Marketing strategy implementation, Sales-marketing interface, Cross-functional coordination, Informal networks, Qualitative




Why do marketing strategies fail? This persistent question attracts significant attention and resource investments given its associated performance implications. Existing research suggests that most marketing strategies suffer due to poor implementation; however, the nuances of strategy implementation impediments and their accompanying remedies remain underdeveloped. To contribute to this line of inquiry, the authors use multi-level qualitative data to capture cross-functional dynamics that traverse the organizational hierarchy and are critical to marketing strategy implementation. The data collection procedure consisted of depth interviews with 48 informants within eight organizations, constituting sales-marketing dyads at three hierarchical levels (senior, middle, and frontline) within each organization. Findings suggest that sales and marketing personnel’s varying self-interests at different hierarchical levels motivate them to engage in a distinct set of inter- and intra-functional activities that foment implementation impediments. In turn, findings explicate not only the individual effects of these impediments but also their cumulative between-level (trickle-down) and within-level, within-function (trickle-around) impact as the strategy moves through the hierarchy of the sales-marketing interface. The authors then offer prescriptive remedies embedded in the informal organization that may stabilize the implementation process. Viewed holistically, this study contributes to marketing literature by inductively deriving a theory of marketing strategy implementation within the sales-marketing interface.

Original Citation

Malshe, A., Hughes, D. E., Good, V., & Friend, S. B. (2021). Marketing strategy implementation impediments and remedies: A multi-level theoretical framework within the sales-marketing interface. International Journal of Research in Marketing.

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