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Marketing as an Investment in Shareholder Value

Hughes, M.; Hughes, P.; Yan, J.; Sousa, C.M.P.

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M. Hughes

P. Hughes

C.M.P. Sousa


We present resource‐based and capability‐based arguments of marketing investment intensity to offer a strategic view of marketing as an investment in shareholder value. We find that marketing investment intensity has a U‐shaped quadratic effect on shareholder value creation (Tobin's q) that calls for marketing investment to be protected and increased, not surrendered. We show how marketing investments interact with investments in R&D, human capital and operations to reveal how strategic co‐investments can alter the shareholder value of marketing. Finally, we show how competitive intensity and failings in the firm's investment productivity (its ability to convert investment expenditure into sales) point to malaise in the firm's own strategic architecture as a fault for perceived poor returns from marketing investments. Our findings suggest that marketing investment should not be scapegoated when its contributions to shareholder value are not as expected. When invested in strategically and in combination with other investments, marketing can unlock exciting improvements in shareholder value.


Hughes, M., Hughes, P., Yan, J., & Sousa, C. (2019). Marketing as an Investment in Shareholder Value. British Journal of Management, 30(4), 943-965.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2018
Publication Date Oct 31, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 25, 2020
Journal British Journal of Management
Print ISSN 1045-3172
Electronic ISSN 1467-8551
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 4
Pages 943-965
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (974 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Hughes, M., Hughes, P., Yan, J. & Sousa, C.M.P. (2019). Marketing as an Investment in Shareholder Value. British Journal of Management 30(4): 943-965, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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