Purpose: The study investigates the development of three key strategic marketing constructs – market orientation, marketing-related business process capabilities and marketing performance measurement – as well as their performance implications over a period of six years in a Nordic setting. The aim of the study is to shed light on recent developments in contemporary strategic marketing, and thereby to identify managerially relevant points of focus for the future.
Design/methodology/approach: The study builds on a national-level survey study conducted among Finnish companies of various sizes representing different industries and market positions in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The data capture the development of strategic marketing over the most recent business cycle, from the upturn to the financial crisis of late 2008, the following downturn and the recent tentative recovery.
Findings: The findings shed light on the changing role of the three key strategic marketing constructs over the years. Particularly, the study supports the recent notion that market orientation is no longer a differentiator, but a standard. Furthermore, the study sheds light on the varying role of marketing-related business process capabilities over the changing business cycle. Finally, the study shows that marketing performance measurement maintains its beneficial impact on firm performance across years and across the business cycle.
Practical implications: By investigating recent developments in the field of strategic marketing, taking into account the changing business cycle and the broader trends and developments in the field, this study provides insights for managers of both product and service businesses on how to better adjust their marketing efforts to the contemporary business environment and its economic development.
Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study on a national level that longitudinally investigates the role and impact of the three key strategic marketing constructs, with a particular focus on their relative performance impact over time.
- 512 Business and Management
- Business cycle
- Business performance
- Market orientation
- Performance measurement
- Strategic marketing
- Marketing Logics and Strategizing