Conceptual/Theoretical Paper

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 35-52

First online:

Frontiers of the marketing paradigm in the third millennium

  • Ravi S. AchrolAffiliated withProfessor of Marketing Science, School of Business, The George Washington University Email author 
  • , Philip KotlerAffiliated withS. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

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The domain and theories of marketing have been expanding since the origins of the discipline. Since the 1970s marketing science has been organized around the exchange paradigm. Marketing concepts apply to all forms of exchange, whether it is goods, services, personages, places or ideas, and whether it is between individuals, for-profit and nonprofit firms, governments and NGOs. Marketing theories evolved from a firm oriented view to encompass the exchanging dyad. More recently the paradigm expanded to a network level of explanation, and relational theories have come to the fore. But even as the field struggles to grasp its new fields of explanation, there is a Kuhnian shift happening at its boundaries. The shift significantly bends the marketing worldview as well as the theoretical tools and methodologies we use to study it. In this paper we develop a three-tiered explanation of the emerging field of marketing—its subphenomena (consumer experiences and sensory systems), its phenomena (marketing networks), and its superphenomena (sustainability and development).


Marketing paradigm Marketing future Marketing theory Consumption experience Consumer sensory processes Consumer neurophysiology Nanotechnology Marketing networks Consumer networks Sustainable marketing Marketing and poverty alleviation