Marketing Progress: A Never-Ending Story

  • Elena CandeloEmail author
Part of the International Series in Advanced Management Studies book series (ISAMS)


During the 1960s, progress in marketing strategies driven by firms spurred on and led a strong evolution in marketing research, academic studies, and management literature. These included Sloan’s My Years with General Motors, Levitt’s Marketing Myopia, Ansoff’s product/market matrix, Borden and McCarthy’s marketing mix concept, Andrews’ contribution to the SWOT analysis, the “learning curve”, and the rise and fall of portfolio management, to mention just a few. All of them, directly or indirectly, had a considerable impact on the evolution of marketing strategies in the car industry, in which, due to the major investments and long product cycle, firms were desperately seeking tools and concepts to help them face uncertainty. The best contributions often came from managers who, during their professional lives, had introduced innovations and then successfully laid out their experience in articles or books. There was no shortage of academics and creative talent, such as Alfred Chandler, Theodore Levitt, and Robert Buzzell, who conceptualised management techniques or practices previously introduced and tested through the marketing function of carmakers. Consulting firms played a special role. Called upon to study situations and propose solutions, they achieved considerable success (more than academics) with the problems of car companies, in light of the actions taken by management and the results obtained by their proposals. Some of their best solutions became part of management’s repertoire and were included in MBA textbooks, often using cases drawn from the car industry, such as the “BCG’s growth-share matrix” and the GE/McKinsey matrix.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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