[This blog is based on the Article Snapshot for my article with Constantine S. Katsikeas, Neil A. Morgan, and Leonidas C. Leonidou in the Journal of Marketing, March 2016. A six-minute radio dialogue between Neil Morgan and Tomas Hult about the article is on the globalEDGE Business Beat]
An assessment of performance outcome measures in marketing reveals significant problems with how such outcomes are conceptualized and operationalized and performance areas in which empirical knowledge of marketing's impact is limited.
A key precursor to accurately diagnosing the value firms' marketing creates is conceptualizing and operationalizing appropriate ways to assess performance outcomes. Yet there has been little conceptual development and no systematic examination of how researchers should conceptualize and measure the performance outcomes associated with firms' marketing. This deficiency has limited knowledge development because researchers have lacked a well-defined, theoretically anchored framework for developing valid measures of the performance outcomes that may be associated with firms' marketing activities.
We develop a theory-based performance evaluation framework, considering theoretical rationale, conceptual approach to the treatment of performance, aspects of performance, referents, and time horizon, and examine the assessment of such outcomes in 998 empirical studies published in the top 15 marketing journals during the 1981–2014 period. We developed and used a coding protocol specifying the information to be extracted from each article. The coding of each article was conducted by two coders and particular attention given to ensuring consistency and reliability in the process.
The results reveal a large number of different performance outcome measures used in prior empirical research that may only be weakly related to one another, making it difficult to synthesize findings across studies. In addition, we identify significant problems in how performance outcomes in marketing are commonly conceptualized and operationalized. The findings also reveal several theoretically and managerially important performance areas in which empirical knowledge of marketing's impact is limited or absent.
Little is known about various aspects of marketing's performance outcomes (e.g., growth, brand equity, CLV), providing fruitful research opportunities. The marketing–performance outcome chain we develop offers important new operational performance "mechanism" insights for researchers in other disciplines (e.g., strategic management, international business) focused on understanding organizational performance. Actionable guidelines for researchers are provided for improving research practice, enabling the synthesis of future findings on the performance outcomes of marketing across studies.
Constantine S. Katsikeas, Neil A. Morgan, Leonidas C. Leonidou, and G. Tomas M. Hult (2015), "Assessing Performance Outcomes in Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 80(2), 1-20?.