Know thyself: marketing management strategies “the Italian way”

June 5, 2017
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About six hundred meters above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece, stands the city of Delphi. It became one of the major religious centers of the ancient world. In Delphi, in fact, the oracle of god Apollo was established, with the divinity uttering his verdicts through the mouth of the Pizia, a priestess possessed by the vaticinator spirit. One of the most important maxims of oracular wisdom was expressed by the motto “Know thyself” (“gnōthi sautón”), engraved inside the the same temple.

Much has been made of the authentic meaning of this message, which also became central in philosophy (as with Socrates, who made the motto his own). Despite different interpretations, the “Know thyself” is a fundamental step in the history of thought, which inaugurates the study of man as such. Even today, after thousands of years, the importance of this kind of approach reveals its reach even in areas far removed from those relevant to the oracle.

In a recent article by Fabia Ancarani, Antonella Buonuomo and Michele Costabile, by the title of “Marketing Made in Italy”, the authors emphasize the importance of knowing the context, with its complete features, in order to define correct strategies and processes within marketing management. This context cannot be confined to sector boundaries (such as that of financial markets), but it has to also concern social-cultural and territorial aspects. In other words, it is possible to speak of a marketing management with whole, unique Italian traits, in regard to quality of the products (connected to the Italian manufacturing footprint), ability in customer interaction and innovation. Additionally, conceptual features of marketing management “the Italian way” include creativity, aesthetic sensibility, the capability of drawing on the country’s humanistic cultural heritage with the history of the country itself and, finally, a pragmatic approach that insists on manufacturing rather than design.

Knowing these factors and, more generally, being aware of your skills and strengths (“Know thyself”, indeed) are considered by the authors as indispensable tools to increase the worth and competitiveness of the “made in Italy” marketing approach even in the rest of the world.

Marketing Made in Italy. Universalità e specificità del marketing management fatto in Italia