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Principles of Marketing

Reviewed by Marina Jaffey, Instructor & Program Leader Marketing, Camosun College on 10/9/13

Comprehensiveness rating: 4

This American Principles of Marketing text covers all the key areas & ideas normally included in a first year College/University Introduction to Marketing course. There are 16 chapters in the text and most key topic areas are discussed relatively thoroughly, with the following exceptions: 1. Pricing 2. Retailing and Distribution as it relates to services Rather than structuring the text around the 4Ps or traditional Marketing Mix, the authors follow the premise that marketing is composed of four activities centered on customer value: creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging value. The text does not include a Table of Contents, Contents in Brief, or Glossary and/or Index.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

Marketing concepts are defined/explained/discussed accurately. All the examples are American, so not as relevant for Canadian students. Similarly, the Environmental Scan and ethical/legal segments are all based on American trends and laws/business practices. In general, the examples tend to focus on large corporations. More examples from medium/small businesses, as well as not-for-profits, would help to provide a broader perspective for students. Based on the scale below: content is accurate, but has a very American bias.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

The content is up-to-date, with the exception of: 1. The three chapters on marketing communications. Marketing communications has been and is continuing to change rapidly, and as a result, it is difficult for text books to remain current. Having said this, I believe that it would be relatively easy to make regular updates to the marketing communications chapters. 2. Although the Distribution chapter is up-to-date, it is lacking in its coverage of distribution as it relates to services, as well as retailing. 3. Perhaps most importantly for Canadian students, is the fact that all the examples and all sections that relate to legislation/business practices in the current text are American. It would be more time consuming to up date the text to reflect the Canadian marketing environment.

Clarity rating: 3

Concepts are explained clearly in the body of the text. Ideas to increase retention are: 1. Include more visuals. The current charts/graphs are small and difficult to read. Many of the figures lack sufficient detail. Visuals serve to summarize concepts at-a-glance and help students to understand/recall a concept. 2. Provide a variety of examples to illustrate concepts. 3. Make better use of formatting to ensure students can see quickly key concepts and definitions on a page, for instance, make better use of headings & subheadings and include key concept definitions in the margins of the page. 4. In addition to the summaries at the end of each section within a chapter, include a final end of chapter summary.

Consistency rating: 4

Yes, the text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The text presents the marketing mix in terms of four activities or components of marketing: creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging value.

Modularity rating: 5

There are 16 chapters in the text which corresponds nicely with a typically 14 week semester. The order of the chapters in the text is as follows: Ch. 1 - What is Marketing? Ch. 2 - Strategic Planning Ch. 3 - Consumer Behaviour Ch. 4 - Business Buying Behaviour Ch. 5 - Market Segmenting, Targeting, & Positioning Ch. 6 - Creating Offerings Ch. 7 - Developing & Managing Offerings Ch. 8 - Using Marketing Channels to Create Value for Customers Ch. 9 - Using Supply Chains to Create Value for Customers Ch. 10 - Gathering and Using Information: Marketing Research & Market Intelligence Ch. 11 - Advertising, IMC, and the Changing Media Landscape Ch. 12 - Public Relations & Sales Promotions Ch. 13 - Professional Selling Ch. 14 - Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Empowerment Ch. 15 - Price Ch. 16 - The Marketing Plan It would be easy and straight forward for an instructor to change the order that these topics are covered in a semester, should he/she wish to do that.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

Two changes I recommend are: 1. Put ch. 15 - Price right after ch. 7 - Developing & Managing Offerings. Pricing is a very important marketing concept, and it makes most sense to discuss how to price products/services/offerings right after they are covered in the text. 2. Move ch. 10 - Marketing Research to right after ch. 2 - Strategic Planning. Ch. 2 covers environmental scanning, so it is important for students to learn how to research trends and find information required for planning. Otherwise, the order of the chapters is fine.

Interface rating: 2

I have been working with a print version of the text. A suggestion to make navigation through the print version easier would be to include a Table of Contents, Contents in Brief, and Index/Glossary at the end. Images/charts are small and difficult to read in the print version. Many subheadings sit alone at the bottom of a page. Need to format so that a subheading appears with some or all of the body copy. Also, some chapters begin on the same page that the previous chapter ends. It would be better to start a new chapter on a new page. In several instances, whole pages were simply lists of sources. It is important to cite sources, however it would be better to include these lists of sources at the end of a chapter, rather than in the middle of a chapter.

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

There are relatively few grammatical or spelling errors. Please see complete list of errors in attached document.

Cultural Relevance rating: 2

Although the text is not culturally offensive in any way, I believe there could be more examples that reflect a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The text mentions that there is a profile of a marketing professional at the beginning of each chapter - this is not the case (no profiles are included). Including profiles of marketing professionals from a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds would be one way of addressing this weaknesses. It would also be appropriate to profile different types of organizations to illustrate marketing concepts/business practices amongst different cultural groups. As mentioned earlier, this is an American text so all examples are American.


Overall this text covers all the key topic areas relevant to a first year college/university overview marketing course. Most topics are covered in an appropriate amount of depth, with a few exceptions including pricing and services marketing. Learning Objectives are included at the start of each segment within a chapter, but not at the start of a chapter. Learning Objectives are all at the lowest two levels of Bloom's Taxonomy - Knowledge (i.e. Describe...) and Comprehension (i.e. Understand...) The Review Questions and Key Takeaways which appear at the end of each segment within a chapter and the Discussion Questions and Activities at the end of each chapter are generally good and provide students with ways to test understanding and apply relevant concepts. This is an American text, so an instructor would need to provide his/her students with a variety of Canadian examples, as well as Canadian content related to environmental scanning and business practices. All Introduction to Marketing texts offered by publishers provide extensive support materials for instructors and students. I'm not aware of any support materials that come with this text. There are formatting issues which have been mentioned earlier in this review, that would need to be addressed.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.