The division of marketing into macromarketing and micromarketing is a fairly recent one. Initially, the division was a result of the controversy concerning the responsibility of marketing. Should marketing be limited to the success of the individual firm, or should marketing consider the economic welfare of a whole society? Accepting the later, or "macro", point of view dramatically changes the way marketing is carried out. In this light, every marketing decision must be evaluated with regard to how it might positively or negatively affect each person and institution operating in that society. In 1982, Bunt and Burnett surveyed the academic community in order to define more precisely the distinction between macro- and mircomarketing.4 Their findings suggest that the separation depends upon "what is being studied", "whether it is being viewed from the perspective of society or the firm", and "who receives the consequences of the activity". Examples of macromarketing activities are studying the marketing systems of different nations, the consequences on society of certain marketing actions, and the impact of certain technologies on the marketing transaction.
The use of scanners in supermarkets and automatic teller machines in banking illustrates the last example. Micromarketing examples include determining how Nikon Steel should segment its market, recommending how Denver Colorado’s National Jewish Hospital in the US should price their products, and evaluating the success of the US "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.