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THE FUTURE OF MARKETING
HAS NO WEB ... APPARENTLY

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I know I am prejudice, but ...

I have just scanned through a book that was sent to me by its publisher [a common practice in HE]. It is a book on marketing management and strategy*, but obviously I look closely for the e-marketing content. In this case I had to look very closely, because there isn't any. In the index, 'Internet' has two entries. E-commerce, e-marketing, or e- anything, online marketing or online anything are not included in the index. They are not in the index because they are not in the book.

In an 18 page chapter titled 'Marketing in the Future' there's a page and half on the Internet - which focuses on its use in online shopping [yet manages to avoid the term e-commerce].

There is an entire chapter on 'communications strategy', which completely ignores the web, and mentions e-mail only in a list of media that can be used for direct marketing.

The buyer behaviour section talks at length about the way marketers should help customers with their 'problem solving' - but there is no mention of the web. I would suggest it is in this aspect of marketing that the web has had its biggest impact - the UK white goods and computer retailer Dixons recently announced that around 80% of its customers used the web to research products before making a purchase at their bricks and mortar outlets. Research in the US suggests the figure is 63% for all products. There are also reliable predictions that global ad spending, forecasting that Internet advertising spend will overtake outdoor in 2007 and pull alongside radio in 2008.

OK, I accept that some people do not believe in the Internet in the same way I do. But to discount - ignore even - its effect on contemporary marketing is to do it a great disservice. Surely it cannot still be that marketers are afraid of the technology?

Thank goodness some people are writing about online marketing. Did I mention I am one of them ;-)

* Doyle P, Stern P. [2006] Marketing Management and Strategy 4th Edition. Prentice Hall, UK.

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