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The Orthodoxy and Hegemony of ‘Marketing Communications': From Interactive Communication to Communicative Interaction

International Journal of Applied Marketing (ISSN: 1742-2612) Volume 1 Issue 2

Dr Richard J Varey

Abstract

The contribution of this paper is to support a widening of the critique of orthodox marketing ideology and practice by reflecting on the growing popularity of integrated marketing communication. This is attempted by asking what is to be integrated and why is marketing not seen as fundamentally an integrative social process. It is recognised that the concept of dialogue as a particular productive form of interaction is largely omitted for the discourse. An explanation for this is developed.

The instrumental, managerialistic nature of marketing thinking and practices are discussed. This suggests that marketing is generally operated as a systematically distorted communication system, even though communication is seen quite generally as just one instrument in a multi-dimensional and manipulable marketing mix.

A rationale for a reconception of communication in management, incorporating marketing, is outlined, and this reveals the need for a ritual metaphor that draws on social constructionist explanations of communication in a social process of marketing.

The limitations and consequences of explaining communication as information transmission are considered, in opposition to the conception of marketing as a knowledge transformation process. The Appreciative System is forwarded as a simple model for the marketing system, as part of a ‘corporate communication' managing system.

Implications of this conceptual shift for both the ideology and practice of marketing communication are reflected upon in reaching a conclusion that points the way to a revitalised marketing communication framework.

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