Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Diane Dusick


During the 2009 economic recession, United States business leaders cut marketing expenditures between 33% and 50% more than they did for any other business expenditure to mitigate financial loss because business leaders often regard marketing as an expense and not an investment. Since there is not a widely applied marketing measurement standard, this multiple-case study focused on finding key performance indicators that healthcare and sales small business leaders in eastern United States with less than 500 employees, and marketing evaluation practices in place, used to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing. Institutional theory was used as the conceptual framework to explore the key drivers behind marketing measurement practices. The focus of this study was on the experiences of 4 small business leaders in Atlanta, Georgia, and Baltimore, Maryland, who have developed financial and nonfinancial strategies to measure their marketing performance. Data collected for this study included 20-minute interviews with each participant, strategic plans, and field notes. A modified van Kaam and triangulation approach was used for data analysis to identify themes, which included the need to tie marketing measurement to the product or service offering and drive revenue or traffic to their business. The results of the study may benefit practitioners who work on social change strategies because the conclusions clarify effective marketing practices and increase well-being of customers. Further, this study provides recommendations for successful marketing measurement strategies that may help businesses meet the needs of community members.