McKenna (1991) and Klein (2000) provide very different perspectives on the role of marketing. Using the critical thinking techniques learned in this course, compare and contrast their views, and use your analysis to support your own ideas about the marketing function.
McKenna (1991) and Klein (2000) have a very different perspective on marketing. McKenna (1991) demonstrates a changed perspective of marketing where everything is controlled by the customer. Unlike traditional marketing where the marketers persuaded customers to accept their products, customers in the modern marketing are influencing the products to be made and how they should be made to address their needs. In McKenna’s views, it is the manufacturers who are changing to fit customers’ needs rather than making the customers to purchase what is in the market, customers are forcing manufacturers to make what suits them. According to McKenna (1991), there is a new marketing paradigm that relies on the marketer’s ability, experience, and knowledge to integrate the company and the customer. This new paradigm is founded on the principle s that marketing is similar to quality. Marketing is no longer a function but rather a universal way of conducting business. The other principle is that the marketing goal is not just to make sales of the product but to own the market. According to McKenna (1991) marketing is changing with the change of technology. Based on the new programmable technology, firms can promise customers anything, any time and any way. The marketing is currently changing to deliver the promise. McKenna (1991) also believes that marketing is currently more of a dialogue between customers and the company, thus customers feedbacks are highly important in the new marketing. The quality of the product is as much as important as the quality of the provided services thus high-quality product and services acts as one way of marketing. There is also a strong relationship between marketing and technology. Embracing technological changes in manufacturing is acting as one way to fit the new products in the customers’ needs. The manufactures should thus focus on satisfying customers’ technological needs.
On the contrary, Klein (2000) based her marketing idea on the notion that customers do not know what they want and can easily be influenced by marketers through attractive branding. According to Klein (2000), a marketer can collaborate with the manufacturer by branding an existing product, influence customers to want it and then make an order for its creation after creating the market for it. This means the marketers have the whole control of the market, customers’ needs, desires, tastes, and preferences. According to Klein (2000), attractive branding will surely attract customers, irrespective of the manufacturing process. This implies that manufacturing operations and process, or manufacturing technology and quality are less important than branding. Thus, a marketer is bound to make huge sales as long as they present their product attractively.
The two authors have a very different view. Klein assumes that marketers have an upper hand in the market, and they determine what to be produced by wooing the customers with their branding. On the contrary, McKenna believes that a product cannot sell especially in a competitive market unless it satisfies the customers’ needs. Thus customers have an upper hand on what should be manufactured. In my opinion, Klein’s idea can work but not to all customers. It can effectively sell in kids’ related products where attractiveness woos the buyer. However, it cannot work in technological based products where customers know what they need and what they want. This kind of customer is likely to give a review to the product and inform the other potential customers on the product’s strengths and disappointments and why they should buy or not buy the product. McKenna’s idea of marketing is likely to work in all sectors since customer satisfaction is the key to massive sales of a product. Developing a product with customers in mind is quite different from developing an attractive product. Despite being attractive, Klein should also insist on the quality since once customers realize a product is not up to their standard or does not satisfy their needs sufficiently, they are unlikely to purchase the product again. Klein’s idea of marketing is thus limited to some product and to first time buyers who wish to taste the product due to its attractive nature. However, it is unlikely to build customer loyalty with this form of marketing. On the contrary, McKenna’s strategy is likely to build customers’ trust and to enhance the company’s sustainability in a competitive market.
Klein, N. (2000). No logo: Taking aim at the brand bullies. New York: Picador. (Chapter 1: New branded world).
McKenna, R. (1991). Marketing is everything. Harvard Business Review, 69(1), 65–79.