Managers face a constant challenge to develop specific capabilities that will assist them to deploy resources which provide positional advantages in an effort to achieve superior financial or customer performance. To address mechanisms to provide solutions for these challenges, this study examines the relationships between marketing planning capability, marketing mix implementation capability, market orientation (MO) and customer-centric performance. The contention is raised and supported that firm resource–capability co-alignment drives towards superiority in customer-centric performance. The results of a survey of senior executives from firms in Australia show that marketing planning capability and MO improve marketing implementation capability, which in turn fosters customer-centric performance (customer attraction and customer retention). In particular, while MO and marketing planning capability do impact marketing mix implementation capability, marketing planning capability does so more significantly than MO. The contribution of this study is in examining marketing across three main domains: marketing as culture; strategy; and tactics in SMEs in Australia.
Examining the marketing planning–marketing capability interface and customer-centric performance in SMEs