The marketing practices-performance relationship in professional service firms

Sweeney, Jillian C., Soutar, Geoffrey N. and McColl-Kennedy, Janet R. (2011) The marketing practices-performance relationship in professional service firms. Journal of Service Management, 22 3: 292-316. doi:10.1108/09564231111136845

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Author Sweeney, Jillian C.
Soutar, Geoffrey N.
McColl-Kennedy, Janet R.
Title The marketing practices-performance relationship in professional service firms
Journal name Journal of Service Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1757-5818
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/09564231111136845
Open Access Status
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 292
End page 316
Total pages 25
Place of publication W Yorks, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate marketing practices in professional service
firms (PSFs). PSFs’ marketing practices are not well understood, despite their increasing importance to
economies worldwide and recognition of their unique characteristics and the marketing challenges they
face.The studyalso examinedwhetherPSFperformanceoutcomes is bettermodeledthrough a competency
approach suggested by the resource-based view, or through the extent of use (practices) approach.
Design/methodology/approach – Empirical data were collected from professional service
providers through an online survey of senior professional service providers across a range of
services, including law, engineering, accounting and finance and management consultancy.
Findings – Results show interaction marketing was the most common PSF practice and the
combination of extent of use and competency, rather than extent of use alone, is a better predictor of
firm performance. The results also demonstrate the relevance of the plurality of practices.
Research limitations/implications – The study shows that transaction marketing and database
marketing are particularly necessary for financial and market performance, while both interaction
marketing and database marketing particularly underpin customer performance. All practices need to be
conducted extensively andwell for optimumoutcomes. The study is cross-sectional in nature and does not
enable a judgment about causal inferences; rather, relationships between constructs are presented.
Practical implications – Professional service providers should focus on competency of practice,
as well as extent of practice. However, not all professional service providers do this. Importantly,
having a customer service focus is not sufficient to achieve positive market and financial outcomes.
Originality/value – The results presented in the paper have important implications for researchers
when modeling and measuring marketing practices and for professional service managers when
undertaking marketing activities.
Keyword Professional services
Relationship marketing
Marketing practices
Database marketing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 05 Jul 2011, 16:03:09 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School