Is marketing agility important for emerging market firms in advanced markets?

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Marketing agility has recently gained the attention of international marketing managers and scholars. However, scholars have not examined how this capability directly and indirectly influences firm performance and how the effects change under the complex market conditions facing emerging market (EM) firms in advanced economy (AE) markets. Hence, underpinned by the dynamic capability and complexity theories, this study investigates the direct effect of marketing agility—a dynamic meta-capability involving market sensing, speed, flexibility and responsiveness—on firm performance and its indirect effect via marketing program adaptation. Moreover, it explores changes in these direct and indirect relationships under varying market complexity levels. EM firms are often disadvantaged owing to AE market complexity, such as the presence of low-cost advantage of local AE firms. Hence, investigating this framework in this context is valuable. Using data on Pakistani firms exporting to AE markets, the study finds that marketing agility influences firm performance, and the influence is stronger under high market complexity. When market complexity is low, the influence is mediated by the firms’ ability to adapt their marketing program to meet AE market requirements. Supporting theoretical and managerial implications are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101733
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number5
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Dynamic capability
  • Financial performance
  • Market complexity
  • Marketing agility
  • Marketing performance
  • Marketing program


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