Macromarketing addresses big / important issues at the nexus of marketing and society . The main scholarly for macromarketing research is the Journal of Macromarketing. [1] In a more interconnected world of markets, marketers, and their stakeholders, they are both important and effective, and both are positive and unintended deleterious effects. Macromarketing therefore includes an optimistic perspective; to improve the marketing processes and systems, to the benefit of the largest number of stakeholders , the world over. The following text borrows heavily from Shultz (2007a, 2007b).

History of term

The definition of macromarketing can vary from one source to another, but is typically differentiated by its focus on aggregations and systems, and the way in which they function.

Bartels and Jenkins (1977) suggest: “(M) acromarketing” should be used to describe the aspect of marketing that is “larger” than what is otherwise considered. . It has meant systems and groups of micro-institutions, such as channels, conglomerates, industries, and associations, in contrast to their individual component units … the social context of micromarketing, its role in the national economy, and its application to the marketing of noneconomic goods. It has also meant the uncontrollable environment of micro firms.

Hunt (1981) suggests: macromarketing is a multidimensional construct, [which] refers to the study of (1) marketing systems, (2) the impact and consequence of marketing systems on society, and (3) the impact and consequence of society on marketing systems.

Fisk (1981) added that macromarketing should be viewed as a social process: (1) as a life-support system provisioning technology, (2) as a focus on quality and quantity of life-goals served by marketing, (3) as a technology for mobilizing and allocating resources, (4) and (a) subject matter relating to the consequences of marketing, ie, the spillover effects of marketing for those who are not likely to be aware of the intended or unintended activities of marketers.

Perspectives and Historical Development

The ideas and interests central to macromarketing have been with us for Millennia. History of the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides 1972, the Magna Carta (Danziger and Gillingham, 2004) and The Travels (Marco Polo 1958 [circa late 13th Century]) Provide just three examples of works in qui trade , markets, marketing and Macromarketers are particularly interested in such literature, because they find it intrinsically interesting, but also because they believe there are important lessons germane to modern marketing scholarship and practice.

Macromarketing practice moreover Societies emerged for the welfare of the group; the need for specialization and then exchanges of products produced by specialists was evident early-on. Greater specialization and support for it begat trade. Eventually markets-which have many systems in any given society, from production to consumption-have been an effective mechanism to sustain a society, which fundamentally is a series of institutions and systems agreed upon by the members of the group. One would likely presume the ancient markets-imagine the agora in Athens or a bazaar in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia-necessitated systemic organization and coordination, bringing people together in ways of facilitating exchanges, and balancing, improving society.

Within the modern marketing literature, macromarketing orientations were evident early in the 20th century. Sheth and Gardner (1982) suggest “the first school of marketing thought (was) macromarketing,” a focus on problems and potential of marketing activities from a more societal perspective, rather than from the firm’s perspective (p. [2] More explicit glimpses of academic macromarketing were evident in textbooks written by Breyer (1934), and Vaile, Grether and Cox (1952). Their macro orientation became a cornerstone at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was further developed by Alderson (1957).

A more presumed macromarketing concept seems to have emerged between the late 1950s and mid 1960s (eg, Holloway and Hancock, 1964, Grether and Holloway, 1967, Slater, 1968). Fisk’s (1967) text on Marketing Systems presented a detailed macrosystems perspective, including chapters on Evolution of Marketing Systems (historical analysis), Characteristics of Marketing Systems (Micro and Macro System Characteristics), Resource Allocation by Competition, and the Expanding Role of Government (aggregate system constraints), and Social Performance Marketing and Comparative Marketing.

In summary, marketing has been added to society, and markets and systems have become more popular, because they are superior to all (other) social institutions as a provisioning mechanism. They are among the oldest institutions that affect and are affected by society; (eg, Shultz et al., 2005). Macromarketing addresses these complex and multi-faceted relationships by marketing and society, marketing systems, sustainability, ethics and social justice, globalization, marketing history, marketing phenomena in the aggregate, and marketing effects on quality of life.

Macromarketing today

Today, macromarketing continues to morph, to draw new and diverse followers, and thus defies neat boundaries, descriptors, and limitations. With its growth and maturation have come new directions in the forms of sub-disciplines, as described by the section editors on the webpage for the Journal of Macromarketing. The Macromarketing Society is the facilitating body of Macromarketing research, policy and service. They have held annual meetings since 1976. Recent and proposed meetings held in Vancouver, British Columbia (2005); Queenstown, New Zealand (2006); Washington, DC (2007); Clemson, South Carolina (2008); Adger University, Norway (2009); Laramie, at the University of Wyoming (2010); Williamsburg, Virginia, at the College of William and Mary (2011); Berlin, at the Freie Universitaet (2012); Toronto, at York University (2013); London, Royal Holloway, University of London (2014); Chicago, at Loyola University Chicago (2015); Dublin, at Trinity College (2016); Queenstown, New Zealand, hosted by University of Otago. The 43rd Annual Macromarketing Conference will be held at the University of Leipzig, Germany, July 9-13, 2018. Additional information on meetings and membership can be found at The Macromarketing Society.


  1. Jump up^ Journal of Macromarketing
  2. Jump up^ See also Bartels (1965); Wilkie and Moore (1999, 2003); contributions by Ely (1903), Shaw (1916) and Schumpeter (1934), for example, also come to mind (see Jones and Moniesen, 1990). Macromarketing therefore is integral to society and its welfare.


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