Marketing Essay

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Journal of Marketing Managem ent 1998, 14, 829-851 Lisa O'Malley1 and Maurice Patterson Vanishing Point The Mix Management Paradigm Re-Viewed Ifs mid afternoon and the sun is blazing a trail across the blue sky. You've got the sweet aroma of tar in your nostrils and a sudden hunger to take to the road. Don your shades and sit in your car. Wind the top down, start your engine and come with us on a journey. Our travels will take us past some pretty familiar territory. In particular, we'll pay a visit to that most popular of tourist attractions, the mix management paradigm. But don't wony - you'll also get the chance to go off-road. Cardiff Business School University of Glamorgan Business School Easy Rider "A man went looking for America and couldn't find it anywhere." (Ad copy for Easy Rider) Picture the scene. You're lost in the wilds of Ireland, the map stopped making sense about an hour ago and you haven't seen a signpost in miles. Up the road towards you comes a native and you seize upon the opportunity to ask directions. You inquire about the best route to your chosen destination and you are met by a response that fills your heart with lead: Well, I wouldn't startfrom here'. In writing this paper our better judgement tells us we shouldn't start from here, but this is where we are and so we'll have to make the best of it An Indian mystic, M. N. Chatterjee once said - if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there (Atkinson, 1994). Modem marketing knows where it is going (or believes it does) and takes a dim view of anyone bold enough to challenge the route it has chosen. Despite this, "..the marketing profession still appears to lack influence", (Whittington and Whipp, 1992, p53). Even within the wider academic community it has been noted that we are in the midst of some form of 'mid-life crisis' (Brown, 1995a). Marketing has

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