Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose that the choice of marketing tactics is influenced by the company's external environment. It aims to illustrate the marketing tactics suggested for a complex, turbulent environment, when marketing and the environment are viewed through a complexity lens. Design/methodology/approach – A marketing mix model, derived from complexity literature, was assessed via a multiple case study to identify the type of marketing mix suggested for a complex, turbulent environment. The study was exploratory, using in‐depth interviews with two companies in the IT industry. Findings – The results tentatively confirmed that the more successful company used a destabilizing marketing mix, and suggest that using complexity theory to develop marketing tactics could be helpful in turbulent environments. Research limitations/implications – The findings are limited by the study's exploratory, qualitative nature and the small sample. Generalizing should be done with care and therefore further research with larger samples and in different environments is recommended. Practical implications – The paper will benefit marketers by emphasizing a new way to consider future marketing activities of their companies. The model can assist marketers to identify the tactics to use, dependent on the nature of their environment. Originality/value – Most work on complexity in marketing has concentrated on strategy, with little emphasis on tactics and the marketing mix. Therefore, the paper is an important contribution to the understanding of marketing mix choices, of interest to both practising marketers and marketing academics.
Industrial Management & Data Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 13, 2009
Keywords: Complexity theory; Chaos theory; Marketing mix; Marketing strategy
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