Evaluating the impact of an integrated supply chain on the process of marketing European feature films
The film industry in Europe is characterised by a fragmented supply chain. The film market is historically dominated by films from the United States, leaving little room for other national cinemas. In this context, film marketing suffers from the same illness as the rest of the industry in that US companies enjoy dominance over the market. This thesis provides an historical analysis of the film industry and inherent marketing practices in order to explore the interplay between supply chain management and the film marketing mix. In particular, the thesis draws upon relational concepts of trust and exchange relationships,b ringing marketing approaches in the field from macro and micro levels to a multi level analysis involving micro, macro and meso level considerations. Drawing on an empirical case study, documentary analysis, policy analysis and participant observation,t he thesis reveals that supply chain management is necessary in order to create an environment conducive to the formulation of an appropriate film marketing mix. It shows that there is interdependency between the market structure and the individual choices which marketers can make in formulating the mix. In response to the constraints of the current market structure, supply chain management offers independent film marketers a method of improving the chances of success for their films in the market. Integrated supply chains can facilitate a development of relationships leading to enhanced trust. The existence of such trust has been shown to increase understanding and the flow of information between the members of the supply chain which in turn ensures consistency in the marketing offering. This thesis contributes to the current film marketing literature by bridging the gap between the overtly contextual explanations of the domination of the film industry by Hollywood with individualistic explanations of marketing strategies which fail to recognise contextual elements. This research has policy implications at regional, national and supra national levels. Namely, it would seem beneficial for policy makers to concentrate on building relationships between film industry professionals in order to develop levels of trust and mutual understanding. In this way, virtual rather than vertical supply chains can be created within the film industry.