Reinventing Marketing in a disruptive Economy


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Disruption is one thing that has been constant in affecting the world economy. Disruptions can exist in the form of exogenous shocks such as technological advances, health crises, environmental disasters, shift in consumer preferences, economic climate, and platform-based business models. Similarly, disruptions can also be endogenous in the form of new marketing-mix elements, globalization, etc. that changes the industry outlook. Marketing has contributed to these endogenous disruptions through relentless innovation. For example, in B2C markets, Apple has introduced continuous innovations since its launch of the iPhone, and we are in the 12th generation of iPhone products. Similarly, in B2B markets, technology companies have launched a new generation of cloud services at periodic intervals. In both markets, each successive generation has something better and newer to offer. However, this raises a question: Is this the right decision for the firm as not every customer would keep embracing the new generation given it is introduced due to the longer shelf life of the previous generations? The challenge underlies if one company does not offer such innovations at regular intervals, competition can get ahead with their innovations. What we are witnessing here is that disruptions can be both exogeneous and endogenous. Irrespective of whether the disruptions are endogenous or exogenous, firms have to adopt a customer-centric approach that involves managing both upstream and downstream activities of the firm’s value chain to navigate the turbulent times. Downstream activities involve value changing actions related to marketing, sales, service, brand policy, etc. Upstream activities involve value changing actions related to sourcing of raw materials, production process, R&D, etc.

Disruptions can occur due to New Age Technologies (NAT) spearheaded by firms, customers, and communities (Gupta, Kumar and Karam 2019). NAT like such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc. help managers develop the market intelligence that reshapes the firm’s decisions (Kumar et al. 2020). Typically, innovations take place in a firm either employing a top-down approach or bottom-up approach. In a top-down approach, the firm identifies a problem, recognizes a need for a solution, and develops the innovation for the users' benefits. Whereas, in a bottom-up approach, innovation emerges from the employees or customers of the organizations. While firms pursue both top-down and bottom-up approaches, research has identified that a blend of the two approaches bodes well for firms (Birkinshaw et al. 2011). Firm-led innovations involve research & development activities (Gupta et al. 1986), stakeholder feedback (Duncan and Moriarty 1998), top management team (You, Srinivasan, Pauwels, & Joshi, 2020), frugal innovation (Wooldridge 2010), social innovation (Gupta, Kumar and Karam 2019) and reverse innovation (Malodia, Gupta and Jaiswal 2020), and also curating digital innovation for social good (Varadarajan et al. 2022). Customer-led innovations highlight the criticality of customers in the innovation process, include the form

of innovation such as grassroots innovation (Gupta 2020), jugaad innovation (Radjou et al. 2012), and customer co-creation (Ramaswamy and Ozcan 2018). Community-led innovations that direct towards community development recognized as social innovation (Gupta, Kumar and Karam 2019)

List of Topic Areas

  • What factors internal and external to organizational systems influence the firm's strategy to deal with exogeneous disruptions? 
  • What factors internal and external to organizational systems influence the firm's strategy to produce endogenous disruptions? 
  • What are the short-term and long-term benefits of being a pioneer in addressing the disruptions? 
  • How can disruption affect the adoption and viability of incorporating innovative techniques in the business operations dealing with the customers? 
  • What are the impacts of marketing decisions involved in producing disruptions on stakeholders, as well as society and environment? 
  • What kind of collaborative efforts firms can undertake with their stakeholders in order to respond to the disruption and accomplish the goals of customer-centricity? 
  • How technological and digital-based innovation can facilitate firms to create, communicate and deliver sustainable offerings in a disruptive environment? 
  • Discuss the role of technology across downstream and upstream activities and measuring their differential effect on firm's performance. Do frugal innovations emanating from emerging markets provide better guidelines to manage resources in the time of disruption? 
  • How can multi-national firms leverage and promote the frugal context-based knowledge at a global level to address some of the sustainability issues during the disruption? 
  • How will the reinvention of marketing practices affect the customers' value perception and how firms can manage the expectation at all levels? 
  • What are the roles of top marketing executives (e.g., chief marketing officer) in reinventions in the time of disruption? 
  • Would the reinvented marketing strategy demand a new set of data, analytics, and metrics to better measure the impact aligned with the business goal? 
  • If yes, what is the process of to structure the need for new data, analytics and metrics?

Submissions Information

This Special Issue seeks to explore the processes and dynamics of dealing with both exogeneous and endogenous disruptions and how firms survive and thrive. The increased uncertainty also offers the opportunity for innovativeness at all levels of firms’ value chain among the global businesses to come out ahead. Hence, firms may have to think out of the box to fulfil the expectations of their stakeholders for sustainability and growth. This call for papers seeks novel research adopting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods from any domains such as consumer behavior, marketing strategy or quantitative marketing. The submission window is from March 31, 2024 to June 30, 2024. 
Submitted manuscripts must follow the European Journal of Marketing Manuscript Preparation Guidelines and submit online at Please select the special issue from the drop-down menu during submission. Only original papers not currently under review or published elsewhere may be submitted. Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 31/03/2024 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30/06/2024

Guest Editors

Shaphali Gupta; MICA, The School of Ideas, India; [email protected]
Stavroula Spyropoulou; Leeds University Business School, U.K; [email protected]
Huda Khan; Business School, University of Aberdeen, UK; [email protected] 
V Kumar; Brock University, Canada; [email protected]