“The reality is that traditional (marketing) implementation approaches have failed…” (Dobni et al., 2001, p. 402) Nevertheless recent research still seeks to identify relationships between Porter’s marketing strategies, implementation and performance (Kumar et al. 1997; Teach and Schwartz, 2000). Although each study included the Porter’s strategy types none actually classified business units into ideal differentiators, ideal cost leaders and combination differentiation cost leaders to conduct “implementation-performance process” comparisons.
This study has made a contribution to the study of marketing implementation and marketing performance by separating and comparing strategies such as ideal differentiation, ideal cost leadership, and combination (differentiation/cost leadership) strategies with the “stuck in the middle” marketing strategy type.
A key implementation finding was the importance of paying high salaries to attract the best employees when implementing either a differentiation strategy or a combined (differentiation/ cost leadership) strategy. However for the other six implementation tools, the findings support Kelliher and Perrett (2001, p.421) whose findings “do not indicate a clear relationship between business strategy and the approach to HRM.”
A key performance finding was that differentiation is the best strategy in terms of marketing performance while cost leadership is the worst performing strategy. Both differentiation and the combination strategy (differentiation/cost leadership) outperformed cost leadership.