Chapter 11

Strategy, Stakeholders and Semantics

“The privilege granted to unity, to totality, to organic ensembles, to community as a homogenized whole—this is the danger for responsibility, for decision, for ethics, for politics.”1

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004)

This chapter considers a broad context for marketing and explores what it means to market in this socially connected era of ephemeral connections and fleeting passion for brands. This chapter first examines controllable aspects for relationship marketers to consider and then moves to arenas over which it is more difficult to assert control and where, paradoxically, control may actually be counterproductive.

Customer management implies some degree of customer control. Sales can be fostered and controlled but control of all aspects of relationships invites consideration of what it means to be in control of the mind of a customer, if this is a desirable objective and pursuit, and what the very nature of marketing ought to be with the power to know each customer better, in some respects, than customers may know themselves. If an organization seeks customer control, is it perhaps less likely that the firm actually attains this objective? Throughout this book, you will have observed that firms with considerable customer data stir controversy whenever when they find new ways to use “their” data. Conversely, it could be asked, might an organization secure more influence with customers, rather than over customers, if it limits its ...

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