Marketing Department (CBA)



A taxonomy of marketing organizations

Date of this Version



Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science(2022)


A basic step in scientific inquiry entails ordering, classifying, or grouping the phenomena under investigation—that is, developing a taxonomy. Yet no method-transparent taxonomy of marketing organization types has been established, creating significant confusion among both managers and theoreticians. Many marketers, inspired by educators, assume that marketing organizations control all marketing-related decisions, yet skeptics counter with assertions that instead, marketing organizations simply put a positive spin on the meaningful value created by others in the company. The method-transparent taxonomic study presented in this article addresses this debate and reveals three marketing organization types: Growth Champions, which reflect a textbook view, representing about 17% of the sample firms; Service Providers, consistent with the skeptics’ view, equivalent to about 43% of the sample firms; and Marcom Leaders, a third marketing organization type in which marketers are primarily responsible for brands and communications, representing about 40% of the sample firms. Establishing these different marketing organization types can help address conflicting views about marketing organizations. The conceptual typology underlying the empirical taxonomy also clarifies why the different marketing organization types exist and suggests hypotheses, specific to each marketing organization type, that might address previously unresolved research questions.