Authors: David Stokes and Wendy Lomax
The preface of Marketing: A Brief Introduction says it is a book that engages with the reader in both theory and practice, and it certainly does. From the short, varied and thoughtful case studies that introduce each chapter, to the fascinating range of "marketing mistakes", this text holds the reader's attention.
The book is in two parts: "Marketing principles and analysis", which covers the marketing context, customers and competitors, buyer behaviour and marketing research; and "The implementation of marketing strategies", which is a marketing mix approach to implementation. These sections are sandwiched between an introductory chapter on marketing strategy and a concluding one on marketing decisions and planning.
This is an introductory text probably best targeted at courses where marketing is a supplementary subject, rather than one where in-depth theoretical analysis and further reading is expected: the references are adequate but limited. This book is excellent at giving readers a taste of, and hopefully for, marketing. It does this by showing how marketing is integrated into all kinds of businesses and organisations, from McDonald's and Coca-Cola to The Samaritans and scuba diving.
As well as the case studies introducing each chapter, there are short examples of well-known brands and services dotted throughout the text. These are perhaps less useful and some are a little dated, but they all help to make this an accessible text. It differentiates itself from other books on marketing by being exceptionally student-friendly; it manages to be easy to read while not talking down to its audience. Having said that, this book will take a dedicated marketing enthusiast only so far.
Another interesting feature is the "Developing a marketing plan" section that appears at the end of each chapter. And the final chapter facilitates the construction of a marketing plan for a range of types of businesses, from consumer to non-profit. While there are some international examples, this book is targeted primarily at a British audience, particularly in terms of its cultural references. Visually, the book is well presented with a range of relevant illustrations and photos that are used judiciously to complement the text. If your students require a brief introduction to marketing, this should do the trick.
Who is it for? First-year business studies undergraduates or those taking marketing as supplementary subject.
Presentation: Clear, colourful, easy to follow.
Would you recommend it? For those wanting a flavour of marketing or a brief introduction, yes.