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CRITICAL MARKETING According to Stair and Stair (2008), we are within the marketing era, which is characterized by a radical shift from the previous sales orientation to market orientation – a paradigm that emphasizes the identification of what the consumers want and produce products according to these wants.
An examination of this and other contemporary marketing practices reveals emergent issues that deserve closer inspection in the area of marketing as a discipline. A number of these have already attracted academic investigation but the most important include the advent of the so-called relationship marketing and the increasing focus on ethics and social responsibility. There is, hence, an additional paradigm shift, which is best examined through the critical marketing perspective. Traditional Marketing The traditional marketing mix is composed of the so-called 4Ps, which was introduced by McCarthy back in the 1960s. This doctrine explains how marketing strategies, plans and approaches are designed according to four marketing elements: product, price, place (distribution channel); and, promotion (marketing communication). According to Barker and Angelopulo (2005), the fundamental task of marketing is to combine these four elements into a marketing program so that efficiency in dealing with customers is achieved. (p139) For several decades, this traditional marketing mix, dominated marketing practices because it is aligned with the core marketing principle of consumer-centrism. By 1990s, however, new marketing paradigms began to surface. ...
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