Comparison Of Hunt Principles With Burberry Operations
Hunt (1981) dismissed the definition of marketing as a process or set of business activities through which the flow of goods and services is directed from consumers to producers. He based his arguments on the fact that marketing consists of numerous activities that include; managing sales, pricing, studying consumer behavior, marketing communications, managing products, packaging, market research, purchasing, etcetera. Such views led to the change of the definition of marketing by the American Marketing Association. The latest definition describes marketing as follows, “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders” (Wilkie & Moore, 2006 p. 227)
Due to the changes in the global markets, focus has shifted from this definition, to a more holistic approach that puts other factors that influence market systems into consideration. This led to the development of the macro marketing concept. Macro marketing appreciates the complex nature of markets, which consist of marketers, customers, and stakeholders, etcetera. For that reason, macro marketing stresses the need to include market failures and opportunities, as well as both the positive and negative impacts of the marketing process in analyzing marketing. As stated earlier, Hunt defined macro marketing as a multidimensional study of marketing systems, their effects on the society, as well as the effect of society on these systems. Therefore, macro marketing does not only focus on the interactions between sellers and buyers, but also on their effects. Similar thoughts were shared by Fisk (1981), who stated that macro marketing should be best viewed as social process, a life support system that provides technology for resource mobilization and allocation, with focus on the quality and quantity of market provisions as well as the effects of marketing
In the case of Burberry, the definition of macro marketing is clearly observed in the general operations of the company, as well as in their effects. Burberry seems to look at marketing from a holistic view. That is, the company recognizes that in the existing global market environment, decisions not only affect the company, but also customers and other stakeholders. Therefore, the company makes decisions that are of benefit, not only to itself but also the society. That is, the social impacts of the marketing processes are an important consideration. For example, while the company needs reliable cotton supplies to drive its production and to meet its customers’ demands, a consideration of the harmful effects of its production processes on the environment influenced its decision to invest in a sustainable cotton project in Peru. This would ensure that it secures itself a constant supply of the raw product, and at the same time reduce its contribution to environmental pollution. The marketing decisions and systems in that case are not only shaped by the needs and interactions of the marketer and the buyers, but also the possible effects of this interaction. In that case, practice is discussed in light of theory.
Macro marketing can also be looked from another angle, where theory is discussed in light of practice. An example is where Burberry was accused of using toxic nonylphenol ethoxylates in the production of a line of children’s wear. In that case, the company was focusing on creating a product that would appeal to the customers. However, while the market process was designed to focus on delivering the product to the buyer, the social impact of the product came into play, hence affecting the market system. Nonylphenol ethoxylate’s interaction with the skin is known to produce a compound that destabilizes hormones. Therefore, the clothes were posing a risk to the society. The effect was the involvement of Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization, in the marketing process despite the fact that its involvement was not anticipated. From this, we deduce that macro marketing is all about the interaction of marketers, customers, stakeholders as well as the effects of this interaction.
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