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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Volume 26, Issue 3.
I am very pleased to have a viewpoint contribution from Andrew McAuley, the Chair of the UK's Academy of Marketing, with which to open this issue of Marketing Intelligence & Planning (MIP). The Academy of Marketing is the learned society for scholars engaged in teaching and research in marketing in the UK. Under Andrew's leadership, the academy is building links with other learned societies, such as the British Academy of Management, and is developing new research initiatives to improve both the practice of marketing, and academic research in the field of marketing. Andrew explains how the further development of links between the academic and practitioner communities in marketing is an important goal for the academy, and how this role for the academy coincides with the publishing Mission of MIP.
In the first of our peer-reviewed articles for this issue, John Nicholson, Adam Lindgreen and Philip Kitchen of Hull University Business School find a new way to explore the field of relationship marketing. The perspectives they adopt are drawn from the field of geography spatial proximity, the “buzz” of the city, and “social capital”. Marketers have long known that geographical approaches can contribute a great deal to their discipline, most notably through the application of geo-demographic techniques in market segmentation and data-mining. However, the links that Nicholson and his colleagues make from geographic concepts to competencies and the resource-based perspective are intriguing and, to this marketer at least, entirely novel.
The next article sees Kristie Seawright, Kirsten DeTienne, Preston Bernhisel and Charlotte Hoopes, a team based at Brigham Young University in Utah, address the topic of service recovery design. While this subject is already well established in the literature, there will always be space for an article that sheds new illumination on a topic that is of such importance to marketing practice. In addition, it is interesting to read about the research method employed in this study. Although an experimental design and the use of controlled scenario manipulations are not unheard-of in the field of marketing, they remain relatively little-used, and, I suspect, relatively little understood. Seawright and her colleagues present interesting observations on the comparison between their experimental design, and the critical incident technique methods that have often been employed in prior studies of similar phenomena.
The article that follows, by Geng Cui, Man Leung Wong, Guichang Zhang and Lin Li a team based at Lingnan University, the Ocean University of China, and Shangdong University takes us in quite a different direction. This is a technical paper, in which the authors methodically compare different approaches to modelling in direct marketing (Bayesian neural networks, classification and regression tree, latent class models, and logistic regression) using three evaluative criteria and two validation methods. This is accomplished using a data set of over 100,000 customers, obtained from an American catalogue direct marketing business. Their conclusion is that none of the modelling methods dominates all of the others under all conditions, so that no single method stands out as the “best” approach to modelling but to appreciate the nuanced conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the modelling methods, I refer you to the full article!
From an experimental research design (by Seawright and colleagues) and a large-scale quantitative analysis (by Cui and colleagues), it is onwards to a very interesting piece of qualitative research in the UK hotel industry, reported by Jane Moriarty and Rosalind Jones (University of Wales, Bangor), Jennifer Rowley (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Beata Kupiec-Teahan (Scottish Agricultural College). This is an examination of the marketing practices of small hotels in north Wales, based largely on interviews with the owner-managers. It is hardly surprising to find that the busy hoteliers are not engaged in sophisticated marketing planning; they do have hotels to run, after all. However, the degree of variation in marketing practice between the case study hotels might be a little more surprising, since some are much more marketing-savvy than others.
Studies that investigate the relationship between marketers and accountants are certainly something that should be encouraged, given that one could sometimes be forgiven for supposing that marketers and accountants inhabit quite different worlds and speak entirely different languages (“accountants are from Saturn, marketers are from Mercury” perhaps). The final article in this issue, By Tansu Barker of Brock University in Canada, takes a look at differences between marketers and accountants in terms of their information-sharing behaviour. Marketers consider accountants to be a more important information source than accountants consider marketers to be. So, good news on one front, namely, that marketers are convinced of the need for accounting information in order to make good marketing decisions. Perhaps, not so good news that accountants do not consider marketers to be a terribly important information source. Maybe, this suggests that it is time for marketers to return to the “internal marketing” concept, a topic on which there seems not to have been much discussion in recent years.