یکپارچه سازی فناوری اطلاعات و بازاریابی: بررسی از رانندگان و نتایج از قابلیت بازاریابی الکترونیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26636||2011||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10980 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 162–174
This research examines the performance implications of integrating information technology with marketing capabilities and other firm-level resources. Specifically, this study introduces and empirically tests a model that conceptualizes e-Marketing as the integration of complementary technology, business and human resources that, when combined, positively influence firm performance. The results from a survey of 522 Belgian firms highlight the importance of how market and technology orientation leads to e-Marketing capability and that this capability is shown to positively influence firm performance by improving customer retention and satisfaction. The results suggest that researchers and practitioners should pay special attention to the complementary resources that are needed to successfully implement IT-enabled marketing initiatives and that an emphasis on the technology alone may not be sufficient.
Marketing managers have turned to information technology (IT) to cope with the ongoing challenge of getting more from marketing resources while simultaneously meeting greater expectations to establish durable relationships with customers. Recent studies suggest that organizations can improve customer acquisition and retention by integrating IT into their marketing practices to foster rich interactions with their customers (Brodie et al., 2007 and Coviello et al., 2001). This assimilation of IT and marketing, commonly referred to as e-Marketing, encompasses a broad set of interaction-enabling technologies that are frequently used in industrial business-to-business (B2B) markets including customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales force automation (SFA), e-commerce websites, and extranets (i.e., private websites set up specifically for a customer). While researchers have presented empirical evidence that relates IT-enabled customer interactivity to firm performance ( Brodie et al., 2007 and Wu et al., 2003), there remains a gap in our understanding of how IT and marketing resources are combined to develop new capabilities. Given the pervasive use of IT within marketing today, it is critical to further expand our knowledge of the drivers of e-Marketing capability and how this capability has the potential to enhance firm performance and generate a competitive advantage. The resource-based view (RBV) provides a sound foundation for examining how IT and complementary resources can be bundled to form advantage-generating capabilities (Wade & Hulland, 2004). While researchers have since used the RBV to examine IT-enabled marketing capabilities (Lai et al., 2010 and Nath et al., 2010), to our knowledge little research grounded in the RBV has examined outside-in capabilities that connect a firm to its environment and foster strong relationships with customers. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to build from the foundation provided by past research on e-Marketing and extend this knowledge by examining e-Marketing as a dynamic firm-level capability. Furthermore, we examine the direct role of resource endowments on capability development as well as the interactive effects of these resources and the competitive environment. These interactive effects have received little attention in the IT-RBV literature in general (Wade & Hulland, 2004) and, to our knowledge, have not yet been examined within the marketing technology context specifically. We aim to contribute to the growing body of literature emphasizing a capabilities-based view by developing and testing a model that informs future theoretic and empirical examinations of e-Marketing capability. To achieve this goal, the current study presents and empirically tests a model of how several idiosyncratic resources can be exploited to positively influence customer relationship performance and, ultimately, organizational performance. Specifically, our focus is on how information technology resources are integrated with a firm's complementary human and business resources to create competency in connecting and interacting with interorganizational customers resulting in higher customer satisfaction and retention. With the capabilities-based view serving as the primary conceptual lens, literature from marketing, information systems and strategic management is used to develop our conceptual model of the firm-specific capability of e-Marketing along with its antecedents and outcomes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Discussion of empirical findings As hypothesized, our findings suggest that the successful development of e-Marketing capabilities can have a direct influence on firm profitability, cost position and return on investment as well as an impact through enhanced customer relationship performance. These finding are consistent with past research that emphasizes a dual approach toward firm performance and suggests that e-Marketing can benefit firms by simultaneously expanding revenue (e.g., via increased customer retention and satisfaction) and reducing costs (e.g., increased organizational efficiency). Both market orientation and technology orientation are shown to be important drivers for the customer-centric capability of e-Marketing. These findings are consistent with past studies that showcase these constructs as important organizational “sense and respond” competencies that lead to innovation and the development of new capabilities. An interesting finding within this research was the direct influence of competitive environment on e-Marketing capabilities. As we expected to find a moderating influence of this normative pressure, the direct effect was much stronger than anticipated. This finding leads us to believe that firms might be pressured to a greater degree by the external environment than from an internal directive. Although not tested within this framework, these external factors may very well be driving the firm's choice in strategy. It is quite possible that there are more complex relationships between these e-Marketing capability antecedents worth investigation. However, we did uncover the moderating influence of competitive environment on technology orientation as well as the linear effect. This finding supports the premise that those firms which align their strategic orientation to the external environment will garner the greatest benefit. Examining the environmental conditions of our study, competitive intensity and market turbulence, leads us to other interesting findings. Here again, linear effects were found that were not hypothesized. First, market turbulence was found to have a negative relationship with customer performance outcomes. Theoretically, this finding makes sense that in highly changing markets, customers' expectations and demands will be ever-changing as well; thus, making loyalty and satisfaction more difficult goals to achieve. Second, competitive intensity had a negative influence on organizational performance. Again, not surprising considering that as some industries are found to be more competitive than others, it will be more difficult to achieve organizational success as the competition increases. Extending these linear effects to the moderating influences proposed by each of these environmental conditions, we uncover other interesting results. As described previously, e-Marketing capabilities have a positive influence on performance outcomes; whereas volatile environmental conditions have a negative effect. It is apparent, based on our research findings, that firms that have retooled themselves with these capabilities are actually more capable of navigating the turbulent business waters to achieve higher levels of success. It seems that in highly turbulent markets, firms are able to leverage their new capabilities to help foster rich interactions with customers. Similarly, in situations of intense competition, these capabilities are found to provide some form of competitive advantage over other firms within their industry. 5.2. Contributions 5.2.1. Theoretical implications This study makes several important contributions to the marketing literature. First, we advance a model that demonstrates how the capability of e-Marketing can be formed by integrating complementary technology, human and business resources. To our knowledge there is currently no model to describe how market-driven firms develop the marketing capability of e-Marketing. Most of the work on marketing capabilities to date has primarily placed an emphasis on the outcomes of these capabilities and has paid less attention to their dimensionality and the resources necessary to create them as was done in this study. Our findings highlight the importance of integrating existing business, human and information technology resources to create a new capability that supports strong firm–customer interactions and linkages. These findings are consistent with the strategic management literature that examines the impact of information technology on firm performance. The capabilities-based view underlying our conceptual model suggests that competitive advantage is not achieved merely through the implementation of information technology since such resources are readily available by rival firms. Instead, we find support for the notion that competitive advantages can be achieved when these resources are combined and converted into complex, inimitable capabilities. An important implication of this finding is that even if e-Marketing technologies have “come of age” and are widely adopted by firms as suggested by Barwise and Farley, 2005 and Brodie et al., 2007, competitive advantage may only be achieved if technology resources are properly combined with other complementary firm-level resources. Second, this study contributes to the growing body of literature that suggests that a market-oriented philosophy is a necessary, but perhaps not sufficient, component of organizational success. While it is widely accepted that market orientation can lead firms to enhanced performance, the route to performance remains a topic for some debate. As Kirca et al. (2005) suggest in their revised model derived from past empirical studies, the market orientation–performance chain is mediated by innovativeness, customer loyalty and quality. Our findings are consistent with this revised model in that e-Marketing capability is viewed as a form of innovation that leads to customer satisfaction and retention. Importantly, the market-sensing capability captured by the market orientation construct is shown to be a critical prerequisite to e-Marketing capability. The implication that the dimensions of today's conceptualization of market orientation can be viewed as specific capabilities offers an exciting opportunity for researchers in this domain. Our findings provide further evidence that taking a capabilities-based approach while examining a market-oriented philosophy can reveal new insights into how firms can develop, integrate and deploy marketing capabilities to create a sustained competitive advantage. The extant marketing capabilities literature demonstrates the appropriateness of the capabilities-based view and provides a firm foundation from which this research is built. It is our hope that this study will invite the examination of other key marketing capabilities using the capabilities view as a guide. Finally, by viewing marketing capabilities as a form of innovation, as was done in this study, researchers can leverage a rich body of the innovation and technology literature found in the management discipline. While a specific instance of a capability is selected for this study (i.e., e-Marketing), it is expected that this model can be useful for exploring how firms identify and develop other marketing-related capabilities. Further application of the innovation capability framework within the context of marketing capabilities is warranted. 5.2.2. Managerial implications Today's managers are confronted with challenges that are analogous to reconfiguring an airplane while it is still in flight. Not only must they coordinate daily mainstream operations, but they must also continually cultivate and reconfigure resources to form new capabilities that provide a sustainable strategic position. Marketing managers, in particular, are uniquely positioned within their organizations to scan for opportunities to serve new markets while simultaneously identifying the capabilities that will enable their organizations to develop strong bonds with existing customers. The current study suggests that managers can foster durable relationships with customers through IT-enabled marketing initiatives. As found in past research, however, emphasis should not only be placed on the technology itself, but also on how the technology is fused with complementary business and human resources to create value. While past studies have highlighted the benefits of capabilities, the literature has offered practitioners little guidance into how to identify, let alone develop, organizational capabilities that create competitive advantage. As managers are faced with a continual stream of challenges and changes in their environment, it becomes increasingly critical to sense these changes ahead of the competition and take necessary action to capitalize on the changes rather than merely react to them. This study offers insight into what organizational capabilities and complementary business resources are needed to identify and cultivate new processes that link the organization to its environment. Our findings suggest that managers should pay close attention to several types of resources when pursuing initiatives aimed at connecting customers to the firm's business processes. In addition to ensuring that the proper technology resources are dedicated to such efforts, managers should also cultivate innovative cultures that embrace and support the introduction of new processes. Additionally, managers should clearly articulate an overall vision for the new capability and how it will be integrated across the entire organization. This is critical since e-Marketing capabilities create value by integrating the information created during customer–firm interaction with all business processes that involve customers. The finding that market orientation and technology orientation are necessary to develop value-creating linkages with customers provides more reason for managers to develop organizational cultures that seek to identify and respond to customers' explicit and latent needs. While managers are likely familiar with the concept of market orientation and how it can positively influence outcomes such as new product success, this study also highlights how customer satisfaction and performance can be increased through IT-enabled interactions. This suggests that managers not only need to be aware of customers' primary product-related needs but they also need to be keenly aware of how their customers want or need to interact with the firm. We also believe that it is critical for managers to be cognizant of their environment. As this may sound obvious, in many circumstances it is evident that firms do not align their strategies with the ever-changing surroundings and demands held by external stakeholders. It is widely recognized that firms who do not ensure that their strategy parallels that of their infrastructure and outside pressures will fail, yet the marketplace witnesses these behaviors on a regular basis. Coupled with the above, managers must consider that the improved capabilities acquired by such positioning can improve performance. This finding is valuable; however, further investigation shows that these capabilities demonstrate even stronger effects in more turbulent, competitive industries. Thus, organizational leadership cannot simply plan-for-change, but rather, must engage in continuous process and capability improvement to stay ahead of the performance curve, or at a minimum, stay on the curve. Our recommendation for firms is to constantly scan the environment and survey both internal and external stakeholders to garner intelligence about the competitive landscape. As we believe our findings imply, it is the expectations of these individuals that will shape the future marketplace. This market information will then enable senior leadership to develop the tools necessary for successful adaptation to the forthcoming change. 5.3. Limitations and areas for future research The cross-sectional nature of this study provides only a snapshot in time which makes it difficult to fully understand the order of effects and we are, therefore, left to infer causality. Extant literature provides support for our model that views market and technology orientations as antecedents to e-Marketing capability. We did find theoretic support for an alternative model that views these constructs as moderators. Given that our testing procedure outlined here would yield the same results, we ultimately subscribed to the predominate view in the literature that suggests that these orientations are antecedents to capabilities and these relationships can be strengthened by factors such as competitor, supplier or customer pressure. Future research examining these constructs with longitudinal data can provide a richer understanding of the relationships between them. A second limitation concerns the fact that the survey responses all came from top managers. This limitation raises concerns about the influence of method bias in our results. Research incorporating secondary source data is warranted and can provide further insight into the capability development model. During our analyses we also revealed several interesting direct relationships that we did not originally hypothesize. Our findings suggest that an opportunity remains to explore these relationships in more detail and researchers are urged to validate these results with additional data collections. Our resource-based conceptualization of e-Marketing begins to shed light on the question of why some firms realize more performance gains from e-Marketing initiatives than others. We believe, however, that this is only the first step towards a better understanding of how technology investments, particularly as they relate to marketing, can be fully leveraged. An important component of this understanding that remains to be explored is the relationship between firm resources and marketing practices. An opportunity remains to extend our work by integrating the contemporary marketing (CMP) framework offered by Coviello et al. (2002) and the CRM performance measurement framework (Kim & Kim 2009) to examine how various resource configurations influence marketing practices. This work suggests several promising directions for future research. We hope that researchers can build from our model and begin to explore more of the relationships between the proposed constructs that lead to the successful identification, development and measurement of critical marketing capabilities.