Travels with the Flying Dutchman: marketing managers, marketing planning and the metaphors of practice

Ardley, Barry (2005) Travels with the Flying Dutchman: marketing managers, marketing planning and the metaphors of practice. In: Academy of Marketing Annual conference, July 2005, Dublin Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

A review of the literature on strategic marketing planning reveals that the manner in which it is carried out in practice does not appear to reflect the way in which it is written about in texts. It is also clear that the exploration of marketing processes in organisations is seriously neglected from a phenomenological perspective. In order to explore this area, and the lived reality of planning from marketing managers perspectives, a research methodology was adopted using the phenomenological interview. A key research question focused investigation on determining what successful marketing decision making expertise actually consists of, if it is not about the explicit skills and knowledge embedded in the rational technical model of planning.

The subsequent phenomenological analysis of the interviews demonstrated that the complexity of marketing planning and individual action cannot be collapsed into a textual model. What managers drew on was a qualitative, locally constructed knowledge base. Marketing decision making and action was found to be based within a locally enacted hermeneutical circle of talk, relationships, tacit knowledge and emergent issues, where the plans they wrote acted as cues to action rather than as prescriptive guides. Based on these findings, a revised theoretical framework is proposed for understanding marketing planning. This framework draws on the socially constructed metaphors used by the marketing managers in this study to explain their practical activity. It is argued that this theoretical approach offers up ideas for action to other marketers, rather than prescriptions. It also indicates that much marketing activity is successful yet diverse, both in form and style.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:A review of the literature on strategic marketing planning reveals that the manner in which it is carried out in practice does not appear to reflect the way in which it is written about in texts. It is also clear that the exploration of marketing processes in organisations is seriously neglected from a phenomenological perspective. In order to explore this area, and the lived reality of planning from marketing managers perspectives, a research methodology was adopted using the phenomenological interview. A key research question focused investigation on determining what successful marketing decision making expertise actually consists of, if it is not about the explicit skills and knowledge embedded in the rational technical model of planning. The subsequent phenomenological analysis of the interviews demonstrated that the complexity of marketing planning and individual action cannot be collapsed into a textual model. What managers drew on was a qualitative, locally constructed knowledge base. Marketing decision making and action was found to be based within a locally enacted hermeneutical circle of talk, relationships, tacit knowledge and emergent issues, where the plans they wrote acted as cues to action rather than as prescriptive guides. Based on these findings, a revised theoretical framework is proposed for understanding marketing planning. This framework draws on the socially constructed metaphors used by the marketing managers in this study to explain their practical activity. It is argued that this theoretical approach offers up ideas for action to other marketers, rather than prescriptions. It also indicates that much marketing activity is successful yet diverse, both in form and style.
Keywords:marketing planning, metaphors, phenomenology
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N500 Marketing
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:5784
Deposited By: Barry Ardley
Deposited On:02 Jun 2012 12:45
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:10

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