Researching marketing capabilities: reflections from academia banner

Researching marketing capabilities: reflections from academia

Since George Day’s conceptual paper on the capabilities of market-driven organizations was published in 1994, marketing capabilities has become an important area of inquiry for academic researchers in marketing. Over the past 25 years, marketing capabilities have emerged as a central (maybe the central) construct in theoretical explanations linking firms marketing activities with their performance over time. In fact, the overwhelming focus of researchers examining marketing capabilities to-date has been on linking capabilities with performance outcomes. The good news is that the jury is no longer out, and the evidence is pretty conclusive in showing that marketing capabilities are associated with superior organizational performance outcomes (e.g., Krasnikov and Jayachandran 2008). More recently, we have also started to develop some understanding of the mechanisms by which marketing capabilities contribute to performance outcomes. For example, it has been shown that marketing capabilities add value to market-based assets such as brands (e.g., Wiles et al. 2012), reduce the gap between intended and realized strategies (Spyropoulou et al. 2018), enhance strategy implementation effectiveness and efficiency (Morgan et al. 2012), increase the number and effectiveness of demand generating activities (Anderson et al. 2018), contribute to reducing myopic management behavior (e.g., Srinivasan and Ramani 2019), and providean important signal to investors in valuing news of firms’strategic moves (Feng et al. 2019). The bad news is that we have much less insight into how to build such marketing capabilities (Morgan et al. 2018). Yet, inevitably when we successfully communicate the strong empirical findings linking marketing capabilities with superior performance outcomes, the first question on CEOs lips is “So, how do I get those capabilities?”
July 28, 2021

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