Agencing the digitalised marketer: Exploring the boundary workers at the cross-road of (e)merging markets

Annmarie Ryan, Ingrid Stigzelius, Olfa Mejri, Gill Hopkinson, Fairouz Hussien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we study the formation of a new market actor, the digitalised marketer, which emerges at the boundary between strategy- and data-driven marketing. Building on constructivist market studies, we draw attention to the notion of agencing as boundary work and the range of boundary workers in the agencement of which the marketer is part. Drawing on 63 interviews with marketing professionals from multiple contexts, we reveal the difficulties to keep a pace with the plethora of digital marketing tools and highlight the emerging ‘market for digital marketing’ as a key device in the agencing of the digitalised marketer. We present two modes of agencing work, prosthetic and habilitative, to conceptualise how digitalised markets and platforms concurrently enable and captivate marketers’ agency, but also how marketers and their peer networks contest these limits and expand the space for action. This contribution serves to extend the recognised need to reconnect marketing with markets, to also acknowledge how markets are connected to the shaping of marketing and its actors. Implications for theory, practice and marketing education are discussed as we seek to capacitate marketers to operate in an increasingly digitalised environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-487
Number of pages24
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number3
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023


  • digital technologies
  • agencing
  • digitalised marketer
  • boundary work
  • Emerging markets
  • marketing


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