Original Research

A marketing mix model for a complex and turbulent environment

R. B. Mason, G Staude
Acta Commercii | Vol 7, No 1 | a34 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v7i1.34 | © 2007 R. B. Mason, G Staude | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2007 | Published: 05 December 2007

About the author(s)

R. B. Mason, Department of Marketing, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
G Staude, Rhodes Investec Business School, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper is based on the proposition that the choice of marketing tactics is determined, or at least significantly influenced, by the nature of the companys external environment. It aims to illustrate the type of marketing mix tactics that are suggested for a complex and turbulent environment when marketing and the environment are viewed through a chaos and complexity theory lens.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Since chaos and complexity theories are proposed as a good means of understanding the dynamics of complex and turbulent markets, a comprehensive review and analysis of literature on the marketing mix and marketing tactics from a chaos and complexity viewpoint was conducted. From this literature review, a marketing mix model was conceptualised.

Findings: A marketing mix model considered appropriate for success in complex and turbulent environments was developed. In such environments, the literature suggests destabilising marketing activities are more effective, whereas stabilising type activities are more effective in simple, stable environments. Therefore the model proposes predominantly destabilising type tactics as appropriate for a complex and turbulent environment such as is currently being experienced in South Africa.

Implications: This paper is of benefit to marketers by emphasising a new way to consider the future marketing activities of their companies. How this model can assist marketers and suggestions for research to develop and apply this model are provided. It is hoped that the model suggested will form the basis of empirical research to test its applicability in the turbulent South African environment.

Originality/Value: Since businesses and markets are complex adaptive systems, using complexity theory to understand how to cope in complex, turbulent environments is necessary, but has not been widely researched. In fact, most chaos and complexity theory work in marketing has concentrated on marketing strategy, with little emphasis on individual tactics and even less on the marketing mix as a whole. Therefore, this paper can be viewed as an important foundation for a new stream of research using chaos and complexity theory to better understand marketing mixes and the choice of marketing tactics for complex and turbulent business environments.


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