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For quite a long time the concern for the practice-theory practice is bothering many specialists of this field. The article “Evidence-Based Marketing” by Jennifer Rowly outlines the main problems and their possible solutions of the theory-practice divide allowing to research on the markets more efficiently. The main goal which the author sets is to acknowledge the key importance of the ability to understand how evidence is applied in the marketing, and, what is pivotal, in innovations.
Nonetheless the fact that there is still a lot to do in this field, innovative approach and decision-making draw on a mix of the big and little evidence, including explicit and implicit knowledge (Perreault, Chapter 12, 2011).
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Specialists are constantly responding to changing markets, overcoming all the challenges which arise on their way; that is why any good evidence and knowledge that can support the innovation and the difficult process of decision-making should appear on time and be closely bound to the realities of the marketplace.
Jennifer Rowly provides us with a range of proposals for evidence-based marketing which concentrate on the partnership between researchers and specialists helping to develop the co-production of market knowledge. These effective proposals can be classified into a couple of groups: knowledge and enquiry-based strategies, people-based strategies, and strategies based on communication, dissemination, and publication (Rowly, 2011). So let us have a closer look at these strategies and see how they can be applied in our markets and what effects they may have, according to the Rowly’s article “Evidence-Based Marketing”.
The Evidence-Based Practice Today
Many sectors of our life, including criminal justice, nursing, health care, social policy, education and regeneration successfully implemented the evidence-based concept into their activities. The main idea of this practice is that it should be based on the newest and best knowledge which emerges from the profound research and that the theory should always be followed by practice. This knowledge is supposed to assist the decision-making process by effectively taking into consideration perspectives of the people who can be influenced by them and regarding closely managerial expertise on the explicit application of the most apt evidence.
The most clearly visible benefits of the evidence-based marketing, therefore, are: its ability to strengthen the demonstration of the impact and value of the research to society, economy, business, justifying its existence and reducing marginalization, and the beneficial application of the research which provides organizations to reach its goals more effectively due to the innovations in products and processes, the enhancement of performance, and the application of expert evidence which protects them from commercial and even legal conflictive situations (Rowly, 2011).
Nowadays, the importance of such marketing research and systematic channel planning is recognized by each firm in the field; marketers and managers are constantly developing new techniques to collect the information about the potential competitors, customers, and marketplaces (Perreault, Chapter 11, 2011). However, the row of challenges which seems to only accumulate with time must not be disregarded. For this, the author gives us a detailed report on the possible problems that practitioners of the evidence-based marketing encounter.
The main problem arises from the differences in points of view of many practitioners. These differences are caused by such, I would say, ‘natural’ aspects, as different languages, timescales, needs and responses to those needs. Besides, demand-oriented pricing makes it vital to estimate the demand curve. The usage of markups is important in the marketing (Perreault, Chapter 17-18, 2011).
On this basis four main barriers are identified by Rowly: the access barrier (practitioners often do not even have the possibility to access the academic databases and journals), the relevance barrier (lack of common perspectives and, therefore, different objectives between researchers and practitioners), the language or readability barrier (the academic writing style if often difficult for practitioner’s understanding), and the time barrier (practitioners rarely have enough time to read all the relevant articles) (Rowly, 2011).
After discussing the challenges, Jennifer Rowly provides us with the notion of evidence defining what it really is and what evidence should be applied in the decision-making and marketing practice. Usually, the external research evidence is summarized systematically which allows to define clear conclusions about the knowledge of the burning problem. Then this evidence is explicitly used in the process of decision-making in such a way that its usefulness and relevance to the decision is very clear (Rowly, 2011).
We also get to know about the process of knowledge production which is divided into Mode 1 (traditional discipline individual research) and Mode 2 (accumulation of special knowledge from various sources, often transdisciplinary) (Rowly, 2011).
Evidence-Based Marketing Improvement Strategies
Knowledge- and enquiry-based strategies deal with the creation, dissemination, adoption and application of the knowledge. It is vital to understand the importance of proper decision-making processes in various organizations. For this purpose different methods (for example, mixed methods) and research design are developed. The selection of the topics to be researched is pivotal in order to provide the highest relevance of the procedure (Rowly, 2011). One should not forget about the market segmentation by using the three main approaches: single/combine/multiple target market approaches (Perreault, Chapter 4, 2011).
People-based strategies usually focus on the development and roles of people with a great deal of commitment, high competences, and good motivation to assist the contribution of the dynamic strengthening between practice and theory. Rowly points out that in order to do an effective research at the level of doctoral programs, different skills and routes should be possessed and applied. The practitioners should aptly define how professionals in demand can perform their tasks in the best way. The key here is to develop systematic collaboration with anticipated results. The promotion methods such as direct-response method should be applied to reach the highest efficiency in the communication with clients (Perreault Chapter 14, 16, 2011).
Strategies based on communication, dissemination, and publication deal with the diffusion of the research results, no matter whether the research has been conducted by practitioners or academics, or both of them. It is important that the systematic reviews are properly investigated, and the review model is created (Perreault, Chapter 2, 2011). Only real professionals must be working upon it to create reliable evidence which can be applied by market practitioners. Academic journals have to be ranked and valued basing on the quality indicators which include the newest notions of rigor and relevance (Rowly, 2011).
To conclude I would like to say that the innovative approach to the marketing field which presupposes an application of the evidence-based practice is a highly effective tool in the hands of good professionals and can assist the marketing research to a great extent if further developed and applied with a deep knowledge and professionalism in the right sectors of life.