Guest Editorial: The History of Marketing Science: Beginnings


The field of marketing science has a rich history of modeling marketing phenomena using the disciplines of economics, statistics, operations research, and other related fields. Since it is roughly 50 years from its origins, it is timely to review the accomplishments of marketing scientists in a number of research areas.

This history has not gone previously unnoticed. A number of fascinating retrospective articles about the origins of the field of marketing science authored by some of its pioneers appeared in a special section of the Fall 2001 issue of Marketing Science. An article by Steckel and Brody highlighted the importance of understanding the history of any field. They noted three reasons: (1) understanding our history is just simply interesting as would be finding our genealogical roots, (2) history helps us to better understand how a field evolves and why it is where it is now, and (3) history also aids our predictions of where a field is headed.

An excellent example of the first reason is to wonder at the evolution of the kind of data that have become available to researchers. If you were modeling consumer choice behavior in the 1960s and 1970s, you were pretty much limited to a few diary panel data sets. This evolved to the now famous IRI scanner panel st coffee data in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 21 century,

We have almost unlimited data from comScore on ecommerce choice behavior. Similarly, advertising effects research has moved from a few publiclyavailable data sets on cigarettes and the Lydia Pinkham Company’s “vegetable compound” to multi-channel advertising data including online and mobile advertising exposure.

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