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Establishing the scope of marketing practice: insights from practitioners

Sally Dibb (Open University Business School, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Cláudia Simões (Open University Business School, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Robin Wensley (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 February 2014




Describing marketing practices is fundamental to understanding both the scope of marketing practice and the actual value it adds to the organization. This paper aims to clarify the reach of marketing practice and the nature of activities that marketers carry out.


The study uses mixed methods, involving qualitative document analysis, qualitative interviews and a quantitative managerial survey.


The findings reveal consistency in the views of academics and practitioners across the following disaggregated elements of practice: stakeholder and relationship marketing, customer analysis, marketing-mix management/marketing planning, and the centrality of customers. However, when these themes are integrated into broader categories of practice, the activities are parceled and prioritized in different ways by the different data sources.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for how marketing is practiced and taught and for the future research agenda.


This study considers the functional practices within marketing and clarifies the scope of marketing practice.



Dibb, S., Simões, C. and Wensley, R. (2014), "Establishing the scope of marketing practice: insights from practitioners", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 No. 1/2, pp. 380-404.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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