Strategic Marketing Management Research Paper

Marketing Management

“A firm’s adeptness in understanding markets and creating, capturing and sustaining unassailable customer value determines its growth and sustainability” (University of Virginia).

First Essay — Character

In Proverbs 6:16-19, it is explained: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among others.”

In the American Marketing Association (AMA) website there is a link to a “Statement of Ethics,” and several of the components of that statement of ethics relate quite well to Proverbs 6:16-19. Among those ethical principles are several that apply to “haughty eyes.”

First of all “haughty” means to be arrogant or think of one’s self as superior to others. Hence haughty eyes in Biblical terms means walking a “prideful swagger” and having a higher opinion of himself than others around him ( In the AMA ethical values marketing managers are asked to “Value individual differences and avoid stereotyping customers,” and the AMA asks managers not to depict people (including people of various ethnicities, or of different sexual orientation) in a “…negative or dehumanizing way” (AMA). Importantly, AMA asks managers to “Treat everyone, including our competitors, as we would wish to be treated”; this is almost the same as “love thy neighbor as thyself” in the Bible. It certainly more than implies that haughtiness is unacceptable behavior.

In Proverbs the Lord dislikes “a lying tongue,” and in the AMA Ethical Norms section of the website the marketing manager is asked to embrace “…these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship.” In other words, lies are never acceptable and honesty (along with responsibility, fairness, respect, et al.) is the value that is most important in this context. “Strive to be truthful in all situations and at all times,” the AMA asserts.

As to the fact that the Lord hates “hands that shed innocent blood,” it would be highly unlikely that a marketing manager would kill someone to get his or her product out there first, but the first ethical norm in the AMA website is: “Do no harm,” which of course isn’t urging managers not to kill another human, but rather “Do no harm” simply says that a manager should “…avoid harmful actions or omissions” by putting ethical values ahead of dark human impulses.

The Lord also despises a “heart that devises wicked plans,” and the AMA clearly addresses this issue: “Foster trust in the marketing system…[strive] for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the4 exchange process as well as avoiding deception in product design, pricing, communication and the delivery of distribution” (AMA). Also the AMA urges marketing managers to “Avoid using coercion with all stakeholders” and to avoid “false, misleading and deceptive promotion.”

Proverbs presents the following that the Lord objects to strenuously: feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies.” The AMA demands that marketing managers “Reject manipulation and sales tactics that harm customer trust”; as to false witness, the AMA asks managers to avoid becoming involved in a conflict of interest and to refuse to “…engage in price fixing, predatory pricing, price gouging or ‘bait and switch’ tactics.”

Engaging in illegal and unethical activities would be like “feet that make haste to run to evil” because indeed it is evil to deceive the public and to become involved in conflicts of interest. Treating customers, buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and distributors “…from all cultures” with respect is the duty of the marketing manager, and to “breathe out lies” is not only an un-Christian-like behavior, it is unethical and can lead to a company being publically admonished because of scandal.

The last think a marketing manager should do is to “sow discord among others” because that would go against the AMA ethic on Citizenship: “Contribute to the overall betterment of marketing and its reputation.” Tearing down the reputation of a company by sowing “discord” (which can be lies, unfair attacks, or otherwise untoward behaviors) is an anathema to ethical behaviors (AMA).

Second Essay: Responsibility to ourselves and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Joshua 1:9 goes as follows: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

In a marketing management context, the AMA “Statement of Ethics” urges managers to “…be courageous and proactive in leading and/or aiding their organizations in the fulfillment of the explicit and implicit promises…” that have been made to all stakeholders, including consumers, stockholders, vendors, employees and the community at large. “Do not be terrified,” Joshua warns, and this could well relate to the need to reach out to customers and survey them to allow them to evaluate the quality of the company’s products or services.

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia suggests that the marketing manager should be willing (without fear or reluctance) to obtain “…a comprehensive view of a customer relationship”; this is because there has been a “massive shift in marketing strategy” toward more focus on customer response and behavior vis-a-vis the company that is being marketed (Venkatesan, 2011).

The Darden approach to marketing strategies is certainly the opposite of fear or terror, and indeed it will take some courage and proactive behaviors to accomplish what Venkatesan discusses in his essay. To wit, the alert, informed marketing manager should know not to be afraid to appeal to the emotions of the customer first. “…Marketing actions are more effective when they build customer emotions, rather than simply providing information or offering rewards or discounts.” In other words, the tendency over the years as regards marketing is to offer discounts, reward cards, or other incentives, rather than first making a strong appeal to the emotions of the consumer. But the new approach in this context is for the marketing manager to fearlessly lead the company to get into the customer’s consciousness, find out what makes him or her click and what attracts them to a product or the theme of a product (Venkatesan).

Before making behavioral responses (i.e., getting the customer to open up his wallet or her purse) the marketing manager should not be shy about learning customer attitudes towards specific products.

Meanwhile the Christian approach to marketing should follow fairly closely along the lines provided by the AMA. The marketing manager should not be afraid to communicate “clearly” with all stakeholders; and he or she should not be fearful of “accepting constructive criticism” nor should the manager fear disclosing “…list prices and terms of financing as well as available price deals and adjustment” (AMA).

Every marketing manager has an ethical and spiritual responsibility to his or her company, to colleagues, to all stakeholders and to God, who has made this planet a bountiful place to inhabit and thrive. For the Christian marketing manager, he or she must never fear speaking out about values and ethics; he or she must also be careful not to judge people based on his or her particular religious denomination. Also, the manager must never be “preachy” and try to get others to adopt his or her particular faith. But by showing Christian values (many of which mirror AMA’s ethical values), and leading by example, that manager is showing courage. After all, a marketing manager has a stewardship obligation not only to the company and the stakeholders but also to the environment that God has provided for humans.

In conclusion, the ethics that accompany good faith management in the marketing field dovetail with Christian values. Hence, it behooves the marketing manager to be forthright and honest in all dealings, and to understand the responsibility he or she has towards the company and the consumers that do business with the company — and to the Lord as well.

Works Cited

American Marketing Association. (2010). Statement of Ethics: Ethical Norms and Values for Marketers. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

Proverbs 6:16-19. A Man’s Character. Open Bible. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

University of Virginia. (2011). Strategic Marketing Management Retrieved August 24, 2013,


Venkatesan, R. (2011). The Value of Knowing if Your Customer is Happy. Darden School of Business — University of Virginia. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

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