It has been more than 50 years since the edifice of marketing ideas began it`s triumphal march through Europe. Half a decade later it seems appropriate to take a retrospective look at the initial approaches and sources of this corporate philosophy.
The first occurrences were often tied to semantic confusion. During the following decades it was increasingly recognised that this style of thought and leadership, paraphrased as “marketing”, is far more than a fashionable word and rather an impulse-giving component and ultimately a decisive factor for the success of highly industrialised economical systems.
The first systematic depiction of the marketing instrumentation, published in the book “Die neuen Techniken des Marketing” by Peter Linnert, significantly contributed to the rapid distribution of the concept through German-speaking Europe. In this first extensive overview, the core elements of the marketing- theory, marketing- strategy and marketing-policy are introduced as an enclosed system, whilst also being critically appraised. Problems and solution approaches for the appropriate design of marketing-organisation are presented in the second volume of the book. His creed stated: “Marketing is the key to long-term corporate success. Mastering it`s techniques results in dominating the market.”
According to competent experts, the author`s work, published in 5 editions, outpaced the various other publications concerning marketing up to this point in it`s entirety as well as with it`s consistency in the development of thought.
Numerous US-American authors had presented their perception of the action parameters and responsibility in monographs. They account as the early pioneers of marketing. The value of their work lies, above all, in the fact that they did not settle for abstract evidence stemming from specially constructed hypotheses, and instead substantiated their views with exemplary phenomena of economic life. Publishers Steuart Henderson Britt and Harper W. Boyd Jr. selected the most important monographies and published them in Germany with the title “Marketing-Management und Organisation” The German adaption was undertaken by Peter Linnert.
Particularly Peter F. Drucker, J.B. McKitterick, Theodor Levitt, Neill H. Borden and Ernest Dichter set the direction for this style of thought.
Notable as early authors of the organisation of marketing functions are especially Garry A. Steiner, John A. Howard, Hector Lazo und Arnold Corbin.
Market segmentation was established as the condition for the success of marketing measures by the authors Sidney J. Levy and J. Coleman, amongst others. They were the first to introduce new criteria for market segmentation and stress the significance of social stratification in retail. As far as currently determinable, the theory and practice of the marketing plan were first illustrated by Wroe Alderson.
Furthermore, Vance Packard`s sociological essays became well-known. His biggest success was in 1957 with his book “The Hidden Persuaders”, in which he documents the “reach for the unconscious in everyone” with assistance of psychologists and market researchers on the basis of the advertising industry. His work can be perceived as an indicator for how advanced the marketing instrumentation was- at least fractionally- during the 50s in the USA. This is in stark contrast to Europe, where the 50s still accounted as the decade of fulfilment of demand, meaning anything factories produced, would be sold. In this context, Peter Drucker`s early remark made in the 50s becomes comprehensible, stating that it was less important to own a factory and more relevant to find a sales-market for the produced goods.
At the same time the philosophy valid in Europe was that a factory produces any goods the machines are capable of manufacturing and the sales department holds the responsibility for the distribution of these products.
Considerations made in the USA were notably different. The definition of consumer demands was reflected upon by J.W. Newman and Philip Kotler, with the latter developing behaviour models for the analysis of consumers still relevant to this day. His work “Marketing an Introduction”, co- published with George Armstrong, was translated into German by various authors in the 80s. An extensive adaption in German was written in 1988 by Peter Linnert.
The techniques depicted in this book concerning the analysis of marketing-chances as well as their realisations opened up previously unregarded dimensions of corporate policy, furthermore proving that a new age of market cultivation and market understanding had begun.
Moreover, they familiarised readers with methods for successful product launches, purposeful price setting and price-oriented sales management. The emphasis is on consumer behaviour, modern communication technology, marketing logistic as well as methods for market segmentation.
Their extensive examination of the phenomenon “marketing” can undoubtedly be viewed as the main guidance for the style of thought and the philosophy of marketing.
The broad spectrum that is the field of responsibility and tasks, including the far-reaching consequences of marketing decisions, are further considered as a leadership role by Armstrong and Kotler. At the same time this is the reason as to why the marketing-responsibility lies with the corporate leader and cannot be delegated to lower management levels.
With this demand it is clarified that marketing is to be interpreted as leadership philosophy of overriding-importance with its instrumentation consisting mainly of product- and price policy, as well as retail, advertisement and sales promotion.
More than 50 years ago the well-known economics philosopher Hans-Jürgen Schubert predicted in the preface for “Die neuen Techniken des Marketing” by Peter Linnert: This book demonstrates it as clearly as no other: an era is drawing to a close. The age, in which those responsible for the retail of products let their day-to-day activities be determined by their inbox (Posteingang) and aspired to solve distribution difficulties pragmatically whilat being confronted by them on a case-by-case basis- this age is truly over.