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Competing assessments of market-driven, sustainability-centered, and stakeholder-focused approaches to the customer-brand relationships and performance

Jeannette A. Mena, G. Tomas M. Hult, O.C. Ferrell and Yufei Zhang

Journal of Business Research, 2019, vol. 95, issue C, 531-543

Abstract: For over two decades, marketing strategy has centered on the importance of being primarily market-driven to achieve superior customer-brand relationships and firm performance. However, changes in the business environment have prompted some organizations to embrace newer approaches to marketing strategy development, such as being sustainability-centered or stakeholder-focused. Using a competing analysis framework, we assess the marketing performance implications of these three approaches to marketing strategy development (i.e., market-driven, sustainability-centered, and stakeholder-focused) while accounting for other firm and industry effects. The hypotheses are tested using secondary data involving 1716 firms over a four-year period. The results indicate that, in general, placing more emphasis on a broad set of stakeholders (i.e., customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, communities, and regulators) when developing marketing strategy is more important in achieving superior performance than is engaging in market-driven or sustainability-centered efforts. These findings support previous research that social responsibility associated with a stakeholder-focused strategy has a positive impact on customer-brand relationships resulting in performance. The results also indicate that distinctive marketing strategies exist among tangible product firms, service firms, low/stable tech firms, and high-tech firms.

Keywords: Market-driven; Sustainability; Stakeholders; Hierarchical linear modeling; Marketing strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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