Marketing evolved mostly in the second half of the 20th Century as an outgrowth of the efforts of large corporations to increase their sales in an organized manner. Although the Internet has had a profound effect on the practice of marketing, it is still as much art as it is science in actual practice. There is no always reliable method for any given business or organization to increase sales, in part because there are so many variables in the dynamic marketplace that cannot be controlled, such as competition, the economy, mass media and other complex systems.
In recent years a new paradigm for understanding complex systems and their dynamics has emerged known as Complexity science, or just complexity for short. I created a simple introduction to “Complexity Made Simple” at http://www.lciweb.com/Complexity.
In this framework, an organization is a complex adaptive system (CAS) seeking to survive and thrive like a living organism in an ecosystem (marketplace). Its ability to survive and thrive depends largely on its abilities to adapt to the constantly changing environment. Thus the role of marketing is to enable the organization to monitor, understand and adapt to the changing environment most effectively. That rarely happens.