While academically Borden’s (1964) twelve point framework is undoubtedly the foundation upon which the marketing mix theories were built [as explored in section 1.1 – 4.0] it is also academically the most extensive of the traditional marketing mix models that came about in the 1960s and the hybrids of those models that followed. The twelve point framework contains all of the areas that are contained within the four P’s, seven P’s and two of the five P variations and definite academic links can be made to prove this.
Today, of the theories examined, it appears marketing theories are becoming less generic in nature. The concept of CRM, push and pull and even the six I’s does not present a framework which an organisation can utilize that will leave them with a complete marketing strategy. Modern marketing theories seem to be tailored towards a certain area of marketing such as the targeting aspect or the design of websites suitable for marketing. Nevertheless, academically, the theories examined contained nothing that had not already being highlighted in the twelve point framework thus making the forenamed framework more broad than any other theory examined old or new.
From the research the reason as to why newer marketing models seemed to focus on a specific area within the discipline of marketing rather than attempt to make a generic model is unclear and would perhaps make an interesting hypothesis for a future study. However, one possible suggestion is that that technology has advanced to such an extent that each area within the discipline of marketing is now so immense that a single generic model may no longer be viable if it is to include all of the critical areas. This hypothesis is not one this research would support as the case study organisation shows that, even today, the twelve point framework provides a very strong generic marketing model even thought holes may be starting to appear.
The interview flipped the research on its head by taking what was previously an academically weighted piece of research and applying a practical element to test the newly constructed academic theory [the strength of the twelve point framework] in the real world.
The interview with the marketing officer at International Aviation was conducted in such as way as to discover what parts of the twelve point framework were adhered to within the company. This interview was then analysed in section 5.0 onwards in a manner that allowed evidence of strategies that would span from other marketing models to be identified. This practical investigation showed the case study organisation, through the twelve point framework, to:
- Be strongly applying the 4 P’s
By nature be applying the majority of the four P’s model with the exception of place. This exception was due to the fact that the investigation was carried out within a specialist industry so therefore it is plausible [using the interpretive approach to the qualitative data collected] to say in a less specialised industry the entire model could apply [using common sense].
While the whole sub-mix of each of the four P’s are not applicable in every instance the majority of the sub-mixes are applicable in the instances of product and promotion with a reasonable [two out of five] proportion of the price sub-mix being applicable.
- Be absolutely applying the seven P’s
Apply all of the three additional P’s that Booms et al (1981) seven P’s model generated in their entirety.
- Be strongly applying the push and pull strategy
Apply a combined push and pull strategy to maximize the benefits of both models.
- Be making an attempt at applying the six I’s
Apply two out of six areas of the six I’s model [intelligence and integration]. As with the original four P’s model it is possible that other areas of this model [industry restructuring and interdependence of location] would be applicable if the case study organisation was not one from such a specialised industry with such a concrete trading location.
- Not be making any attempt to apply a CRM strategy.
The above summary clearly shows that the academic links drawn between the twelve point framework and most of the traditional theories [variation of the P’s] stand up in the real world as evidence of the application of these theories can be found through the twelve point framework. The same can be said for the push and pull theory as [referring to the paraphrased interview transcript]. This was talked about at length during the interview.
The possible holes in the twelve point framework begin to appear when looking for application of the six I’s model. With only one third of the model applied. A possible reason for this hole is that the latter two aspects of the I’s model, industry restructuring and interdependence of location, are, as we have seen, not really applicable in the specialist industry. Disregarding the latter part of the model [therefore assuming this is the case] one half of the I’s model would apply which is a stronger application of the model but still not definitive one.
Intriguingly the two I’s that did apply, integration and intelligence, are the only aspects of the model that were specifically to do with an overall marketing campaign, to recap:
- Integration, referring to the use of more than one medium to promote a successful campaign.
- Intelligence, referring to an advancement of the market research process.
This raises the question of whether this model was really suited to the revised research topic. Perhaps an alternative model, with more of a generic focus, would have been more appropriate. The only issue with using an alternative model would be that it is unlikely to be as modern as the six I’s, and if it was it would not yet have become an established marketing theory.
As a supporting model for an overall marketing mix approach the six I’s outdoes the twelve point framework in terms of providing a structured framework by which an organisation can build a website to support the overall campaign but as a generic framework it is of little use alone.
The possible holes in the twelve point framework become more obvious when addressing the issue of CRM. The interview with the marketing officer at International Aviation revealed no evidence at all of a CRM process within the company.
This analysis suggests the hypothesis that the newer specialist theories [theories that address specific areas of marketing not the whole genera or marketing mix], while academically can still be linked back to the twelve point framework, are starting to drift away from the twelve point theory in a more practical perspective.
All in all the research cannot be summarised with a single comment or generalisation such as “today the twelve point framework is no longer a viable generic marketing model”. The reason for this is that while the twelve point framework is still a viable marketing mix model, it has not proven to be broad enough to cover all of [or none of] the areas that some of the newer models have introduced entirely.
Of all of the marketing models examined the framework originally designed by Borden in 1964 is still, by far, the strongest generic marketing mix model examined both academically and practically. The twelve point framework is only surpassed in specific areas by certain models that specialise in those areas, for example the six I’s. However, even the models that specialise in an individual area do not totally revolutionise the marketing mix theory because they all borrow at least some key areas from the twelve point framework.
In the opinion of the student over the next decade or so more and more models will appear on the marketing timeline, however, the trend to move away from a generic model will continue thus models covering only a specific area of the marketing mix will become increasingly common. It is unlikely that academics will cease attempting to create generic marketing models altogether, however, due to the overwhelming ratio of specialised models to generic models it is unlikely that any generic model will capture the fame of the “big three” marketing mix models, the twelve point framework, the four P’s or the seven P’s, however, it is impossible to say for sure.