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On biography in marketing

Ronald Savitt (The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




The purpose of this article is to advance biographical work in marketing, to summarize the status of biography in marketing, and to illustrate the process with an example of a developing study.


The article is based on a literature review of biography and a brief review of biography in marketing; the article illustrates biographical research and writing.


The discussion introduces approaches for undertaking marketing biography, especially the challenges of developing information, assessing its quality, as well as methods for telling the story.

Research limitations/implications

Biography is a “flawed process”. It is difficult to fully elaborate the scope of biography in a journal length article let alone apply the principles. Some topics are shortened, others are hinted at, and others are omitted but the discussion points the way to undertaking biography.


This article introduces contemporary elements for the development of marketing biography illustrated with elements from the life of E.T. Grether.



Savitt, R. (2011), "On biography in marketing", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 486-506.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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