First NameMatti
Last NameJaakkola
Supervisor NameProfessor Markku Maula,
UniversityHelsinki University of Technology
Keywordsstrategic marketing, performance, marketing resources, business orientations, structural equation modeling
Publication Date19 November, 2015

Strategic Marketing and Its Effect on Business Performance: Moderating Effect of Country-specific Factors


The concept of strategic marketing is relatively young and yet unestablished. Also strategic marketing’s effect on business performance is considerably vague in companies. Effects are unclear since they have not been studied very much, especially in different business environments. This study attempts to fulfill this evident research gap in effectiveness studies and to identify best practices in strategic marketing for Finnish companies. This study offers one possible positioning for strategic marketing relative to some more established concepts.

This study aims to answer the following problem: What kind of strategic marketing most positively and effectively relates to companies’ financial performance in different business environments? Three more specific questions – (1) What is the relationship between marketing resources and business orientations, and financial performance of a firm? (2) How sensitive are the results to country-specific and business environmental differences? (3) How is marketing effectiveness assessed today and potentially in the future? – form a diverse but coherent research entity.
Data containing marketing and performance data of 5627 companies in 13 countries is used in empirical part of the study. In addition to the full sample analysis, individual countries were examined and two comparison studies – “low-cost” vs. “high-cost” countries and “engineering countries” vs. each other – conducted. Statistical part of the study based largely on hypotheses derived from literature. Structural equation modeling was the primary statistical method applied.
The full-sample results indicate that effect of inside-out marketing capabilities on financial performance is the strongest, followed by innovation orientation, outside-in marketing capabilities and market orientation. Majority of the hypotheses were supported and marketing performance assessment tool for firm use was developed. Finnish companies were found to be among the least effective in strategic marketing. Differences between countries and groups were identified.

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