Linking Marketing Capabilities with Profit Growth
Profit growth is one of the primary drivers of a firm's stock price and therefore is a clear priority for managers. Yet little is known about how a firm's marketing capabilities may be linked with its profit growth. In this study, we use data from a cross-industry sample of 114 firms to investigate how market sensing, brand management, and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities determine firms' revenue growth and margin growth—the two components of profit growth. Our results reveal that these marketing capabilities have direct and complementary effects on both revenue and margin growth rates. Critically, we find that brand management and CRM capabilities have opposing effects on revenue and margin growth rates, such that a failure to examine these two underlying components would mask the relationships between these marketing capabilities and ultimate profit growth rates.