Marketing: Trends and Models – Jorge E. Garcés

Jorge E. Garcés combines teaching work with that of social scientist, researcher and consultant in marketing, administration and economics. With almost thirty years of experience behind him, he has dedicated much of his work to the development of strategic thinking, planning and action at the head of large organizations in his native Colombia and foreign capital.

He is the author of “Marketing: modas y modelos”, in which he analyzes this discipline and identifies the elements that bring him closer to science. In the same way, Garcés makes an effort to establish the concepts and the relations between the strategic and the tactical, between its processes and functions and between its elements and instruments.

Do you remember what marketing was like when you started to dedicate yourself to it? Do you miss some of the classic techniques?

At the beginning of the 90s of the last century, marketing, both academic and business, was uniformed under the traditional concept of 4p calls, whose visible head was Kotler. A short-term vision, focused on operational issues of exclusive interest to the bidder, where the consumer appears tangentially and is only important insofar as it generated profits to private companies, and in the very short term. At the end of the 90s, some scholars, especially the Norwegians (Gronroes, Gummenson), began to question the validity of such a model and proposed a refocusing of the paradigm in two aspects:

  1. The construction of long-term relationships with consumers, focused on the exchange of values.
  2. The really strategic issues, which are not the focus of the 4p.

In this line, together with a profound revision of the theoretical-economic framework that must be resolved in this disciplinary field, my studies and my marketing approach were developed under such discussion, and the result of this was the identification and gradual development of an alternative model , the dialectical model of marketing (Garcés, 1994), which I tested simultaneously in academia and in the world of work. For the above, not “least” any “classical technique”; and I continue to insist on the need to deepen the approach to marketing from science and its method, as the only guarantee of its current and future development.  

Before being a teacher you were a student, how has the way of teaching this profession changed?

I studied economics in undergraduate and there I became interested in marketing issues. One of the first questions I asked myself was, precisely, when I studied my first postgraduate course, how it was possible for graduates to graduate “professionals” of marketing, with a low and deficient theoretical training in economics. It was like graduating medical professionals (an applied science), without a robust training in biological theories (their basic science). From what I have been able to verify later, in the marketing of HEIs, unlike other disciplinary fields much more developed, robust and “serious”, where is the academy which proposes theories and models for its approach in the real world, badly called “gurus” pose and implement actions, tasks, processes, tools, etc., in the workplace and, as they are simultaneously teachers, are promoting such approaches in academic education.  

“One of the first questions I asked myself was, precisely, when I studied my first graduate degree, how it was possible for graduates to graduate” professionals “in marketing, with a low and deficient theoretical education in economics.” Jorge E. Garcés

Do the 4 pes work in the online model?

It’s possible. Everything depends on two factors:

  1. In what type of sector / activity we are, and with that, what is the situation of change that the bidder faces.
  2. What market / product relationship are we talking about. The first is defined by the consumer; the second, the mission and vision of the offeror.

Generally speaking, in a situation of closed change, for a market / product relationship with low interaction, with little or no intention of relationship over time and low involvement solutions, where classic models of strategic planning with long-term business projections term run without many problems, an equally classic 4p marketing works perfectly well. There is a high predictive capacity; whether or not online. After all, online is the context in which the commercial relationship is going to move; but it is not the relationship.  

What do you think is going to be the next fashion in marketing?

Currently there are several walking, almost in parallel:

  1. Call “strategy” pricing to the “old” concept of defining prices.
  2. Call “consultative selling” to the “old” concept of defining the way how to organize and manage the sales forces of an organization.
  3. Call the consumer “prosumer”, under the argument that this, now, is the one who decides the commercial issues within the organizations; without making any type of serious and scientific verification (measurement) on the real orientation or not to the market of them, in a structural and generalized way.
  4. Thinking that doing “relational marketing” is possible with the simple acquisition of a CRM software; to which today they add a geo-referencing application.

But, above these, there are undoubtedly two great “fashions” that make their way at a great speed:

  1. The new apocalyptic phrase: “the companies that in the next years do not enter the digital marketing, are condemned to disappear”.
  2. Neuro-marketing

What can you teach us about supply and demand?

That you can not continue to believe and teaching the wrong “law” of the markets that says that “every offer creates its own demand”. The law of real reality, which governs in the long term the movement of markets in the current context of production and consumption relations, of the capitalist mode of production, and which will continue to operate in the future commercial organizational forms that we decide to implement in the societies of the future, is what Marx and Keynes described: “every demand creates its own offer”.  

Does digital marketing work in Colombia?

Yes, as a communicative trend of operational marketing (not strategic), which allows quick access to certain prospects, take them some messages that by other means would not have an audience and allowing some interaction. In my humble conception those who try to sell it as “the new marketing strategy”, “the only marketing strategy”, “the salvific strategy of marketing”, etc are wrong; that is, those who insist on making this a new fashion.  

What should we know to do marketing in Colombia?

In Colombia and around the world:

  1. Knowing about economics in its different theories, not only the neoclassical one that is taught by norm in the IESs of the world and having clear both the aspects and actors that move in the macro environment and the micro-environment of the market / product relationship.
  2. Know and work from the scientific method.
  3. Clearly identify the differences between what is really strategic in the marketing process and what is operational (tactics).
  4. Work with a model that differentiates the tactical input variables (mix) from the output variables (strategic objectives), and allows the organization to measure and learn from their experience in the relationship with the client.
  5. Clearly differentiate the relevant tools in each part of the business process.
  6. Understand that the focus of the subject in marketing is to ensure organizations, whatever their activity / business, that are really interested in orienting themselves to the market; that is, in the integral attention to the real needs of the consumer, building with this long-term relationships, when exchanging value.

How do public companies apply marketing?

From a scientific perspective there is no difference between marketing for public, private and / or mixed companies; and I do not say it by simple theoretical position: I had the opportunity to experience it as a marketing manager in the three options indicated here. My advice is simple: you have to execute the protocols of an applied science, a technology.