E. Jerome McCarthy

Edmund Jerome McCarthy (February 20, 1928 – December 3, 2015) was an American marketing professor and author. He proposed the concept of the 4 Ps marketing mix in his 1960 book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach , which has been one of the top textbooks in marketing. [1] [2] According to the Oxford Dictionary of Marketing , McCarthy was a pivotal figure in the development of marketing thinking. [3] He was also a board member and consultant for the Planned Innovation Institute, which was established to bolster Michigan industry. In 1987, McCarthy received the American Marketing Association’s Trailblazer Award, and was voted one of the top five leaders in marketing thought by the field’ s educators.


McCarthy received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 from Northwestern University . He received his Master of Arts in 1954 [4] and his PhD in 1958 from the University of Minnesota. [5] His doctoral dissertation was An Analysis of the Use of Marketing Research in Product Development . [6]


Early career

He was a professor of the College of Commerce at the University of Notre Dame , [7] [8] beginning in 1956, where he studied mathematics and applied mathematics to business problems. [7]

In the spring of 1959, while a professor of the College of Commerce, he was informed that he received a one-year Ford Foundation Fellowship at Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . [7] Beginning in September, he focused on mathematical applications for business, as part of the Foundation’s program to “strengthen business education and research,” [8] and specifically to work on mathematical models for marketing.

Development of the 4Ps concept

At the time when McCarthy began his teaching career, the so-called functional school of thought dominated the discipline. The functional school is primarily concerned with asking questions about what are the functions of marketing, what does marketing perform, what is the role of marketing within organizations? Much of the theorizing within the functional school focussed on the value adding services performed by intermediaries. [9] [10] As the marketing discipline matured, the researchers looked for a managerial approach that focused on solving the problems and challenges faced by marketing managers. [11] [12]Throughout the 1950s, a number of different approaches to marketing management emerged. However, some theorists clung to the functional approach, to the extent that both the functional approach and the managerial approach co-existed for a decade or so. [13]

McCarthy’s contribution has been attributed to McCarthy’s contribution. According to Hunt and Goolsby, “The publication of McCarthy’s Basic Marketing (1960) is largely cited as the beginning of the end for the functional approach.” The 1960s represent a transitional period with the most traditional approaches. [14]

McCarthy defined the 4Ps conceptual framework for decision-making marketing, which used product, price , place (or distribution ), and promotion in the marketing mix .

In 1960, McCarthy was the first to propose a marketing mix concept that resonated with both practitioners and academics. [15] In his textbook Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach (1960), McCarthy defined the 4Ps conceptual framework for decision-making marketing, which used product , price , place (or distribution ), and promotion in the marketing mix. [11] [12]McCarthy organized his text along the lines using the oven Ps framework. The book is about the problems facing the marketing manager, rather than looking at the characteristics of marketing systems and their functions. In addition to chapters devoted to the Ps, the book also includes chapters on consumer behavior, marketing research and market segmentation to round out the tools available to marketers for use in problem-solving.

The managerial approach to marketing as a management science. [16] It uses problem-solving to “develop an optimum offering of products, prices, promotion, and place (distribution),” according to the Handbook of Marketing. [17] A key feature of the managerial approach is that it begins to move from its economics and foundations and to new and emerging fields of sociology and psychology, which offers useful insights for explaining aspects of consumer behavior. of culture and social class. [18] It also places an overt reliance on the quantitative sciences as means of knowing. ” [19]

Prior to the publication of McCarthy’s text, the concept of a marketing mix was debated, however, there was little consensus among marketers about what elements should include the marketing mix. [20] [21] They relied on checklists or lengthy classifications of factors that need to be considered to understand consumer responses. [22] Neil H. Borden of the Harvard Business School developed a complicated model in the late 1940s, based upon at least twelve different factors. [11] In contrast, McCarthy’s concept was a simplified, memorable set of factors for managerial planning and decision-making. [15] [23]

McCarthy’s marketing mix is ​​based on a number of variables that a company has in its efforts to satisfy the needs of the market . [11] Once there is understanding of the target market’s interests, marketers develop tactics, using the 4Ps, to encourage buyers to purchase product. The successful use of the model is understood, and the extent to which the marketers developed the tactics accordingly. [11]

McCarthy’s 4Ps concept is particularly suited to most consumer products. The model needs modifications for high-end consumer products. Services have some unique marketing issues to be factored into decision-making. Tactics for marketing industrial products should consider elements of long-term contractual agreements. [2] Regardless of the changes needed in some cases, the 4Ps remain in the mainstream of marketing and sales. [1] [2] Further, the 4Ps marketing mix that McCarthy popularized [24] has become a foundational and widely adopted marketing framework in the 21st century. [15] [a]This is one of the simplicity of the model, which makes it adaptable for changes in the marketing area, such as internet commerce. Rather than creating a new model, G. Dominic expressed that McCarthy’s 4 Ps could be used with some “expansion and adjustment” to develop tactics for the current, ever-changing marketing arena like internet commerce. [15]

Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach is one of the most popular marketing textbooks. McCarthy and coauthor William D. Perrault more than a dozen times. [11] The textbook was published in 2013. [27]

Educator and author

McCarthy had the Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1963 and 1964, when he investigated the role of marketing in global economic development . [6] After Notre Dame, McCarthy moved to Michigan. [28] He was on faculty in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University (MSU). [29] In 2013, he was Professor Emeritus there. [30] During his career, McCarthy also held a position at the University of Oregon. [6]

As an educator, he is interested in marketing and effective marketing strategy planning. He also developed teaching materials for other marketing professors, including “developing and improving marketing texts to reflect the most current thinking in the field”. [31]

He has published books [32] and articles in the areas of general marketing, social issues in marketing, and data processing. [31]

Planned Innovation Institute

McCarthy played a pivotal role in the Planned Innovation Institute as founder, Advisory Board member, and consulting educator. [33] Planned Innovation Institute was founded to identify causes and create solutions to address “major causes of new product failure in Michigan industry.” It is modeled after the University of Michigan Institute of Science and Technology Research Program. [34]

McCarthy, with Frank R. Bacon, Jr., used the concepts of marketing and marketing . [34] He traveled to India, South Africa, Latin America, and within the United States for its market-oriented planning and management educational programs. His clients included Dow Chemical Company , Rockwell International , Steelcase , Bemis Manufacturing Company , Grupo Industrial Alfa , Coredemex, Lear Siegler , Sarns Division of 3M , and United Nationsbusinessmen in Costa Rica. [33]

Membership and awards

McCarthy was a member of the American Marketing Association and the Economics Society. [7] In 1987, he received the American Marketing Association’s Trailblazer Award. He was also named one of the “top five” leaders in marketing thought by marketing educators. [6]

Personal life

McCarthy and his wife, Joanne, had eight children. He died December 3, 2015. [5]

The McCarthys established the Joanne N. and Jerome E. McCarthy Endowment for Arts Education, [5] which has supported the Wharton Center for Performing Arts on the Michigan State University campus. [35]

See also

  • History of marketing
  • marketing


  1. Jump up^ In 1972, Donald C. Marschner, then of the University of New Hampshire, wrote that McCarthy’s book “still remains the standard against which all other introductory text-books should be judged.” [25] John A. Quelchand Katherine E. Jocz wrote in their “Milestones in Marketing” (2008) article, “Now, the marketing-mix concept is often used in conjunction with the famous ‘four Ps’ categories … originated by E. Jerome McCarthy. [1] They noted that this book is one of the most widely adopted introductions in the history of marketing. [26]


  1. ^ Jump up to:c John A. Quelch ; Katherine E. Jocz (Winter 2008). “Milestones in Marketing” (PDF) . Business History Review . The President and Fellows of Harvard College. 82 : 827-838. doi : 10.1017 / S0007680500063236 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Pundrik Mishra (December 1, 2009). Sales Management: Keys to Effective Sales . Global India Publications. pp. 34-35. ISBN  978-93-80228-45-7 .
  3. Jump up^ “Edmund Jerome McCarthy” . Oxford Reference, Oxford University Press . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  4. Jump up^ “List of Graduates (with previous qualifications)”, Press Releases: June-September, 1954 , University of Minnesota, June 12, 1954, University of Minnesota Press Release, June – September, 1954. From the publicity director: Listed Your Honors at the University of Minnesota June 12, 1954. The degree indicated in parentheses at the University of Minnesota . The degree typed out is the new degree from the University of Minnesota … Edmund Jerome McCarthy (B, S, ’50) Master of Arts.
  5. ^ Jump up to:c “Jerry McCarthy [Obituary]” . Lansing State Journal . December 27, 2015.
  6. ^ Jump up to:d “Author’s biographical notes.” Basic Marketing: A Global Managerial Approach (11 ed.). Canadian: Irwin. 2005. p. v.
  7. ^ Jump up to:d James B. Murphy, Director Public Information (March 17, 1959), University of Notre Dame, Department of Public Information (press releases) (PDF) , University of Notre Dame, p. 2
  8. ^ Jump up to:b “News Briefs” (PDF) . the Scholastic . Notre Dame University. 100(18): 29. March 29, 1959 . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  9. Jump up^ O’Malley, L. and Lichrou, M., “Marketing Theory,” in Baker, MJ and Hart, S.,The Marketing Book,7th ed., Routledge, Oxon, UK, 2016, pp 37-52
  10. Jump up^ Weitz, Barton A; Wensley, Robin (October 16, 2002). Handbook of Marketing . WISE. p. 19. ISBN  978-0-85702-530-2 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:f Everyday Finance: Economics, Personal Money Management, and Entrepreneurship . Overview: Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place, Promotion . January 1, 2008.
  12. ^ Jump up to:b E. Constantinides (2006). “The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st Century Marketing” (PDF) . Journal of Marketing Management . 22 : 407-438.
  13. Jump up^ Sheth, JN and Gardner, DM,Marketing Theory: Evolution and Evaluation,New York, Wiley, 1988
  14. Jump up^ Hunt, Shelby D. and Goolsby, Jerry, “The Rise and Fall of the Functional Approach to Marketing: A Paradigm Displacement Perspective,” in Historical Perspectives in Marketing: Essays in Honor of Stanley Hollander, Terence Nevett and Ronald Fullerton ( eds), Lexington, MA, Lexington Books, pp 35-37, sdh.ba.ttu.edu/Rise%20and%20Fall%20(88).pdf
  15. ^ Jump up to:d G. Dominic (2009). “From Marketing Mix to E-Marketing Mix: A Literature Review” (PDF) . International Journal of Business and Management . 9 (4): 17-24.
  16. Jump up^ Laurent, Gilles; Lilien, Gary L .; Pras, Bernard (December 6, 2012). Research Traditions in Marketing . Springer Science & Business Media. p. 386. ISBN  978-94-011-1402-8 .
  17. Jump up^ Weitz, Barton A; Wensley, Robin (October 16, 2002). Handbook of Marketing . WISE. pp. 19, 69. ISBN  978-0-85702-530-2 .
  18. Jump up^ Brian Jones, DG and Shaw, EH, “The History of Marketing Thought,” inHandbook of Marketing,Weitz, R. and Wensley, R. (eds), London, UK, 2003, p. 60
  19. Jump up^ Wilkie, WL and Moore, ES, “Macromarketing as a Pillar of Thought Marketing,”Journal of Macromarketing,Vol. 26 No. 2, December 2006, p. 225
  20. Jump up^ NH Borden (1964). “The Concept of the Marketing Mix”. Journal of Advertising Research : 2-7.
  21. Jump up^ NH Borden (2001), “The Concept of the Marketing Mix,” in MJ Baker,Marketing: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management , 5 , Routledge, pp. 3-4, Borden credits his colleague, James Culliton, with the concept of marketers as ‘mixers of ingredients’ but suggests that he, Borden contributed to the process of popularizing the concept
  22. Jump up^ W. Waterschoo; C. van den Bulte (1992). “The 4P Classification of the Revisited Marketing Mix” . Journal of Marketing . 56 (4): 83-93.
  23. Jump up^ WA Cohen (2014), The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World’s Greatest Management Thinker , American Management Association, p. 139
  24. Jump up^ Michael R. Czinkota; Ilkka A. Ronkainen (June 25, 2013). International Marketing . Cengage Learning. p. 24. ISBN  1-133-62751-X .
  25. Jump up^ DC Marschner (January 1972). “Basic Marketing; A Managerial Approach: Book Review” . Journal of Marketing . 36 (1): 106.
  26. Jump up^ John A. Quelch ; Katherine E. Jocz (2012). All Business is Local: Why Place Matters More than Ever in a Global, Virtual World . Penguin. p. 4.
  27. Jump up^ William Perreault, Jr .; Joseph Cannon; E. Jerome McCarthy (January 17, 2013). Basic Marketing: 19th Edition . McGraw-Hill Higher Education. ISBN  978-0-07-751253-8 .
  28. Jump up^ Patrick E. Murphy; John F. Sherry Jr. (July 24, 2013). Marketing and the Common Good: Essays from Notre Dame on Societal Impact . Routledge. p. 93. ISBN  978-1-134-09107-2 . Short bio, Professor Emeritus, research interests – timeless quality of 4Ps, due to ongoing issues
  29. Jump up^ “Stanley C. and Selma D. Hollander Faculty Book Collection, MSU Faculty Publications” (PDF) . Michigan State University Libraries . 2014. p. 11 . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  30. Jump up^ Patrick E. Murphy; John F. Sherry Jr. (July 24, 2013). Marketing and the Common Good: Essays from Notre Dame on Societal Impact . Routledge. pp. xx. ISBN  978-1-134-09107-2 .
  31. ^ Jump up to:b “Essentials of Marketing Information Center: About the Authors” (14th ed.). McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC. The Essentials of Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach (14th ed.) By William D. Perreault, Jr., Joseph P. Cannon; and E. Jerome McCarthy. The book’s copyright year is 2015.
  32. Jump up^ “Search: E. Jerome McCarthy (returned 48 books)” . Library of Congress Online Catalog . Retrieved November 6, 2016 .
  33. ^ Jump up to:b “Dr. E. Jerome McCarthy” . Planned Innovation Institute . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  34. ^ Jump up to:b “History” . Planned Innovation Institute . Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  35. Jump up^ “Endowments” . Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Michigan State University . Lansing . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .