CONCEPTUAL APPROACHES TO INTERPRETING THE ESSENCE OF A MARKETING MECHANISM CATEGORY
Keywords:mechanism, marketing, marketing mechanism, social and ethical marketing, target effect, marketing actors, marketing tools
The article presents the results of a critical review and content analysis of scholarly literature to identify the theoretical framework for the use of the concept of "mechanism" and the category of "marketing mechanism" by economists. It is reported that the "marketing mechanism" category is widely used in the scientific literature in a range of different meanings. However, there is still no single approach to an unambiguous interpretation of its essence. It was revealed that initially the term "mechanism" was employed by natural and technical sciences but gradually it has spread and started to be applied in the field of social sciences. Based on a contextual analysis of academic literature, the following approaches are suggested to the interpretation of the "mechanism" concept in economics: mechanistic, systemic, process-based, motivational and adaptive. It is argued that using the category of "marketing mechanism" as a synonym to the concept of "marketing" or identical to a set of marketing tools seems fundamentally wrong. Moreover, the interpretation of the marketing mechanism concept by Ukrainian scientists is complicated by the specifics of using this category in the English language. Given the critical significance of the concept of social and ethical marketing, the need to implement the marketing mechanism, the purpose of which is to achieve the common goals of marketing actors, has been reasoned. It is concluded that the concept of "marketing mechanism" should be considered as a sustainable managed system of interaction between marketing actors that make use of appropriate leverages and marketing tools in their chain reaction to achieve the target effects (target outcomes). An emphasis is put on a wide range of opportunities of practical application of the marketing mechanism to address contemporary social challenges. The article provides the implications for further research which should be aimed at identifying the key elements of the marketing mechanism, its characteristics, principles and functioning patterns to shape the scientific framework for its application to tackle the most critical issues in the society.