Agro-processors, digital marketing, resources, capabilities, market performance


Agro-processors are important to economies of developing countries as they help create jobs, alleviate poverty and improve food security. These goals are important for Zimbabwe – a country ranked among the poorest countries in the world.  However, small to medium sized agro-processors face marketing challenges, especially in the digital environment. The challenges are mainly due to limited digital marketing resources and capabilities as witnessed by poor website design, and low visibility in trending social media platforms. As such, marketing costs remain high, yet digital marketing provides an opportunity to cut costs, increase visibility, improve customer relationships, offer enhanced market sensing, and increase customer convenience. In view of these possible contributions, this paper sought to establish whether possession of certain digital marketing resources and capabilities can improve agro-processors’ market performance. This is important because marketing is contextual, theories and concepts that apply in developed markets are not easily applicable to developing countries. As such, a new set of skills and knowledge is required. This paper contributes to literature on resource-based view, marketing capability, subsistence marketing, and marketing performance. To achieve that, the researchers reviewed and developed a conceptual model using literature on digital marketing, marketing resources, capabilities and market performance.

The model and paper at large are original in that it takes a digital marketing and developing country perspective. Extant literature in Zimbabwe lacks an explanation to the impact of digital marketing resources, and capabilities on market performance of agro-processors. The study implies that different markets and contexts require different knowledge and skills; as such, researchers must test existing and new frameworks in different environments to develop relevant knowledge.



Full Text : PDF


Aidis, R., (2005). Institutional Barriers to Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Operations in TransitionCountries. Small Business Economics, 25(4), pp. 305-318.
Aryanto, R., Fontana, A. & Afiff, A. Z., (2015). Strategic human resource management, innovation capability and performance.An emperical study in Indonesia software industry.. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences., Volume 211, pp. 874-879.
Barney, J., (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), pp. 99-120.
Barney, J. B. & Hesterly, W. S., (2015). Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage. Concepts and Cases.. 5th ed. Edingburgh Gate Harlow: Pearson.
Barrett, M., Davidson, E., Prabhu, J. & Vargo, S. L., (2015). Service innovation in the digital age: Key contributions and future directions.. MIS Quarterly, 39(1), pp. 135-154.
Bitencourt, C. C. et al., 2019. The extended dynamic capabilities model; a meta-analysis.. European Management Journal.
Bomani, M., (2016). Government policies and strategies in dealing with challenges confronting small and medium enterprises: a case of Harare, Zimbabwe., Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwazulu-Natal [Unpublished Phd thesis].
Borden, N. H., (1984). The concept of the marketing mix.. Journal of Advertising Research., Volume 3, pp. 7-12.
Chaffey, D., (2015). Digital business and e-commerce management: Strategy, Implementation and Practice.. 6th ed. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited.
Chaffey, D. & Smith, P., (2017). Digital Marketing Excellence: Planning, Optimizing and Integrating Online Marketing. 5th ed. New York: Routeledge.
Chen, M.-C., (2005). An empirical investigation of the relationship between intellectual capital and firms’ market value and financial performance. Journal of Intellectual Capital , 6(2), pp. 159-176.
Chi, S.-Y. & Tsai, C.-H., (2012). Dynamic capability, knowledge, learning, and firm performance.. Journal of Organizational Change Management., 25(3), pp. 434-444.
Clark, B., (2007). Measuring marketing performance: research, practice and challenges. In: A. Neely, ed. Business Performance Measurement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 36-63.
Constantinides, E., (2002). The 4S Web-Marketing Mix Model.. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications., Volume 1, pp. 57-76.
Day, G. S., (1994). The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations. Journal of Marketing, 58(4), pp. 37-52.
Day, G. S., (2011). Closing the Marketing Capabilities Gap.. Journal of Marketing, Volume 17, pp. 183-195.
Day, G. S., (2014). An outside-in approach to resource-based theories.. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science., Volume 42, pp. 27-28.
Edvinsson, L. & Sullivan, P., (1996). Developing a Model for Managing Intellectual Capital.. European Management Journal, 14(4), pp. 356-364.
FAO, (1999). The agroprossessing industry and economic development. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 September 2016].
FinScope, (2012). FinScope MSME Survey Zimbabwe 2012, Midrand, South Africa:
Frosen, J. et al., (2016). What Counts Versus What Can Be Counted: The Complex Interplay of Market Orientation and Marketing Performance Measurement. Journal of Marketing, Volume 80, pp. 60-78.
Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D. & Henry, S., (2007). E-marketing and SMEs: Operational lessons for the future. European Business Review, 19(3), pp. 234-247.
Gordon, R., (2012). Re-thinking and re-tooling the social marketing mix.. Australasian Marketing Journal., Volume 20, pp. 122-126.
Habibi, H. et al., (2015). E‐marketing orientation and social media implementation in B2B marketing. European Business Review, 27(6), pp. 1-18.
Hanna, R., Rohm, A. & Crittenden, V. L., (2011). We are all connected. The power of the social media ecosystem.. Business Horizons.
Hitt, M. A., Ireland, D. R. & Hoskisson, R. E., (2017). Strategic Management. Competitiveness and Globalisation. Concepts and Cases.. 12 edition ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Hooley, G., Cadogan, G. & Fahy, J., (2005). The performance impact of marketing resources. Journal of Business Research, Volume 58, pp. 18-27.
Hunt, S. D. & Madhavaram, S., (2019). Adaptive marketing capabilities, dynamic capabilities, and renewal competences: The “outside vs. inside” and “static vs. dynamic” controversies in strategy.. Industrial Marketing Management.
Kingsnorth, S., (2016). Digital marketing strategy: An integrated approach to online marketing.. 1st ed. London: Kogan Page.
Kirca, A. H., Jayachandran, S. & Bearden, W. O., (2005). Market Orientation:A Meta-Analytic Review and Assessment of Its Antecedents and Impact on Performanc. Journal of Marketing, Volume 69, pp. 24-41.
Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G., (2018). Principles of marketing. 17th edition ed. Harlow: Pearson.
Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H. & Setiawan,I., (2017). Marketing 4.0: Moving from traditional to digital.. New Jersey: Wiley & Sons.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. L., (2016). Marketing management: global edition. 15 ed. Essex: Pearson.
Lin, Y. & Wu, L.-Y., (2014). Exploring the role of dynamic capabilities in firm performance under the resource based view framework.. Journal of Business Research., pp. 407-413.
Mair, J., I, M. & Ventresca, M., (2012). Building inclusive markets in rural Bangladesh: how intermediaries work institutional voids. Academy of Management Journal, 65(4), pp. 819-850.
Mapakame, E., (2017). Zimbabwe: Manufacturing sector poised for further growth.. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 September 2018].
Matsongoni, H. & Mutambara, E., (2018). An assessment of informal SMEs' potential in an African economy - theoretical and conceptual framework.. Public and Municipal Finance, 7(2), pp. 6-17.
Mhazo, N., Mvumi, B. M., Nyakudya, E. & Nazare, R. M., (2012). The status of the agro-processing industry in Zimbabwe with particular reference to small- and medium-scale enterprises.. African Journal of Agricultural Research , 7(11), pp. 1607-1622.
Milfelner, B., Gabrijan, V. & Snoj, B., (2008). Can Marketing Resources Contribute to Company Performance?. Organizacija, 41(1), pp. 3-13.
Moorman, C. & Day, G. S., (2016). Organising for marketing excellence. American Marketing Association, Volume 80, pp. 6-35.
Morgan, N. A., (2012). Marketing and Business Performance. Academy of Marketing Science, Volume 40, pp. 102-119.
Morgan, N. A., Clark, B. H. & Gooner, R., (2002). Marketing productivity, marketing audits, and systems for marketing. Journal of Business Research, Volume 55, pp. 363-375.
Morgan, N. A., Slotegraaf, R. A. & Vorhies, D. W., (2009). Linking marketing capabilites with profit.. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 26, pp. 284-293.
Morgan, N. A., Vorhies, D. W. & Mason, C. H., (2009b). Market Orientation, Marketing Capabilities and Firm Performance. Strategic Management Journal, Volume 30, pp. 909-920.
Narver, J. C. & Slater, S. F., (1990). The effects of market orientation on business profitability. Journal of Marketing, Volume 54, pp. 20-35.
Parsons, A., Zeisser, M. & Waitman, R., (1998). Organising today for the digital marketing of tomorrow. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 12(1), pp. 31-46.
Porter, M. E., (1979). The structure within industries and companies performance.. The Review of Economics and Statistics., 61(2), pp. 214-227.
Porter, M. E., (2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy.. Havard Business Review, pp. 23-41.
POTRAZ, (2017). Abridged annual postal and telecommunications sector performance report 2017., Harare: Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).
Rambe, P., (2018). The influence of internationalisation of labour on the performance of small scale rural based agricultural firms: A South African perspective.. Acta Commecii- Independent Research Journal in the Management Sciences., Volume 1, pp. 1-14.
Reeg, C., (2015). Micro and Small Enterprises as Drivers for Job Creation and Decent Work, s.l.: German Development Institute.
Rivera-Santos, M., Ruffin, C. & Kolk, A., (2012). Bridging the institutional divide: Partnerships in subsistence markets. Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, pp. 1721-1727.
Romijn, H. & Albaladejo, M., (2002). Determinants of innovation capability in small electronics and software firms in southeast England.. Research Policy, Volume 31, pp. 1053-1067.
Setia, P., Venkantesh, V. & Joglekar, S., (2013). Leveraging digital technologies: How information quality quality leads to localised capabilities and customer service performance.. MIS Quarterly, 37(2), pp. 565-590.
Sheth, J. N., (2011). Impact of emerging markets on marketing: Rethinking existing perspectives and marketing. Journal of Marketing, Volume 75, pp. 166-182.
Srivastava, R. K., Fahey, L. & Christensen, K. H., (2001). The Resource-Based View and Marketing: The Role of Market-Based Assets in Gaining Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 27(6), pp. 777-802.
Srivastava, R. K., Shervani, T. A. & Fahey, L., (1998). Market based assets and shareholder value: A framework for analysis. Journal of Marketing, Volume 62, pp. 2-18.
Stone, M. D. & Woodcock, N. D., (2014). Interactive, direct and digital marketing A future that depends on better use of business intelligence. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 8(1), pp. 4-17.
Teece, D. J., (2014). A dynamic capabilities-based entrepreneurial theory of the multinational enterprise.. Journal of International Business Studies., Volume 45, pp. 8-37.
Teece, D. J., (2016). Dynamic capabilities and enterpreneurial management in large organisations: Toward a theory of the (entrepreneurial) firm.. European Economic Review., Volume 86, pp. 202-216.
Teece, D. J., Pisano, G. & Shuen, A., (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management.. Strategic Management Journal., 18(7), pp. 509-533.
Teleghani, M., Akhlagh, E. M. & Sani, A. A., (2013). Impact of Electronic Marketing on the Performance of Pistachio-Exporting Companies in Iran. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research , pp. 211-217.
Trainor, K. J., Krush, M. T. & Agnihotri, R., (2013). Effects of relational proclivity and marketing intelligence on new product development.. Marketing Intelligence Planning, 31(7), pp. 788-806.
Tsiotsou, R. H. & Vlachopoulou, M., (2011). Understanding the effects of market orientation and e-marketing on service performance. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 29(2), pp. 141-155.
UN Zimbabwe, (2016). Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. [Online] Available at:
[Accessed 4 September 2016].
Vorhies, D. W. & Morgan, N. A., (2005). Benchmarking marketing capabilities for sustainable competitive advantage. Journal of Marketing, Volume 69, pp. 80-94.
Waterschoot, v. W. & Bulte, v. d. C., (1992). The 4P of marketing mix classification revisited.. Journal of Marketing., 56(4), pp. 83-93.
WSI, (2015). Digital Minds. 12 things every business need to know about digital marketing. 2nd edition ed. Victoria: FriesenPress.
Wymbs, C., (2011). Digital marketing: The time for a new 'academic major' has arrived. Journal of Marketing Education, 33(1), pp. 93-106.
Zindiye, S., Chiliya, N. & Masocha, R., (2012). The impact of government and other institutions' support on the performance of small and medium entreprises in the manufacturing sector in Harare, Zimbabwe.. International Journal of Business Economics Research, 3(6), pp. 655-657.