Lecture 8
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Lecture 8. Corporate-Level Marketing: Beyond the age of innocence. Objectives. Retrospective: “ Revealing the Corporation” A New Gestalt of the Corporation Corporate-Level Concepts: Problem Children Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it?

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Lecture 8

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Lecture 8

Corporate-Level Marketing: Beyond the age of innocence.


Retrospective: “Revealing the Corporation”

  • A New Gestalt of the Corporation

  • Corporate-Level Concepts: Problem Children

  • Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it?

  • “Model of the Moment”: The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix page 353.

  • New Beginnings

Retrospective: “Revealing the Corporation”

  • Since the 1950s we have witnessed the emergence, ascendancy, and eventual hegemony of various corporate-level concepts.

  • Individually, the corporate-level concepts reflect the Zeitgeist of a particular epoch.

  • Currently, we are witnessing a move from fragmentation to consolidation of these corporate-level concepts, albeit a move from simplicity to complexity.

A New Gestalt of the Corporation

  • Balmer and Greyser (2003) argue that the corporate-level concepts examined in “Revealing the Corporation” provides the building blocks of a new gestalt of the corporation: a new philosophy of management.

    A philosophy with a rich, interdisciplinary, inheritance.

Corporate-Level Concepts- Problem Children: i

Existing corporate-level concepts may be deemed to be unsuitable as an umbrella label for this new corporate-level gestalt.

They all have an immense richness, but are either inappropriate, inadequate, or carry too much gratuitous baggage.

Corporate-Level Concepts-Problem Children: ii

  • Many concepts examined in “Revealing the Corporation” may be viewed as second order concepts in that on their own they operate in a vacuum. For instance:

  • Organizational Identity: identification with what ?Corporate Communications: communication of what and to whom?

Corporate-Level Concepts- Problem Children: iii

  • Corporate Image: a problematic, if not imprecise concept.

  • Corporate Reputation: immeasurably more compelling and agreeable than the above BUT again reputation of what? Also, a favorable reputation is not per se a guarantee of business survival.

Corporate-Level Concepts- Problem Children: iv

  • Corporate Branding:has considerable utility. It is manifestly not applicable to all entities however.

  • Corporate Identity:stained (in many countries) but its close association with graphic design.

Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it?

  • “Corporate-Level” connotes a concern with corporate entities in their totality, including networks and partnerships. It also, by implication, denotes a strong link with strategy, and that responsibility resides with the CEO, and board of directors.

Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it? (ii)

  • The link with marketing is made for historical, practical, and operational reasons.

    This is likely to be contentious.

  • However, developing the three explanations cited above marketing offers four distinct advantages in terms of its:



Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it? (iv)


The marketing discipline has made, in our estimation, the most conspicuous contribution to the concepts in this anthology. For instance, communication, image, reputation, and branding are key concepts within the marketing domain whilst others, such as identity, are frequently marshalled by marketing scholars and practitioners.

Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it? (v)


The notion that marketing should concern itself with corporate-level concerns is far from new. Kotler and Levy (1969) argued that it should encompass ANY ENTITY.

Webster, more recently, concluded that marketing should make a paradigm shift away from products and firms to people and organizations.

Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it? (vi)


Marketing has been effective in demonstrating its utility to managers. It is a discipline that is adept in operationalizing theories so that they have an immediate and practical relevance.

Corporate-Level Marketing: What is it? (vii)


Marketing has always been a repository of insights and theories marshalled from other disciplines including psychology, economics, and strategy. The assemblance of diverse perspectives to form a unified whole has been a basic tenet of the area. Culliton (1948) envisioned the marketer to be first and foremost a mixer of ingredients – in other words, an orchestrator.

“Model of the Moment”: The Corporate-Level Marketing Mixsee page 353.

Marketing’s expedience and assemblance are at their most translucent in terms of the marketing mix. As such, the articulation of the marketing mix at the corporate-level may serve a similar purpose.

The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix: i

There are a three substantive differences between the marketing mix and the corporate-level marketing mix:

1. It is broader than the traditional “4Ps” of the marketing mix.

2. The elements of traditional marketing mix require a radical reconfiguration.

3. The mix elements, in many instances, have distinct disciplinary traditions.

The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix: ii



    PHILOSOPHY AND ETHOS: what the organization stands for, and how it undertakes its work

    PERSONALITY: the mix of subcultures within the organization

The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix: iii

PEOPLE: The life-blood of an organization’s identity. They represent an important interface with stakeholder groups and have a crucial role in product and service quality.

PRODUCT: What an organization makes or does: its core business or businesses

PRICE: What an organization charges for its products and services, including the goodwill element in the valuation of its corporate and product brands; the price of the corporation’s stock, and staff salaries

The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix: iv

PLACE: Distribution channels, company’s relationships with distributors, franchising arrangements.

PROMOTION: A concern with Total Corporate Communications (see Section Three) also visual identification, and branding policies

PERFORMANCE: How the organization’s performance is rated by key stakeholders vis a vis the organization’s espoused philosophy and ethos (and corporate brand covenant) and how it is rated against competitors.

The Corporate-Level Marketing Mix: v

PERCEPTION: Questions relating to corporate image and reputation. Perception of the industry/country-of-origin/corporate brand may also be important.

POSITIONING: In relation to important stakeholders, competitors, and the external environment.

New Beginnings

  • There are multiple approaches in contemplating the dynamic organism that is the corporation.

  • In the sphere of management there is nothing more vital, commanding, and insightful than revealing the corporation through an identity lens.

The Ten Ps of the Corporate Marketing Mix

















  • The corporate-level concepts covered in Revealing the Corporation may represent a new gestalt of the corporation.

  • Because of the problems associated with many of the concepts examined in this compilation Balmer and Greyser advocate that this new gestalt, and management philosophy should be known as corporate-level marketing.

Summary: ii

  • This is for historical, practical, and operational reasons.

  • As, such a much broader conceptualization of the marketing mix is required: from 4Ps to 10Ps.

  • What is clear it that multiple approaches are required to reveal an organization and the identity lens affords a commanding and insightful platform for comprehending the dimensions of corporate meaning.

Now this is not the end.It is not even the beginning of the end.But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1942.

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