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Strategic marketing: New horizons in theory and research

Special issue call for papers from European Journal of Marketing

Submission deadline: 31 August, 2015 

Guest Editors

  • Professor John M. Rudd, Aston Business School, UK
  • Dr Matti Jaakkola, Aston Business School, UK
  • Professor Greg W. Marshall, Rollins College, USA and Aston Business School, UK
  • Professor Robert E. Morgan, Cardiff Business School, UK

Focus of the special issue

The notion of strategic marketing, as a core element in any enterprise, has roots in seminal articles by Jain (1983) and Day and Wensley (1983). Here, the authors present clear guidelines regarding the strategic decisions of how, where, and when to invest in organizational resources, citing marketing as being fundamental to the overall growth and long-term viability of enterprise. More recently, the robust role of strategic marketing was reinforced by Varadarajan (2010), who argues for a better delineation
between strategic marketing and marketing strategy, with the former clarified as "…encompassing the study of organizational, inter-organizational, and environmental phenomena concerned with (1) the behaviour of organizations in the marketplace in their interactions with consumers, customers, competitors, and other external constituencies, in the context of creation, communication, and delivery of products that offer value to customers in exchanges with organizations, and (2) the general
management responsibilities associated with the boundary spanning role of the marketing function in organizations." We enthusiastically embrace this viewpoint.

During the past decade or so, there has been a growing imbalance in the marketing literature between work at the tactical marketing level and work at the strategic marketing level and, as a result, managers (and researchers alike) may have a tendency to marginalise, or indeed ignore, important long-term issues. We believe the time is right for the marketing discipline to attract more research that addresses core strategic issues in marketing and we see the future of strategic marketing research as very bright. This is down to two main reasons.

  1. Recent calls have been made from top academics to ramp up marketing’s strategic role and impact on firm performance. For instance, in his agenda-setting piece as incoming editor of the Journal of Marketing, Kumar (2015, p. 4) writes: "The emerging paradigm for marketing seems clear: it must be an integral part of the organization's decision-making framework." He also illustrates three central viewpoints (resource-conscious, investment-oriented, and integrative) of
    marketing and their associated triggers, such as ability to collect individual customer data, advances in technology, changes in media usage patterns, and firm value through customer engagement.

  2. Managerial audiences also show interest in themes within the strategic marketing domain, as indicated in the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) research priorities list for 2014-2016. Managerial interest is also evident from a number of recent contributions in practitioner-focused outlets (e.g., Dawar, 2013; Joshi and Giménez, 2014). 

Despite a couple of fairly recent review articles on the field of strategic marketing (e.g., Morgan, 2012; Varadarajan, 2010), research opportunities into the future of this research stream are attractively wide open. This EJM special issue welcomes both empirical and theoretical/conceptual contributions that aim to address new research directions in the field of strategic marketing as well as to add important new knowledge to the field. The knowledge may result from adopting concepts or theories from other fields of research, or from creating and explicating novel content specific to this domain.

Building on Kumar's (2015) themes and triggers along with the MSI research priorities, here are a few example areas that could be addressed but we do not want to stifle or limit creative innovative topical work by over-relying on a preconceived topical list. Some example areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Emerging perspectives and future avenues in strategic marketing research – conceptual developments and theoretical openings
  • Transformation of the marketing organisation (in role, function, structure, and expectancy from others in the firm) - relevance of "marketing departments"
  • How changes in the business environment and new business phenomena affect the strategic role and/or effectiveness of marketing
  • Integration of the marketing and operational functions toward (a) better enabling frontline employees to (b) provide more seamless and enhanced customer experiences
  • Who in an organization "owns" the customer and "customer data collection" - that is, the evolution of boundary spanning roles
  • Marketing's role as an agent of organizational change
  • Big data and marketing analytics are current "buzzwords" – what do these issues have to do with innovation, R&D, planning, and organizational capabilities?
  • Control mechanisms: Marketing dashboards, performance metrics, and measurement systems
  • Marketing's role in organizational sustainability initiatives
  • Shift in power from the firm to the customer based on the digital revolution and especially social media - implications for strategy development and execution
  • Value creation and value capture, ambidexterity, and strategic flexibility
  • Marketing adaptability through economic cycles
  • Methodologies on and theories of how to implement strategic marketing models
  • Novel/emerging methodological approaches in strategic marketing research
  • Impact of technology on the developing role and scope of strategic marketing in the modern organization
  • The changing roles and behaviours of customers, including new insights on the interface between customers and the modern organization
  • The ways in which organizations are predicting and dealing with new consumer insights, expectations, wants, and desires

Submission procedure

Submission to this issue is through Manuscript Central. Please review the author guidelines for the journal before submission.

References

  • Dawar, N. (2013), "When marketing is strategy," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 91, No. 12, pp. 101-108.
  • Day, G.S. and Wensley, R. (1983), "Marketing theory with a strategic orientation," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 79-89.
  • Jain, S.C. (1983), "The evolution of strategic marketing," Journal of Business Research, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 409-425.
  • Joshi, A. and Giménez, E. (2014), "Decision-driven marketing," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 92, No. 7/8, pp. 65-71.
  • Kumar, V. (2015), "Evolution of marketing as a discipline: What has happened and what to look out for," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 1-9.
  • Morgan, N.A. (2012), "Marketing and business performance," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 102-119.
  • Varadarajan, R. (2010), "Strategic marketing and marketing strategy: Domain, definition, fundamental issues and foundational premises," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 119-140.