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Relevant marketing geography: a competency‐based perspective

John D. Nicholson (Hull University Business School, Hull, UK)
Adam Lindgreen (Hull University Business School, Hull, UK)
Philip J. Kitchen (Hull University Business School, Hull, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to apply the theory of relationship marketing to the previously unexplored context of organizations – from multiple sectors of society – that interact through no other apparent reason than geographic proximity. The paper assimilates literature from outside the discipline of marketing and synthesizes this with empirical findings in order to present a practical agenda for private sector firms in relation to their local region.


Qualitative, convergent depth‐interviews and interdisciplinary literature synthesis.


The paper presents a model of relevant marketing geography, which positions a resource‐based view as a new direction for relationship marketing research. An additional model conceptualizes the competencies possessed by a private sector firm that allows the firm to access local stocks of social capital.

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers the results of an exploratory, inductive investigation. Subsequent further research directions are significant and are outlined at the end of the paper.

Practical implications

Involvement by private sector firms in their local region is often a random, spontaneous activity, or a reactive activity in response to prompts by public and third sector actors. The paper presents two models that move this agenda from emergent to planned strategic activity for private sector firms.


There is little if any previous discussion of research in the above outlined context within the marketing literature. This paper offers the potential for expansion of that literature.



Nicholson, J.D., Lindgreen, A. and Kitchen, P.J. (2008), "Relevant marketing geography: a competency‐based perspective", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 235-252.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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