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.

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