Marketing Strategy Analysis in the Italian Textile Industry: The Case of Marzotto, 1836 – 2004

Posted: 4 Jun 2019

Date Written: March 26, 2019


This paper aims to investigate the history of the marketing strategy of the Italian textile industry and taking Marzotto as a case study to demonstrate the significant change between 1836 and 2004. It is appropriate to use a single case study for this paper, which is helpful to query prior theoretical links in marketing strategy and explore new ones (e.g., from a historical perspective, which scholars in marketing always neglect) since a more careful study is made. It uses Marzotto due to the long history of the family firm, and it has an impact on the town and the whole community during the period of study. For example, Marzotto had become one of Italy's largest firm in the wool industry that created employment, produced large production, and had protective tariffs up to 40 per cent. It had changed from a textiles-oriented firm to a brand-oriented firm, which shifting trend related to the marketing strategy of the firm. This study scrutinizes the marketing strategy on when, why and how it took place within the period of study. It is crucial to evaluate the history of a marketing strategy because it helps to identify consistent factors that changed and understand the business growth, particularly during the Great Depression, First World War, Second World War and post-war time. For instance, Marzotto survived during the Great Depression and has expanded its businesses to several countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean region. How did Marzotto do that and different from its competitors? Also, during the period between two world wars, Marzotto was continued to grow, despite having socioeconomic problems such as inflation, high unemployment, and rampant strikes. Again, how did Marzotto survive during these world wars? These examples during crisis periods demonstrated that Marzotto had implemented an appropriate and effective marketing strategy for its business. Also, it investigates about Marzotto’s founder and family members that are crucial in this study. It is significant to investigate the role of family members in Marzotto’s business to know who was responsible for any decision made during the period of study, particularly on its marketing aspects. In sum, this paper explains - who, when, why and how -marketing strategy had changed Marzotto between 1836 and 2004. This study adopts a comparative approach to examine Marzotto’s marketing practices between 1836 and 2004 and compares it to the competitors. In doing so, it demonstrates how various strategic approaches by Marzotto can be integrated into a comprehensive development of theory building for marketing strategy from a historical perspective, particularly in the textile industry. It uses both primary and secondary sources such as minutes meeting, company documentation, newspapers, industry reports, reports prepared by consulting company, books, scientific papers, and historical archives, to provide a retrospective analysis of marketing strategy over time at Marzotto. The significance of using triangulated data is that it provides strong evidence to the subject that illustrates credibility. Also, this study uses NVivo software to store all qualitative data collected from selected historical archive collections. It is useful to use NVivo software because it allows themes to emerge from data collected. This paper adopts a thematic analysis, which allows themes to emerge from collected data. Preliminary findings present in four periods. It uses a resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984) to explain the changes in marketing strategy at Marzotto between 1836 and 2004. The original contribution is that it fills the gap in current marketing literature, which many studies usually neglect the historical part of either the company or industry as a relevant topic. It has three contributions to the literature review, development of theory building in marketing strategy from a historical perspective, and managerial implication, which discusses in conclusion. The limitation of this study outlines very few primary sources were available, and it heavily reliance on secondary sources for the most part.

Keywords: Brand, Branding, Marketing, Strategy, Textile Industry

JEL Classification: N60, N64, N84, N00, M10

Suggested Citation

Binti Ramli, Nur Suhaili, Marketing Strategy Analysis in the Italian Textile Industry: The Case of Marzotto, 1836 – 2004 (March 26, 2019). Available at SSRN:

Nur Suhaili Binti Ramli (Contact Author)

Ca' Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Fondamenta San Giobbe,
No Address Available, Venezia 30121

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