|Title||The Biogeographical Foundations of African Marketing Systems|
|Author(s)||Ingenbleek, Paul T.M.|
|Source||Journal of Macromarketing 40 (2020)1. - ISSN 0276-1467 - p. 73 - 87.|
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Africa - African geography - human evolution - indigenous firms - marketing systems|
The marketing literature is showing an increasing interest in Africa. This article addresses the contextual macro-level characteristics that such studies have in common, and traces the typical characteristics of African marketing systems back to their ultimately biogeographical foundations. These foundations include the north-south orientation of the main continental axis, the low presence of geological boundaries such as mountains and rivers, and Africa as the “cradle of mankind.” Through their evolutionary consequences, these factors evolved into the aggregate marketing system traits typical to Africa, which include the existence of multi-level markets connected by traders, a sharp distinction between the formal and informal sectors, and an overwhelming presence of micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers. This analysis generates new insights into, among others, the role of biogeographical factors in marketing systems theory and the potential sources of competitive advantage and disadvantage for the endogenous African firms inherent to the system.