Holbrook (2002) Death of Marketing

Holbrook (2002) Death of Marketing - European Journal of...

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Unformatted text preview: European Journal of Marketing 36,5/6 706 European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 5/6, 2002, pp. 706-732. # MCB UP Limited, 0309-0566 DOI 10.1108/03090560210422970 Elegy on the death of marketing Never send to know why we have come to bury marketing but ask what you can do for your country churchyard Morris B. Holbrook and James M. Hulbert Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, USA Keywords Marketing concept, Academic staff, Internet Abstract Considers the past, present and future of marketing. Whimsically but not without seriousness, concludes that marketing faces something of a Y2K problem. Indeed, as the next millennium begins, concludes that, though the marketing concept may survive, the marketing function itself is dead. Nonetheless, cautions against the concomitant extermination of marketing scholars. Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee (John Donne, Devotions , 1624). I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him (William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar , III, 2, 1599, ). Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country (John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1960). Preview The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me (Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard , ll. 1-4, 1751). Marketing has been around for a long time ± at least since Satan waged a promotional selling campaign to persuade Eve to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden. Hence, marketing is as old as original sin itself ± indeed, a little bit older. Not surprisingly, given such associations, marketing has often been viewed as a potential social problem ± a threat of concern to society by virtue of its possible contribution to evil, a force working toward the production and distribution of ``bads'' as well as ``goods.'' By analogy with those who argue that ``guns don't kill, people do,'' we would tend to side with the claim that marketing is a neutral force that can be used beneficently (e.g. to promote a worthwhile cause such as trash recycling, saving the whales and jazz recordings) or malevolently (e.g. to sell cigarettes to children, diet pills to anorexics, and Kenny G. albums to music listeners). What matters to the present essay, however, is not The research register for this journal is available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/researchregisters The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0309-0566.htm The first author gratefully acknowledges the support of the Columbia Business School's Faculty Research Fund. The death of marketing 707 the debate concerning the goodness or badness of marketing per se ± but rather the need for recognizing that such a debate becomes irrelevant in view of the fact that, as we enter the next millennium, we find to our regret that marketing faces a rather formidable Y2K problem (Brown...
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Holbrook (2002) Death of Marketing - European Journal of...

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