Much is known about marketing strategy effectiveness and its impact on financial returns. Minimal research though has been conducted on what type of conditions encourage employees to perform according to the implementation of a strategy. This paper seeks to answer this question by examining the implementation of marketing strategies for research and teaching in the university sector. We find that individual motivation, especially persistence and in some cases public service motivation, is linked to performance. This, along with the role of experience and academic level, suggests that a resource-based view of strategy may be more appropriate for managing human assets and building capabilities, rather than an implementation of a grand plan. Furthermore, we find evidence that several strategies may be more effective than one approach in complex service organizations like universities.