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Before explaining the methodology it is important to note that some planned and some unplanned changes have taken place since the original research proposal.
The original research topic of: An investigation into the traditional principles of marketing in light of emarketing [in the aviation industry] was changed. The new research topic is: An investigation into the traditional principles of marketing [the marketing mix] in light of the impact of Ecommerce within the aviation training industry.
The marketing mix is arguably the most renowned marketing theory or all time (Eid 2002). The phrase “marketing mix” was coined by Borden (1964) in the early sixties after reading Culliton’s (1948) work in which he describes a business executive as a “mixer of ingredients” (Rafiq et al 1995). This formed a milestone in the development of marketing planning and the conversation of planning into practice.
When the phrase marketing mix was initially coined by Borden (1964) he suggested twelve fundamental principles that would make up the mix thus becoming the starting point of a marketing campaign, these were:
Chaffey et al (2002) highlight the fact that marketing differs today from the past. A steady change has taken place over the last decade due to the increasing use of various digital media for the communication of marketing messages. McDonald et al (1999) state that today there is an electronic marketing mix which is made up of the Six I’s:
- Industry restructuring
- Independence of location
While the preceding timeline illustrates most of the groundbreaking theories and marketing milestones (Rafiq et al 1995) in the development of modern marketing theory the subsequent section illustrates how all the theories, fundamentally, are the built on the foundation of Borden’s (1964) twelve point framework and that, while many of these theories appear to be different, they all contain the basic principles as the twelve point framework:
The four P’s
It is universally accepted that the four P’s model was derived directly from Borden’s (1964) twelve point framework (Rafiq et al 1995). The four P’s successfully condensed the framework making a more memorable academic model which did not omit as much of the twelve point framework as many people assume due to the inclusion of the sub-mixes [which are not as well known outside of the marketing world] detailed in section 1.1. The price and promotion aspects of the four P’s are lifted directly from Borden’s (1964) framework and the product and place aspects are attempts to condense aspects of the twelve point framework using the sub-mixes. McCarthy (1964) included packaging and brand directly within the product sub-mix of the four P’s model, both of which were lifted directly from the twelve point framework.
In order to test the fundamental principles of marketing, now established as Borden’s (1964) twelve point framework, against the impact that ecommerce has had on the discipline of marketing within the aviation training industry a sample case study organisation was required. As with most industries aviation training contains both leading and lagging organisations in terms of IT and ecommerce.
To ensure that the company that is selected is adequately involved in IT and ecommerce to a level whereby it is possible to test the theory on it, while also adding breadth to the study, the stage model (Rao et al 2003) has been used to analyse several different organisations to assess their involvement in ecommerce. The original purpose of the stage model was to allows small to medium sized enterprises [SMEs] to categorise themselves within their industry.
The marketing officer from International Aviation was considerate enough to give up some of his time to be interviewed. The intention of the interview was to impartially, and without bias examine which, if any, of the aspects of Borden’s (1964) twelve point framework were viable within the organisation.
In order to remain impartial and not to lead the interviewee while still allowing him to talk freely very little structure was given to the interview. The student carried out the interview without a pre-designed set of questions taking only a list containing each of the twelve points from Borden’s (1964) framework into the interview.
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.
The main weakness of the research has come about because of the fact that it underwent a metamorphosis following the paraphrased transcription of the interview. This meant that, even thought the interview was applied to the new topic, the research process was not designed specifically for the hypothesis in question. The following defects were found within the research process upon concluding:
An easy way to continue this research would be to attempt to test more theories against the twelve point framework in an attempt to solidify the foundation of the study. The more frameworks that are either proven [or disproven] to be a part of the original twelve point framework the stronger the conclusion that can be drawn from the study.
Finally, throughout the course of this research paper an interesting research question has emerged that would make an interesting topic:
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