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Are marketing strategies correlated with financial outputs? A longitudinal study

Erika Sydney-Hilton (Comercialización e Investigación de Mercados, Facultad Economia, Valencia, Spain)
Natalia Vila-Lopez (Comercialización e Investigación de Mercados, Facultad Economia, Valencia, Spain)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 7 October 2019




The relevance of marketing to explain financial success has been seldom investigated. In this scene, the purpose of this study is to analyze whether the correlations between four marketing strategies and seven financial measures has increased (or not) over time.


To reach these objectives, secondary information about 500 companies operating in the USA was analyzed. This information was listed on the US Standard & Poor’s 500-company index (SPX Charts, 2019). Data were collected for eight different periods of time (from year 2009 to year 2016) and for 11 different industries. Multiple regression analysis and ANOVA tests were used.


First, two marketing investment decisions out of four (brand value and price) have displayed a significant and incremental change over time. The other marketing investment decisions (brand rank, communication and service) have not increased their importance with time. Second, in two investment decisions (brand value and price), correlations found with financial measures have strengthened over time.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted on large US public companies. Studying other sectors within the USA such as small capitalization firms or privately owned firms can lead to future discoveries, while looking at similar companies in different countries, could provide compare and contrast opportunities. Second, no qualitative data were obtained in this study, leaving potential for gaps in knowledge that could be remedied by qualitative analysis. Third, given that all marketing investment was considered of equal value in the present paper, future research could be done to avoid this limitation.

Practical implications

From a practical approach, the authors want to eliminate the dissonance between marketing and accounts as far as the lack of “marketing accountability” (Webster et al., 2003, p. 27) has lead marketing to “lost its seat at the table” (Kumar and Shah, 2009, p 119). That is, they want to call the attention to the relevance of investing in diverse marketing tools at the same time from an accounting approach, showing how these tools can be used to improve financial results. Kumar (2015) explains how, as companies strive to cut costs, meet annual revenue targets and maximize efficiency, less attention is being placed on the importance of forward-looking marketing strategies. The authors would like to show how favorable financial results are linked to diverse marketing investments. As Arslanagic-Kalajdzic et al. (2018) have underlined, there is a need for building, improving and sustaining marketing accountability within the firm and its relevance for value.


From an academic approach, the added value is to adopt a longitudinal perspective to analyze the evolution of marketing investment over time and its interesting results, given that, until now, most of the studies have focused on a specific period (Anderson et al., 2004; Fornell et al., 2006). Previous works have scarcely noticed that by better understanding how marketing investments impact regularly used financial variables, stakeholders can better assess the inner workings of a company (Ambler et al., 2001). Bridging this academic gap from a longitudinal perspective will enable marketing workers and accounting workers to act cohesively to cultivate successful companies.



Sydney-Hilton, E. and Vila-Lopez, N. (2019), "Are marketing strategies correlated with financial outputs? A longitudinal study", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 1533-1546.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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