Bolton (2004) Linking marketing to firm performance

Bolton (2004) Linking marketing to firm performance -...

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Unformatted text preview: Making Marketing Matter / 73 Journal of Marketing Vol. 68 (October 2004), 73–75 Linking Marketing to Financial Performance and Firm Value In January 2002, Donald R. Lehmann, Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, submitted a proposal for a JM Special Section, “Linking Marketing to Financial Performance and Firm Value.” The proposal included activities to promote interactions among marketing academics and practitioners, designed to advance research on this topic. I was excited about the opportunity to stimulate and publish new research, and after extensive discus- sions, the American Marketing Association and the Marketing Science Institute formally agreed to cosponsor the Special Section. Authors submitted their manuscripts through a paper competition as well as directly through JM . Donald R. Lehmann, the Consulting Editor, and a panel of distinguished scholars reviewed every submission. The panel included Tim Ambler, Gregory S. Carpenter, Robert Jacobson, V. Kumar, Roland T. Rust, and Rajendra K. Srivastava. All submissions underwent JM ’s standard double-blind review process under my editorship, and mem- bers of JM ’s Editorial Review Board served as reviewers. I am pleased to have this opportunity to acknowledge the important contributions of these many individuals: both authors and reviewers. As the subsequent essay sug- gests, three years’ hard work has produced a thought-provoking collection of articles. I hope they will generate fur- ther intellectual inquiry and debate about the link between marketing and financial performance in the business community. —Ruth N. Bolton Metrics for Making Marketing Matter Donald R. Lehmann, Consulting Editor A major trend of the twentieth century was specializa- tion, initially in production and then for activities in general. The functional areas (silos?) that resulted provided great efficiency in specific tasks and facilitated a deep level of knowledge within each function. Unfortu- nately, this compartmentalization also led to the develop- ment of specialized “languages” (a Tower of Babel?), alien- ation, and integration problems. In the 1980s and 1990s, the pattern of rough equality among functions moved toward hegemony of a single function: finance. The consequence of this was increasing pressure to “meet the numbers” (i.e., deliver strong financial performance). This pressure only increased as the economy turned down and as global com- petition and the Internet grew. Whether finance should have attained its current status is not the issue. Indeed, finance and accounting are not per- fect. Even excluding the scandals and abuses that marked the beginning of the twenty-first century, the efficient stock market, which is the fundamental tenet of finance, has been badly tarnished, particularly by the growing field of behav- ioral finance (which essentially is consumer behavior in the financial investments product category). Similarly, financial accounting rarely captures the intangible assets (e.g., cus-accounting rarely captures the intangible assets (e....
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