Book Review: Strategic Social Marketing

Strategic Social Marketing Book Cover

Jeff French and Ross Gordon, Strategic Social Marketing. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd. 2015. 448 pp. $155.00 (hardcover), $59.00 (paper-back), $37.60 (Kindle edition)

ISBN 978-1-44624-861-1 (hardcover), ISBN 978-1-44624-862-1 (paperback)

Ann-Marie Kennedy of Auckland University of Technology recently took the time to review Jeff French and Ross Gordon’s book in the Journal of Macromarketing. Here is an excerpt from her review:

Strategic Social Marketing by Jeff French and Ross Gordon provides a well-rounded view of social marketing that will broaden each reader’s understanding of the concept. In a refreshing take on social marketing, they focus on strategic social marketing, which is defined as: ‘‘The systemic, critical and reflexive application of social JMMK_new C1 template.inddmarketing principles to enhance social policy selection, objective setting, planning and operational delivery’’ (p. 45). Taking a more macro view, this is different from other books on social marketing that focus on individual level behavior change almost exclusively.

Throughout the authors develop the reader’s understanding of social marketing from traditional concepts to the latest discussions and conceptualizations among academics. This should not be surprising given the authors’ contributions to recent developments in social marketing thought within and beyond the Journal of Social Marketing. Not shying away from both sides of the story, they also present criticism, contradictions, and critiques, blending theory to aid readers in reaching their own conclusions. With thoughtful insights and enlightened citations, this is a must read for anyone in the area.

You can read the full review from Journal of Macromarketing by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts for the latest research and articles published by the Journal of Macromarketing.

How Has Retailing Evolved?

antique-cash-register-1552352From general stores to department stores and superstores, retailing has undergone significant changes in the past two centuries. In their article “The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing, authors Ellen McArthur, Scott Weaven, and Rajiv Dant review a wide range of literature detailing the progression of retailing throughout the years.

[Editor’s Note: We are saddened to report the passing of Rajiv Dant. Dr. Dant held the dual positions of Helen Robson Walton Centennial Chair in Marketing in the Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma and Professor of Marketing, Griffith University. He was a world-renowned scholar in the areas of distribution channels, supply chain management, and franchising.]

The abstract:

The evolution of retailing has interested academics across a range of disciplines including economics, history, JMMK_new C1 template.inddgeography, and marketing. Due to its interdisciplinary appeal, the corpus of knowledge on retailing is composed of many disparate variables of analysis – from transaction costs and entrepreneurs, to environmental factors and the dispersion of stores. In consequence, the literature that attempts to explain retailing evolution presents as a patchwork, and extant theories remain disconnected because of their narrowness of focus. This literature review applies a macro and systems theory approach to the multi-discipline literature, and links together bodies of work that, until now, have remained conceptually unconnected. This provides a meta typology of six factors that could explain change in retailing: economic efficiencies, cyclical patterns, power inequities, innovative behavior, environmental influences, and interdependent parts of the system in co-evolution.

You can read The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Macromarketing? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

The Sports Marketing Career of “Tex” Rickard


Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

Born in 1870, George Lewis “Tex” Rickard’s career path was far from traditional. He served time as a Texas marshal, prospected for gold in Alaska, founded both the South America Land and Cattle Company and the Rickard Texas Oil Company, and famously promoted boxing across the United States. But according to Chad S. Seifried and Ari de Wilde in their article “Building the Garden and Making Arena Sports Big Time: ‘Tex’ Rickard and His Legacy in Sport Marketing” from the Journal of Macromarketing, Rickard also made important contributions to the field of sports marketing decades before it was thought to exist.

The abstract:

Foreshadowing the beginning of the Great Depression, George “Tex” Rickard succumbed to appendicitis in 1929. A leader and representative of sport marketing during the 1920s, Rickard altered the urban landscape in American cities by definitively showing that promoters could use sports in arenas (i.e., indoor) to help those venues be economically viable through the production of awe-inspiring spectacles. In this article, the authors critically examine sport marketing as a tool to JMMK_new C1 template.inddhelp reframe the career of Tex Rickard and ultimately the development of Madison Square Garden III in the context of macromarketing. This historical and illustrative case study will also demonstrate that sport marketing is somewhat different than traditional marketing through an emphasis on media and community relations. Finally, we will show how Rickard made use of the traditional “marketing mix” (i.e., place, price, promotion, and product) to capitalize on the urban setting and other strategies employed to promote products and services.

You can read “Building the Garden and Making Arena Sports Big Time: ‘Tex’ Rickard and His Legacy in Sport Marketing” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this? Click here to sign up for e-alerts from Journal of Macromarketing!

What Can Yesterday’s Throwaways Tell Us About Sociocultural Branding?

trash-473333-mOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure seems to have been the case with Robert Opie, founder of Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London. Opie’s museum houses a multitude of everyday artifacts dating as far back as the Victorian era through recent history. In their article entitled “Throwaway History: Brand Ephemera and Consumer Culture” published in Journal of Macromarketing, Michael Heller and Aidan Kelly analyzed the collections at the museum and found that while the exhibits consisted mainly of low involvement brands, they none-the-less illustrated the evolution of British society.

The abstract:

In this article, we consider how brand artifacts and ephemera can be used to understand social and cultural JMMK_new C1 template.inddhistory. We present an analysis of the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London and examine the collection of exhibits. Our analysis reveals that the museum is predominantly a collection of low involvement brands that reflect important developments in British society and culture over the past 150 years. We begin with a historiography of brands in Britain from 1800 – 1980 drawn primarily from the field of business history. We then analyze the exhibits of the museum and its collections, considering the predominance of low involvement brands in the collection and the relationship between the museum and its corporate sponsors. Finally, we evaluate brands as sociocultural phenomena and explore what the exhibits at the museum imply for contemporary brand management theory. We conclude that low involvement brands have been neglected within brand management research and that our collective throwaway history of brands and packaging are rich sources for understanding society and culture.

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Was There Social Marketing in Victorian England?

matches-924021-mSocial Marketing is not a new concept. In his 1952 article G. D. Wiebe asked “Why can’t you sell brotherhood like you sell soap?” But is it possible that the practice of social marketing could reach back as far as Victorian England? Author Jayne Krisjanous discusses the roots of social marketing in her research on the “Lights in Darkest England” match campaign in late nineteenth century London. Her article entitled “Examining the Historical Roots of Social Marketing Through the Lights in Darkest England Campaign” is available now in the OnlineFirst section of Journal of Macromarketing.

The abstract:

This article discusses the “Lights in Darkest England” (LIDE) match campaign, rolled out by General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army in London’s East End 1891-1901. The purpose is to draw comparison between this campaign and the definition and principles of social marketing as they are understood today. A case study approach is used. First the Victorian match industry is described and then the Lights in DarkestJMMK_new C1 template.indd England campaign is compared with the elements considered integral to an effective social marketing approach. The Lights in Darkest England match brand was not successful as a commercial enterprise based on sales of matches from the dedicated match factory. However, profit from match sales was not the main intent of this commercial endeavour. Rather, improvement in the harsh working conditions of Victorian match industry workers and the alleviation of phossy jaw were the key objectives. In this regard, the campaign was influential in the interplay between the marketing systems and society of the day. By examining the historical roots of contemporary social marketing a valuable contribution is made to the future development and sustainability of social marketing into the future.

Click here to read “Examining the Historical Roots of Social Marketing Through the Lights in Darkest England Campaign” for free from Journal of Macromarketing. Want to keep updated on all the latest research from Journal of Macromarketing? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Are You Throwing Those Old Jeans in the Trash?

jeans-12-28834-mThe United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recovered each year, leaving a whopping 85% in landfills. This means that used textiles occupy nearly 5% of landfills overall. What can be done to help this problem? Karin M. Ekström and Nicklas Salomonson discuss the possibilities from a macromarketing perspective in their article, “Reuse and Recycling of Clothing and Textiles – A Network Approach” from Journal of Macromarketing.

The abstract:

The accelerated pace of consumption in the Western world has led to an increase in clothing and textiles disposed of in the garbage rather than being reused or recycled. The purpose of this article is toJMMK_new C1 template.indd increase understanding of how clothing and textile consumption can become more sustainable by demonstrating how members of a network view and deal with this problem. The study is based on meetings over one and a half years and on a survey. Different views on the problem as well as various solutions on how to increase reuse and recycling of clothing and textiles are presented, including means and challenges. A macromarketing perspective, involving different actors in society, is necessary in order to make consumption more sustainable and for finding long-term solutions. We argue that understanding symbolic consumption and the fashion system can contribute to the macromarketing study of societal development from a sustainable perspective.

Click here to read “Reuse and Recycling of Clothing and Textiles – A Network Approach” for free from Journal of Macromarketing. Click here to sign up for e-alerts and get news on all the latest from Journal of Macromarketing.

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

(CC BY Robert Couse-Baker)

(CC BY Robert Couse-Baker)

At the end of March, meat producers in North America, including Tyson Foods Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp., lost an appeal to suspend new country-of-origin labeling laws, claiming it violated their first amendment rights. The law has been a hot topic of debate, with some claiming that labeling is a food safety tool and others that it’s merely a consumer information program. So how much is actually known about the practice of Country-of-origin labeling? An article entitled “Twenty Years of Country-of-Origin Food Labeling Research: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Food Marketing Systems” researched this topic, available now from the Journal of Macromarketing.

The abstract:

Recent legislation by the United States and European Union governments now mandates the provision ofJMMK_new C1 template.indd country-of-origin (COO) information at the point of purchase for a variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, and other assorted food products. To better understand the significance of these regulatory changes, two decades of existing COO food labeling research are synthesized, reviewed, and discussed. The implications for two primary sets of actors within aggregate marketing systems, consumers and practitioners, are then discussed from a macromarketing perspective. Based on the reviewed literature, the authors conclude that little generalizable knowledge about COO food labeling effects exists, and further identify a lack of sufficient theoretical application and development as a primary reason. Consequently, the exact impact of mandatory (and voluntary) COO labeling initiatives for consumers and practitioners still remains unclear and highly debatable. Thus, as these initiatives continue to make country-of-origin labeling more commonplace around the world, it is crucial that additional theory-driven research be conducted, especially from a macromarketing perspective, to foster more generalizable knowledge about the complex role of COO information in aggregate food marketing systems.

Read “Twenty Years of Country-of-Origin Food Labeling Research: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Food Marketing Systems” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here. Click here to sign up for e-alerts and stay up to date on all the latest from Journal of Macromarketing.