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Retail micro-marketing: strategic advance or gimmick?

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The first goal of the paper is to define the concept of micro-marketing, overcoming the 'specialized' perspectives and definitions that have prevailed so far. Micro-marketing relates to ways of controlling environment complexity, facilitated by information technology and required by highly competitive markets. Such control has three forms: segmentation, which reduces complexity to a controllable number of variables; organization, which absorbs a certain amount of complexity by modelling the structure onto the environment; technology, which explores complexity and dominates it through simplification. The second goal is to demonstrate that micro-marketing can build a sustained competitive advantage. Finally, the theoretical implication of the diffusion of a micromarketing approach in the retailing industry is discussed. The areas of strategy, organization, channel relationships, and customer satisfaction are examined. Should micro-marketing become widespread in the retailing industry, we argue that its final result would be increased welfare for the consumer, as long as retailers capitalize on the power of information and stand as a 'countervailing power' to suppliers in the channel.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2000

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