Brass Glasses is a blog that looks at the ways people make sense of and explain marketing work.
Marketing work is a term that has its roots in the sociological thinking of Anselm Strauss and the idea that ‘work’ or ‘practice’ is much more than the daily tasks we undertake. This means that as well as doing tasks like make a phone call, attend meetings, negotiate for budgets, devise strategies, plans and tactics, write reports, do market research, review customer meetings etc we also do things like construct our professional identities, use the experience of our profession, sector and place of work to make intuitive commercial judgements, manage social, ethical and emotional situations, and follow the implicit rules for ‘how things are done around here’. See Svensson P. (2007)Producing marketing: towards a social-phenomenology of marketing work. Marketing Theory 7: 271 as an example of this approach in the field of marketing management.
Another key idea underpinning this blog is the perspective that ‘how’ something is conceptualised in the minds of marketing and sales professionals and the language they use to talk about things actually affects the way the way those things become in reality. This means that the way something is defined, characterised and spoken about has the potential to strongly influence the way things actually happen. I assume therefore that the idea of Marketing is socially constructed. People construct alternative versions of what marketing is and what marketing means through their language and discourse. I don’t believe there is one objectively superior definition of what marketing.
My posts are written from a position that recognises that our management world view is often based on taken for granted assumptions about how the world works. These assumptions influence the way we make sense of our world. They affect how we define problems and challenges and how we create solutions.
I hope to engage readers in sharing their perspectives about what this thing we call marketing ‘is’, the relationship between theory and practice, and how our tacit assumptions influence how marketing is explained and done.
Additionally I seek to broaden interest and debate about Marketing beyond the conventional mainstream view that it is exclusively a managerial problem solving and decision making technology based on ‘positivistic’ and managerialist principles. The conventional view of marketing approaches it as a science more than art. I think it best explained as a combination of the two.
I am very sceptical about whether one absolutely ‘right way’ to do marketing exists, and that multiple perpsectives offer the prospect of continuous adapatability and innovation. On the other hand it doesn’t accept that ‘anything goes’. Some ways of doing things are more carefully thought through, imaginative and make more of a meaningful and relevant difference to businesses and customers.
Significantly I believe that the ‘marketing practioner’, and the ‘organisation’, the human dimension of marketing practice cannot be conveniently airbrushed out of the marketing picture and substituted with grids, matrices and process flow diagrams. I don’t believe marketing practice can be understood as if the human beings didn’t originate every idea and interpretation.