Purpose: Ambidexterity’s effects on exploration and exploitation have been widely studied in the innovation literature. However, to date, no studies have determined how combining or balancing the two strategic marketing foci may improve new product performance outcomes. This is an important issue in emerging markets, which have considerable potential to introduce new products, given the rising affordability and intense competition between Western and local firms. These challenges compel managers to offer new products and solutions in these markets. However, firms may adopt different strategic marketing foci for new product development. Using Pakistan as an emerging-market context, this paper aims to provide novel insights into how managers can choose the right balance of a customer-driving versus customer-driven strategy to optimise new-product performance. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-industry approach surveyed senior strategy managers (N = 106) of Pakistani businesses. Findings: Using polynomial regression and surface test analyses, the findings showed that balancing the two strategies influenced new-product performance more than either strategy alone. Surprisingly, the imbalance of greater customer-driving over customer-driven strategy or vice versa did not improve new-product performance. Moreover, new-product performance was greater when the level of balance was higher compared to when it was lower. Originality/value: Grounded in behavioural and strategic adaptation theory, this study extends ambidexterity’s theoretical foundations in marketing by empirically determining the optimal balance of an orientation and performance implication model. The findings can assist emerging market managers in choosing the right balance and combination of the two strategies for better performance of new products.
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- Customer driven
- Customer driving
- Emerging markets
- New product performance