Making decisions about marketing is obviously a critical activity for any firm, whether a struggling start-up, a high-growth company in a fast-paced industry, or a leading multinational eager to retain its lofty and exalted position. And it is far from only marketing managers who make critical marketing-related judgments as a central and everyday part of their duties.
The Alfred H. Heineken Professor of Marketing Jean-Claude Larréché and academic colleagues John Mullins, Orville Walker, Jr. and Harper Boyd, Jr. provide the fifth edition of an extremely comprehensive guide that takes a fundamentally practical approach to the multifaceted complexities of modern marketing.
The latest addition of Marketing Management: a Strategic Decision-Making Approach appears at a point in time when the "New Economy" is mature enough to demand academic scrutiny, particularly in light of the fact that the recovery phase is well underway after the boom-and-bust shocks of earlier this decade.
The authors also acknowledge the remarkable growth in recent years of concern over corporate social responsibility and related ethical issues, especially as the globalization of operations makes measuring such often culturally-specific intangibles all the more complicated.
To this end, the book endeavors to take an even more globally relevant approach than in prior editions. The examples of marketing strategies adopted by private firms and not-for-profit organizations considered are taken from practitioners from around the world. Many of the extensive case vignettes that open each chapter focus on players in Europe, Asia and Africa.
While fully acknowledging that "theory is important," the scholars stress their priorities in providing a "real-world, global perspective". Two of the four writers are themselves successful entrepreneurs, including one whose firm is now publicly-listed. "It is in the application of theory - the world of marketing practice - where we believe this book excels."
The authors have often chosen industries that have both experienced enormous growth in certain sectors and come under various intense, often near-disastrous pressure in others to illustrate their expertise, including the global cell phone and airline businesses.
Other cases are intriguing in the originality of their inclusion, such as the holiday cruise industry, the rapid recent changes in Tanzanian telecoms or the highly successful online selling of chocolates, flowers and teddy bears in Britain. In every instance, the selected cases are deconstructed for their usefulness in providing practical insight into the marketing principles being illustrated.
The fifth edition also re-emphasizes the focus on identifying and adopting the correct strategic approach for marketing decision-makers in firms both large and small. It retains this perspective, while also providing the reader with specific pragmatic tools and frameworks for making marketing-related choices that take optimal advantage of the particular conditions in which a firm may find itself. These include "both [internal circumstances] in terms of the firm's mission and competencies, and [external circumstances], in terms of the market and competitive context in which it operates".
Marketing Management was written with the present and future employers of today's crop of business school graduates foremost in mind. Over the years, these bosses have stressed the need to the authors of seeing their newest executives being able to "hit the ground running" and be fully willing and capable of contributing "to the firm's decision making from day one". It is the authors' expressed wish that Marketing Management will be integral in helping to "put the tools in the toolbox to make this happen. In the end, employers want to know what their new hires can do, not just what they know".
McGraw-Hill, 2005 (Fifth Edition)