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A Theory of Marketing and Storytelling


Hello Fellow Professors:

October 26, 2005

When was the last time anyone of us in the world purchased something that we wanted? I do not believe it has ever happened. To purchase what we want would require consumption to be separated from the power of our unifying stories. All of us are joined together in groups, communities, religions, nations, and other forms of belonging through an adherence to a common unifying story. This commonly held story identifies, guides, rewards, punishes, and protects us from others. Consumption always represents a form of belonging that supports a unifying story. It is impossible to separate consumption from our forms of belonging. There are no limits to what a form of belonging will do to defend their particular story. The slightest perception that another form of consumption is at bay is met with instant force. Forms of belonging represent an entire worldview of how all followers are to live their lives.

Marketing is both a means of story protection and of an instrument of story conquest. The e-book "Arkaim: Story Wars" DM identifies all consumption as a conflict among stories. An existing story that is challenged with a product that represents another form of belonging will fall. How can current marketing textbooks, scholarship, accreditation, and associations be so wrong and so right to reject marketing and storytelling? Academic marketing forms of consumption are wrong because we now have no practical value and right because we do not interfere with the dominant academic story form. The story form that demands compliance in business education is science. Science is simply another self protective story form that has forced us to block access to storytelling in marketing?

You are reading this theory on ELMAR because our science driven marketing academic story will not allowed any change to occur. Can we continue to capitulate to business education and their dominant academic story form? Marketing practice has remained with the timeless storytelling form. When we realize that the science form of academic marketing dooms marketing professors and students their control over our consumption will end.

--- ELMAR-AMA <elmar@admin.fsu.edu> wrote: _______ Da:

Henry Greene [mailto:hom] Inviato: gio 03/11/2005 15:05 A: ELMAR-AMA Oggetto:
Re: ESSAY: Marketing and Storytelling Some Theories are just wrong. This might be one of them. Of course we purchase things we want. We do it all of the time. Of course there are exographic forces (social, environmental, psychological issues) involved in all consumption. After all, we are physical/ social/ intellectual beings. Are not stories related to the aggregated stories of social conscience?


November, 2005 A Theory of Marketing and Storytelling

Response to Henry Greene’s Observations:

I am happy that you responded to my ELMAR essay. You will not see the leadership in American academic marketing coming forth with any comments. They are smart enough to know it is best not to get into any discussions that can put their role of supporting a particular unifying story in real jeopardy.

Marketing academics have supported a single unifying story that professes that the best form of societal structure is secular. A secular society that proposes that cause and effect is incorruptible when founded on the scientific approach. Economic growth in the ideal secular society is in the hands of each customer. The best societies in the world strive to increase the mass consumption of all their members.

Current academic marketing devotees must do nothing that would propose that another form of marketing even exists. We must in no way teach anything that interferes with our students’ growth as consumers. Marketing professors must support all cause and effect decisions that appear to be derived from a scientific approach. We must use sanitized textbooks and sustain their single solution obsessive adherence to the customer, the 4P's, segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

I have to agree with the observation of Henry Greene that some theories are just wrong. All theories are identified as wrong that do not fit into and support a unifying story. I would ask those of us that really believe that they purchase what they want some question? How many times in our life have we identified something that we wanted that no one else had and then made it or had it made just for us? I would also ask believers how often they wear clothing identified with another culture’s story? Come to the university tomorrow wearing this clothing and see what happens. Do you remember being bullied in high school? Do you want a Rolex wristwatch to tell a story about your consumption at the top end of the society or for its cost of production and materials in relationship to price?

I do not expect anyone in academic marketing to change their story. I would like us to just consider for 10 seconds if we are functionaries of a Post World War II unifying story that our leadership cannot give up. As professors of marketing we alone should be able to clearly identify our role in the distribution of products that support a unifying story. But wait; are there other unifying stories that are now challenging ours? The story marketing wars have never stopped. When a story is replaced so are their storytellers. Perhaps this is why marketing and business education for the working and middle class is no longer viewed as a good investment?

David Morris, Ph.D. Professor of Marketing

ELMAR November 30, 2005 David Morris, Ph.D.

Response: Request to Read Forecasting Paper on ELMAR