2016 Thomas C. Kinnear Award
Broadening the Paradigm of Marketing as Exchange: A Public Policy and Marketing Perspective
Ronald Paul Hill and Kelly D. Martin
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: Spring 2014, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 17-33
What motivated you to research this particular area?
The reason for this research project was that marketers are ignoring the many ways their goods and services impact the lives of consumers by concentrating on their global characteristics rather than how products fit into the constellation of possessions and things that give meaning to or take meaning away from their lives.
Describe any challenges related to research and writing of your article?
It was originally designed to take a larger look at theory in marketing, which has not progressed much since the early days of exchange theory and its broadening to non-business contexts, However, it found an excellent home in JPPM because its readers care more about the quality of life of consumers than they do about how to manipulate them into purchasing one product or another.
How might marketing managers apply your findings in the field?
Marketing managers must recognize both the benefits and costs of big data and resulting targeting practices. If we know that women between the ages of 25 and 45, who are also African American and single mothers, tend to buy our products, does that tell us anything about the impact on their lives? For example, if such women regularly buy fast foods for their families, is this a consequence of satisfaction or lack of options? Some managers might not care, but long term relationships that serve the purposes of both parties must explore consumers’ larger desires, aspirations, and consequences of their choices. Big data is a start … getting to truly understand the underlying rationales is a necessity.
Were there any interesting questions stemming from your article that you hope will be explored in future research?
The larger questions are as follows: Does big data tell the whole story or are we missing answers to deeper and more pertinent questions? Can we meet our moral obligations by selling to those who buy, or are we tasked with understanding who needs our products and why? Does morality in the marketing process express itself through satisfaction by consumers or other measures such as changes in their quality of life?
Questions for the Classroom
How is the world population organized into haves and have-nots?
Is it the task of marketers to seek consumer satisfaction or positive movements in their quality of life?
What do big data tell us about consumers and what areas of additional and pertinent information are missing?