Evidence-based marketing: a perspective on the ‘practice–theory divide’

Jennifer Rowley

Manchester Metropolitan University

Introduction

Over the past few years, the concept of evidence-based practice (EBP) has become accepted and well embedded in practice in the healthcare, health policy, social care, nursing, criminal justice, regeneration and education sectors (Denyer & Neely 2004). At the heart of the concept of evidence-based practice is the notion that practice should be informed by the best and latest knowledge, including the knowledge emerging from research. This philosophy is effectively captured in the definition of evidence-based policy and practice offered by Tranfield et al. (2004) – ‘Evidence-based policy and practice offers an integration of the best research evidence of a specific problem or issue and its integration with a practitioner’s pre-existing experience and expertise on that subject along with end-user preferences’ (p. 379) – and reiterated in the definition of evidence-based management (EBM) offered by Collins et al. (2008): ‘EBM can be construed as making better decisions by integrating managerial expertise with the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of best evidence in making decisions whilst taking into account the perspectives of those people who might be affected by them’ (p. 2).