Marketing Management in Britain: What is the Evidence for ‘Failure’?

Robert Fitzgerald

in Business in Britain in the Twentieth Century

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199226009
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191710315 | DOI:
Marketing Management in Britain: What is the Evidence for ‘Failure’?

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The evidence from marketing history rarely enters into discussions of British managerial failure, and, when it does, it focuses on the operational aspects of distribution, ignoring the wider significance of marketing at many levels. This chapter examines the development of marketing and distribution in Britain more fully, and considers its changing purposes as a business function. Through international comparison, we can discover if British companies consistently failed to match trends or advanced practice elsewhere. Marketing management before 1920 and mass marketing in Britain after 1920 are discussed. The existing evidence does not reveal a failure in British marketing management, or even a harmful lag in the adoption of new approaches. It is difficult to see how poor practice in marketing might have contributed to comparative national decline over the 20th century.

Keywords: marketing history; Britain; marketing management; mass marketiing; poor practices

Chapter.  9978 words. 

Subjects: Business History

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