of the revised definition of marketing: From exchange to value creation. American Marketing Association, 26(2), 302-307).Marketing executives have to take the time to not only understand the needs and desires of their targeted consumers but also understand the larger social and cultural networks of their targeted consumers. Companies that target broad groups of consumers have to recognize how different sub-groups are likely to have different social and cultural networks. Marketing executives have to engage in marketing that is able to target these different social and cultural networks specifically.For example, marketing management might mean creating one type of marketing campaign for older adults while creating a different type of marketing campaign that is based on a current social and cultural issue or phenomenon for younger adults.

At the same time, companies have to consider how to become involved in the lives of consumers as they become involved in social and cultural issues. Marketing executives can no longer easily take a neutral ground in social issues if their targeted consumers are using social media and the internet to engage in social issues (Achrol, R. S. & Kotler, P., 2012. Frontiers of the marketing paradigm in the third millennium. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, 40, 35-52).In the past, marketing executives might have focused on neutral campaign messages and marketing approaches. In the current era of relationship marketing, marketing executives have to be able to make decisions about which social and cultural issues and phenomenon are of such importance to their consumers that become involved in those issues is necessary.

Finally, the shift in marketing paradigm has also meant that the practice of marketing management is not just about the initial message, but also the response from consumers to the message or the product or service that was purchased. Marketing executives must allow for the ability for consumers who complain about products or services to be contacted, particularly when complaints are voiced over social media(Achrol, R. S. & Kotler, P., 2012. Frontiers of the marketing paradigm in the third millennium. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, 40, 35-52). This is part of the larger process of creating relationships with consumers and allowing consumers to direct the message as opposed to the company being sole in charge of the marketing message (Domegan, C. T., 2008. Social marketing: Implications for contemporary marketing practices classification scheme. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 23(2), 135-141).Marketing executives must be concerned with the long-term concerns and attitudes of consumers toward their products or services. If consumers experience problems with their products or services, marketing must continue to understand the problems and then correct those problems before consumers are able to create negative perceptions of the company within their social networks.

In the end, the entire process of marketing management has become both customer-focused and relationship-focused from the point of attempting to sell a product to the days and months after a product has been sold. Marketing executives must think beyond their concerns or the concerns of their companies. Instead, marketing executives must make the concerns and needs of consumers their priority in marketing. The goal should be to create value for the consumer and become part of the lives of consumers.

Conclusion

In the past 30 years, a paradigm shift has occurred in marketing away from a focus on the exchange to a focus on creating relationships with consumers. This paradigm shift for marketing executives implies that marketing management has become more about relationship building than about the purchase of a good or service. Marketing executives must oversee the relationship management of the products and companies for which they are responsible. They must manage marketing processes in such a way as to make the consumer the focus of their efforts. The marketing executives that are unwilling to make the consumer the focus of the marketing process will likely find that it is difficult to attract consumers to their brands, and may even harm the long-term reputations of their companies.


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