chapter  7
The power of intuitive thinking: a devalued heuristic of strategic marketing
Pages 10

To the detriment of the value placed on the intuition, judgement and subjective insight of

marketing managers, the strategic marketing literature has long been guilty of giving

undue prominence to analytical processes and approaches that rely heavily on market

research data to drive strategy creation. So guilty, in fact, that many textbooks in this area

seem to be prefaced with get-off-the-hook clauses that attempt to account, and even

apologise, for this all too obvious omission in their work. By way of illustration, consider

this quotation from Meldrum and McDonald (2007, p. 251) who state, ‘no matter how

important intuition, feel and experience are as contributory factors in this process of

rationality . . . ’. In other words, to be so bold as to articulate what they really mean, ‘no

matter how important these things may be, please, dear readers, just abide by the

predetermined models and frameworks in our book’. Such privileging of pure rationality

and reason is, of course, a mainstay of contemporary marketing theory and thought. In spite

of the espousal of alternative modes of intuitive decision making, which gained

prominence in the late 1990s (Day, 1997; Dolnick, 1998; Weintraub, 1998), continuing to

gather pace in more recent times (Dane & Pratt, 2007; Duggan, 2007), the rational

perspective has managed to remain very firmly rooted. Indeed, Boyett and Boyett (2003,

p. 158), with tongue firmly in cheek, perfectly summarise the general attitude in strategic

marketing thinking: ‘intuition-based testosterone-driven marketing decision making is

always bad and logic, analysis, and rationality is always the way to go’. Even Kotler and

Keller (2006, p. 724) long for the day that marks ‘the demise of marketing intuition and the

rise of marketing science’.