M. Fine, K. Gleason, M. Mullen (2017)
Marketing Intelligence & Planning

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Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, marketing managers are asked to consider the financial implications, in terms of both book and market values, when making strategic decisions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of marketing expenditures in explaining the variation in the aftermarket performance of a sample of firms conducting initial public offerings (IPOs).

Design/methodology/approach

Theories from marketing and finance – market-based assets (MBA) theory and signaling theory respectively – serve as the conceptual basis of this paper. The results of this study, based on a sample of 2,103 IPOs covering the 1996 to 2008 time period, suggest that increased marketing spending positively impacts aftermarket (i.e. stock price) performance.

Findings

The authors find that while short-run aftermarket performance is positively and significantly impacted by pre-IPO marketing spending, long-run firm performance measures do not appear to be impacted by pre-IPO marketing spending. Further, pre-IPO marketing spending does not incrementally reduce underpricing or improve long-run performance when the IPO takes place during extreme market conditions such as recessions or hot markets, and these results are important to the shareholders and potential investors in the firm.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically this paper advances the literature on the marketing-finance interface by extending the MBA and signaling theories. For practice, the results indicate that spending more money on marketing before the IPO and disclosing this information produces positive bottom-line results for the firm.

Originality/value

While Luo (2008) documents a significant relationship between the firms’ pre-IPO marketing spending and IPO underpricing, few studies explore the impact of marketing spending on stock price performance beyond the first day of trading. This paper makes three unique contributions. First, the authors extend Luo’s study by investigating the effect of marketing expenditures on underpricing during extreme market conditions. Second, the authors are the first to examine IPO performance in the long-run as well as the short-run. Finally, the authors assess how long-run performance is impacted by marketing spending during extreme market conditions. The findings of this study has implications for managers and shareholders of firms considering going public through a traditional IPO.

Keywords

Marketing strategy, Financial performance, Underpricing, Initial public offering, Long-run firm performance, Marketing spending