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An evaluation of artistic influences on marketing theory and practice

Ian Fillis (Department of Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 18 September 2009



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the connections between art and marketing in order to develop enhanced insight into how visual art and the art world can inform marketing theory and practice.


An indepth analysis of a range of relevant literatures is carried out in order to heighten understanding of art as a way of knowing within the marketing discipline. A range of meanings of art and marketing are considered and an analysis of their intersections is carried out.


A number of useful concepts are developed, including that of the marketing manager as an artist. Viewing marketing through visual art is seen as an avant garde response to addressing the continuing theory/practice gap.

Research limitations/implications

Following an art‐based way of knowing in marketing has the potential to challenge more mainstream paths of thinking by opening up the ways in which we visualise marketing theory and practice. Thinking about marketing through art should not be seen as a general panacea for addressing current inadequacies of marketing theory, but should instead be viewed as an alternative mechanism in which contemporary marketing theory and practice can be enriched by the transference and juxtapositioning of art‐based thought with long established ways of thinking about marketing.

Practical implications

Artistic creativity is seen as a key factor in stimulating marketing decisions. Viewing the marketer as artist also mirrors the actual behaviour of the marketing manager by providing insight into intuitive thought processes and visualisation techniques.


Arts marketing research in general is making progress in terms of its theoretical and practical contributions to the wider marketing discipline. It is believed that papers such as this will contribute to the ongoing research agenda by stimulating much needed critical debate.



Fillis, I. (2009), "An evaluation of artistic influences on marketing theory and practice", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 753-774.



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