Colorado State University Business Professor Creates Road Map for Corporate Marketing Executives

Note to Reporters: A photo of Professor Stan Slater and his paper can be found with the news release at

Companies can achieve competitive advantage and superior performance if they pair specific marketing policies, processes and programs with their business strategy – a groundbreaking new model developed over the past decade by Stan Slater, a marketing professor at Colorado State University illustrates.

Slater, who is recognized as one of the nation’s top marketing scholars, has transformed10 years of his scholarly research into a road map that tells marketing executives which marketing actions and policies are associated with superior firm performance. His new guide, titled “Worried about Strategy Implementation? Don’t Overlook Marketing’s Role,” will appear in Business Horizons, which is read by executives as well as academics. The paper is scheduled to be published in early 2010.

The editor, Catherine Dalton of Indiana University, told Slater, “you and your colleagues have provided a manuscript that I am confident will make a valuable contribution to the strategic studies literature.”

Collaborators on the project were Eric Olson, marketing professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Tomas Hult, marketing professor at Michigan State University.

“Marketing’s contribution to the successful implementation of different business strategies is both significant and substantial,” Slater said. “We’ve compiled 10 years of our research on the performance implications of matching marketing’s organizational architecture to four generic business strategies.”

Slater relies on Miles & Snow’s depiction of universal business strategy types:
-Prospectors (pioneers that attempt to be first into new markets or to develop new product lines);
-Analyzers (fast followers that improve upon the prospector’s offerings)
-Differentiated defenders (companies that are intimate with customers and provide superior quality and/or service at a premium price)
-Low-cost defenders (companies that offer relatively standardized products of good quality at low prices)

In the paper, Slater identifies the connection between overall business strategy and marketing strategy, market strategy formation process, marketing control systems, market-focused strategic organizational behaviors, marketing organization structure, and marketing organization culture.

This paper is based on 10 years of his research that was published in leading academic journals including: the Journal of Marketing, the Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, which required rigorous reviews before publishing the papers.

“There are many variations among marketing strategies, marketing organization, marketing systems and marketing’s culture,” Slater said. “With this paper, marketing executives will have a pretty good picture of what a high-performance organization looks like from a marketing perspective.

Slater is the Charles and Gwen Lillis Professor of Business Administration at Colorado State’s College of Business, which BusinessWeek just ranked the top business college in the state of Colorado. His major research interests are in the areas of the role of a market orientation in organizational success and marketing’s role in business strategy implementation.

Based on citations to his articles by other academicians, Slater wrote two of the 20 most influential marketing articles published between 1990 and 2006; he was tied for eighth most cited academician between 1990 and 1996, according to the Journal of Marketing. Slater has published more than 50 articles in the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Strategic Management Journal, and the Academy of Management Journal, among others. He has won “Best Paper” awards from the International Marketing Review and the Marketing Science Institute. Prior to entering academe, Slater held professional and managerial positions with IBM and with the Adolph Coors Co. He has consulted with units of Hewlett-Packard, Johns-Manville, Monsanto, United Technologies, Cigna Insurance, Qwest, Philips Electronics, and Weyerhaeuser, among others.

From 1996-2002, he was a professor and the director of the Business Administration Program, acting chancellor, and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington’s Bothell Campus.