Marketing Ecosystem: An Outside-In View for Sustainable Advantage

Published In

Industrial Marketing Management

Document Type


Publication Date



Marketing strategy, Consumer privacy, Socioeconomics, Sustainability


In the modern business environment, consumers are increasingly influenced by megatrends involving marketplace, technology, socioeconomics, geopolitics, and natural environment. Simultaneously, the data and insights that can inform consumer attitudes and behaviors often reside outside of firms' direct control. Consciously incorporating these interdependent factors into firms' decision-making is essential for adaptability and sustainable profitability.

Building on the “outside-in” perspective, we propose that firm strategies should be informed through the lens of the marketing ecosystem that considers the interrelated and dynamic megatrends. By leveraging advances in data and technology, firms can sense-make the marketplace by extracting insights from massive amounts of diverse consumer data with modern-day analytics. By mapping out the megatrends with marketing analytics, firms can 1) more accurately predict consumers' changing preferences and formulate appropriate strategies to engage with them; and 2) become more market-adaptable and competitive in the present and the future.

To deliver sustainably compelling value to customers, firms should adopt an ecosystem mindset and cooperate with various stakeholders. A broad-thinking, agile, and humble firm culture can enable the development of more robust outside-in capabilities. We elaborate on the megatrends in the interconnected world of the marketing ecosystem, and propose emerging research directions in each area.


Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Persistent Identifier