Is Marketing Science or Arts

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The debating question concerning marketing whether it is a form of science or art has long been a controversial subject. Scholars over the past several decades have constantly argued attempting to classify and prove the term marketing belonging into either the art and science category.

Marketing is derived by which a product/service originate, priced, promoted and placed/distributed to people who consume them. It involves lots of preparations, developments, organizing and decision making for all the four P(s) of marketing. People’s general misconception of the term ‘marketing’ is that it is an artistic field whereby the role of marketers is to be creative, innovative and thus cook up impressive actions and put their ideas ranging from product adverts, slogans, logos and mascots across the board. What people fail to realize is that beneath all above, there lies the strategic science that revolves the four fundamental P(s) of marketing - the product, price, place/distribution strategy that needs to be developed and finally the promotion . The scientific classification for marketing is divided into a group of four factors ranging from practicality, knowledge based, academic based as well as intellectual needs.

This essay will focus on some of key factors to argue the point that while marketing as an activity does tend to involve artistic endeavors requiring creativity on the part of marketers, the core of marketing itself as a subject matter is that it's very much grounded in the principles of social science, like psychology, for example.


Marketing Is Science:

In the past, academics like Vaile (1949), Bartels (1951), Hutchinson (1952) and Buzzell (1963) have strongly affirmed that marketing is a form of an art due to the complexity of marketplace behaviors was impossible to be formulated based on theories. Vaile (1949) believes that innovation, creativity with styles and intuitive feel is what appeals to consumers for a particular product or service. On the contrary, we have another group of academics that stands on the other side arguing that marketing is indeed science, people like Converse (1945), Brown (1948), Alderson and Cox (1948), Kotler (1972) and Hunt (1976).

Zyman (1999) states that his fundamental belief of marketing is that is not just alchemy or art but rather it is science because marketing needs to be carried out in accordance to business principles. It is a strategic activity focusing on a discipline and using the right tools to carry it out. Again, Zyman (1999) affirms that marketers whose focus is merely based on creativity are bound to have plenty of ideas but not when it comes to sales. It is certainly undeniable that marketing jobs requires some artistic facets to attract consumers to their products or services in the vein of innovative taglines, slogans, design and packaging but these artistic elements do not just appear out of thin air but from methodological advancement of studies be it behavioral science or business areas as well as sociology.

Sutton and Klein (2003) claims that marketers are businesspersons and their role is not merely consisting of being imaginatively trendy. It is therefore a marketer’s accountability to contribute intellectual research and process discipline to the enterprise marketing management. Marketers must have hypothesis of marketing hopes versus marketing expectations to achieve based on a scientific methodology and setting out to experiment it. The common marketing failures are due to the incapability of marketers to apply knowledge of their clients to position their brands, inability to effectively market their brands beyond traditional media plus failure to create necessary customer processes due to lacking of culture and organization information for brand management.

Arndt (1985) in his own words quoted that ‘Even a cursory perusal of scholarly articles in marketing journals is bound to confirm...
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