Around the middle of the 1950s, marketers began flexing their muscles and the modern day marketing department began to take shape. Many of the strategic, research, and media related methodologies developed during this mid-twentieth century that we now refer to as the Mad Men era (owing to the highly acclaimed cable TV show) are still used widely to this day. An intellectual foundation began to emerge that saw marketing as its own distinct profession. It was captured in a set of ideas that has come to be called the marketing concept philosophy, meant to differentiate marketing from an earlier concept built around a sales-focused model of buyer engagement.
It is the same philosophical framework that students on the marketing track in most business schools learn today. So it’s worth understanding a bit about these philosophies and the grounding professional marketers bring to the job. This will help us identify which concepts are worth keeping and which ones need to go as we retool both marketing and sales to accelerate revenue growth.
Professor Richard L. Sandhusen, whose textbooks on marketing are used in business schools worldwide, identifies three distinct philosophies of marketing: as a business concept, as a societal concept, and as a concept of relationships. In essence: