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The Next Generation of Marketing-Mix in the Evolving World

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

The evolvement of Marketing Mix (MM) across time and space was written across times, spaces, and four authors. An interview with Julian Wichmann on his recent IJRM paper.

What happens to the marketing mix instrument (i.e., price, product, promotion, and distribution) as the world undergoes substantive technological advancements, socioeconomic and geopolitical shifts, and environmental changes? The answers are recently given (in IJRM article, Volume 39, Issue 2, June 2022) by four academics living in four different countries and three different time zones who ended up collaborating with one another to decode the evolution of marketing mix. I interviewed lead author Julian R.K. Wichmann about how he and his team disentangle this perplexing topic.

Same as the paper flow, the interview is arranged along four dimensions – who, what, how, and where. I added a fifth dimension – how much…

“To make the work and especially the communication more efficient, we split up in pairs so that we kind of a had a 1→2→4 system: we individually worked on a specific section, then discussed, revised, and merged our progress in pairs before meeting again with the entire team of four Julian R.K. Wichmann

What do the authors discover?

The evolving global drivers, which are advancements in technology, socioeconomic and geopolitical shifts, and environmental changes, have been influencing major market stakeholders (i.e., demand, supply, and legislature). This, in turn, has changed the way the marketing mix is designed and implemented in a variety of ways, which the authors break down into the who, what, how, and where of the marketing mix. That is, who is involved in the marketing mix, what constitutes the marketing mix, how is it implemented, and where is it deployed. Furthermore, the authors develop opposing scenarios for the future of the marketing mix and discuss central moderators that a manifestation towards the one or the other extreme hinges on.

How did the authors start working together?

“The idea was developed in early 2020 in preparation for the Thought Leadership Conference on Global Marketing Strategy. It was supposed to take place in Hyderabad the same summer but eventually had to be held virtually. We were assigned randomly into groups but the organizers made sure to match junior faculty like myself with some senior researchers which offered us an amazing learning experience,” explains Julian. He just started his post-doc at the University of Cologne in Germany around that time, and was teamed up with Abhinav Uppal from India, Amalesh Sharma from the U.S., and Marnik Dekimpe from The Netherlands/Belgium.

Where did the discovery of findings occur?

“We were never able to meet in person during the whole process due to the pandemic, so we met regularly for long Skype sessions to work on the paper,” Julian recounts and adds “Abhinav always had to stay up late for our meetings while Amalesh had to get up early; so Marnik and I were kind of the lucky ones being located right in the middle.” Despite the lack of physical meetings, the team was able to efficiently split up the work around different building blocks, solving the marketing mix evolution puzzle “in parallel.” “To make the work and especially the communication more efficient, we split up in pairs so that we kind of a had a 1-2-4 system: we individually worked on a specific section, then discussed, revised, and merged our progress in pairs before meeting again with the entire team of four,” Julian explains and goes on to say “that worked really well and taught me a lot about efficient teamwork not just virtually but in general.”

How much did the process of discovery affect you as an academic?

The entire experience also had another unexpected but welcome side-effect for Julian: “Because I was collaborating with senior colleagues that I only heard and read about but never had the chance to properly meet before, I was really feeling like I was becoming part of the marketing academics community over the course of the project. You start interacting on a much more personal level and over a much more extended period of time than what you usually have during conferences and consortia. That was a really good feeling and strengthened my desire to stay in academia—it kind of felt like a rite of passage, especially because I’ve just finished my PhD at that point in time.”

Are you interested in reading more about the evolution of marketing mix and the future of it? You can find the open access article here.


Meet Julian Wichmann


Julian R.K. Wichmann

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Department of Retailing and Customer Management, University of Cologne

What drives you to do the research / work you do?

The enjoyment of the research process, following your curiosity, interacting with all different kinds of stakeholders (students, academic colleagues, practitioners, government officials), and observing how your work is read and used by them. Being an academic researcher allows me to look at relevant questions at a broad level so that what I do can (hopefully) impact many companies and industries. Also, I feel that academia is a highly gamified experience. It motivates you to keep “leveling up” (higher journal rankings, more citations, higher Altmetric score, ...). You just have to make sure that you pursue the metrics and outcomes that really matter to you and that you keep enjoying yourself while you are at it.

Fun-fact about the author: If you were not an academic, what would you be?

In the past, I would have said a DJ but these days, I wouldn’t enjoy the constant traveling. I’d rather be a medical doctor because contrary to the academia what you do has a very positive direct and visible impact on people.


This article was written by

T. (Ned) Choungprayoon

Ph.D. Candidate at the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden)

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