The soft dimension of marketing science is a lot more

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The soft dimension of marketing science is a lot more dif fi cult to de fi ne as it encompasses human psychology and behaviours, which interact in complex ways. Take culture, an anthropological science, as an example. It is clear that culture informs marketing decisions and strategic objectives of fi rms; one may proclaim more so than any other social phenomena. Culture, however, is such a complex notion to even de fi ne and to comprehend, let alone to allow it to inform marketing decisions. However, it is never the less a prominent component within marketing. One may even argue that it is the key. This is just one example of how soft sciences are dif fi cult to form concrete conclusions and solutions for marketing means. This is not to say that they cannot interact with hard science means to provide marketing solutions. But, as Brinker ( 2013 ) states this interaction is usually on a relatively limited scope within speci fi c scenarios. However, this cannot be an excuse to believe that such interactions between hard and soft sciences produce approaches which can match that of the actual knowledge of customer thinking and behaviour; at best they are simpli fi ed approximations within a narrow context (Brinker 2013 ). This notion will be expanded on, later within this chapter. Thus far we have de fi ned scienti fi c marketing and it s highly complex nature. This is summed up perfectly by Hunt ( 1976 ), who de fi nes it as intersubjective certi fi cation which concerns the epistemologically uniqueness of results. However, in spite of such inherent dif fi culties, and this perfect sum up of such a tricky phenomena, there are de fi nitely some prominent elements of scienti fi c marketing that are worth exploring. Firstly, there are some speci fi c patterns within scienti fi c marketing that can determine models and hypotheses for marketing purposes. But recognising the limitations within scienti fi c marketing is nevertheless prevalent; it is ultimately about managing the complex system dynamics of marketing most effectively as possible (Brinker 2013 ). Secondly, it should be celebrated that marketing as a science utilises and embraces so many different phenomena from different scienti fi c disciplines. Although translating these disciplines for use within marketing is challenging, it does provide endless inspiration for new marketing concepts. As previously mentioned, paying attention to relevance and reliability is still prevalent, but it does provide this business function with a constant stream of new ideas, models and means to market successfully. Overall, and pre-eminently, we can fully establish that, whether hard or soft, science informs marketing despite such complexities. There are speci fi c guidelines that have been developed which have been adapted in Fig. 5 , which illustrates how science, both soft and hard, can inform marketing in the most effective means.
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