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.
LISTEN: Coauthors Tomas Hult and Neil Morgan discuss why it was important to conduct an assessment of performance outcomes in marketing; the inclusion of a “theory-based performance evaluation framework” to guide companies and researchers; and some of the core guidelines forcompanies and researchers.
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.
Marketing-Performance Outcome Chain and Exemplar Measures
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.
Llittle 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.
Questions for the Classroom
- Discuss the key components of the marketing-performance
outcome chain, how these may be connected to each other, and consider the
advantages and disadvantages of the various types of performance outcome
- What are the main problems that have been identified in the
assessment of marketing performance outcome measures used in empirical studies?
- What are the guidelines for researchers in an effort to
improve research practice in the marketing field and how can these guidelines
be applied to marketing and other disciplines (e.g., management, strategy,
operations, economics, finance)?
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.
Constantine S. Katsikeas is Arnold Ziff
Endowed Research Chair in Marketing & International Management, Leeds
University Business School, University of Leeds (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Neil A. Morgan is
PetSmart, Inc. Distinguished Professor in Marketing Chair and Professor of
Marketing, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University (e-mail: email@example.com).
Leonidas C. Leonidou is
Professor of Marketing, School of Economics and Management, University of
Tomas M. Hult is Byington Endowed Chair and Professor, International Business
Director, International Business Center (MSU-CIBER), The Eli Broad College of
Business, Michigan State University (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).