Specific Marketing Capabilities for Improved Export Performance in Young Firms
Authors: Ieva Puke, Anda Batraga, Jelena Salkovska, Henrijs Kalkis
Abstract: The key challenge for young firms in export markets is to find the market opportunity and to develop an appropriate value proposition. The aim of this study is to identify the specific marketing capabilities that support the process of internationalization in young firms and to develop the model that links marketing capabilities to the export performance. The research model was tested within young exporting firm sample in Latvia. Quantitative data was analysed using factor analysis and structural equation modelling with PLS-SEM. This study identifies a unique set of marketing capabilities that enhance the export performance. Strategic marketing capabilities that have a positive effect on export performance are 1) customer engagement (the largest effect), 2) partner linking, 3) market sensing, 4) new product development and 5) strategic creativity capabilities. Firms need to develop cultural marketing capabilities - agility, proactivity, adaptiveness and openness to experiments in the export marketing process. This type of behaviour, particularly proactivity and openness to experiments, has a positive effect on export results and enhances the level of strategic marketing capabilities. The research model can be used by export firm managers and owners to improve the export performance and by government export promotion program leaders to develop and substantiate support tools and activities.
Keywords: marketing capabilities, export, marketing, performance
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