The Impact of Product Category Lifecycle and Marketing Capabilities on New Product Performance: the Mediating Role of Marketing Program Planning and Launch Proficiency

Dorian-Laurentiu Florea1, Claudiu-Catalin Munteanu2, Dora-Carmen Galvez Cruz1, Gabriela Capatina3
1. Anahuac University Mexico (Mexico)
2. The Romanian Academy (Romania)
3. The Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania)
63 - 86
Cite as:
Florea, D. L., Munteanu, C. C., & Capatina, G. (2020). The Impact of Product Category Lifecycle and Marketing Capabilities on New Product Performance: the Mediating Role of Marketing Program Planning and Launch Proficiency. Marketing and Management of Innovations, 1, 63-85.


Theory underlines the role of new product development for company survival and success. However, the success rates of new products launches are always at underwhelming levels. Practical wisdom shows that new product performance is the outcome of both controllable, internal factors and external, uncontrollable factors. The authors contrast the role of product category lifecycle as an external factor and of marketing capabilities as an internal factor, to find the balance between these two determinants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the impact of both types of factors on launch proficiency and further product growth. We apply PLS-SEM on a sample of 213 Mexican firms to test a theoretical model grounded on resource-advantage theory and strategic choice theory. Results show that both determinants are significant, but marketing capabilities exert a much stronger influence on new product performance. The relationship between marketing capabilities and unique product performance is mediated by marketing program planning. In contrast, the relationship between product category lifecycle and new product performance is mediated by launch proficiency. In this context, marketing program planning efficiency represents the mid-term and long-term quality of strategic marketing. At the same time, the overall launch proficiency reflects the short-term ability of the company to launch new products. From the perspective of strategic choice theory, the results of our study reinforce the importance of a successful launch for the short-term and mid-term new product performance. Besides, our empirical research finds that product category lifecycle strengthens the positive relationship between marketing program planning and unique product performance. This makes marketing program planning more critical for new product performance as the product category matures. From a managerial standpoint, our findings dismiss the uncontrollable market forces as the main reason for new product failures. We show that new product failures are most often caused by the marketing manager’s inability to devise an appropriate marketing plan. The paper also contributes to the literature of resource-advantage theory by providing compelling evidence regarding the foremost importance of marketing capabilities for new product success. Our findings also emphasize the essential role of launch proficiency in further product success, as it is difficult to recover from an early product failure. In practical terms, managers are advised not to postpone new product launches under the «bad timing» argument.

launch proficiency, marketing capabilities, marketing program planning, new product performance, product lifecycle.

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