Book Review

Marketing: Real People, Real Decisions

Authors: Michael R. Solomon, Greg Marshall, Elnora Stuart, Bradley Barnes and Vincent-Wayne Mitchell
Published by Barnes and Mitchell FT Prentice Hall (£42.96)
Reviewed by Anthony Levy. Partner at the equality and diversity consultancy Ideas Into Action

Marketing seems to mean so many different things to different people. Academics approach it from perspectives ranging from economics to behavioural psychology. Practitioners want to identify what tends to work. All too often they all seem to be talking different languages with theory and reality passing each other by. So this new book, in its first European edition, is a refreshing initiative to bring theory and reality together using new case studies about real marketing decisions, and commentary from real marketers testing theory in a way that yields real insights for the reader.
It is perhaps ironic that many marketers spend their lives developing new products and propositions yet what they need are proven models and techniques to guide them. While the latest fashion in marketing theory can be fun, and occasionally of value, for real marketers there is a need to understand those frameworks, models and theories that have proved their worth in extensive use by practitioners.

This book brings together in one volume much of the widely used and accepted theory, giving readers an excellent grounding on which to develop their own thinking, to test new ideas and to make real decisions.

The authors have a solid grounding in their subject. They are Michael Solomon, Professor of Marketing at the Haub School of Business at St Joseph's University in Philadelphia and Professor of Consumer Behaviour at Manchester University; Greg Marshall, Professor of Marketing and Strategy at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida; Elnora Stuart, Professor of Marketing at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina; and Bradley Barnes, Professor of International Management and Marketing at Kent Business School at the University of Kent in Canterbury. A fifth co-author, Vincent-Wayne Mitchell, Professor of Consumer Marketing at Cass Business School, identified that there can be a gap between the excitement that many students have for marketing and the reality of some courses. In this book he and his colleagues have captured some of their passion for marketing through the extensive use of real issues and choices faced by real people. As a result, not only does the reader immediately engage with the topic but is challenged to wrestle with the issues. Using an exciting portfolio of interactions, including the online MyMarketingLab, the reader becomes a part of a debate that is live and current.

This is no dry textbook.

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