Show Me the Money: Improving our Understanding of How Organizations Generate Return from Technology-Led-Marketing Change
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the conundrum between the increasingly importance of investments in new information technologies (IT) on marketing practice and marketing scholars continuing to question the profitability of IT-led marketing initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – Systematic reviews of the relevant literature on the financial and market return of customer relationship management (CRM) investments from both Marketing and Information Systems (IS) literature were conducted. Findings – Findings suggest that, while both IS and Marketing scholars try to determine what generates returns on CRM investment, the IS community has a more complete conceptualisation as to how these returns are realised. A broader epistemological framework, better suited to observing how organisations benefit from IT-led management initiatives, enables a more comprehensive assessment of CRM investment. Research limitations/implications – Supplementing the methods used by Marketing scholars with those frequently used in IS research would likely improve the assessment of IT-led Marketing investments and the resultant prescriptions for Marketing practitioners. Practical implications – Failure to assess accurately the return from IT-led Marketing investments hinders managers’ ability to manage them for maximum performance improvements, all the more important now that organisations are preparing for large-scale investments in big data and social media strategies. Originality/value – This paper is the first to illustrate how a combination of Marketing and IS scholarship can assist Marketing research and practice.