Drawing on the organizational capabilities literature, the authors developed and tested a model of how supportive human resource management (HRM) improved ﬁrms’ ﬁnancial performance perceived by marketing managers through fostering the implementation of a customer-oriented strategy. Customer-linking capability, which is the capability in managing close customer relationships, indicated the implementation of the customer-oriented strategy. Data collected from two emerging economies – China and Hungary –established that supportive HRM partially mediated the relationship between customer-oriented strategy and customer-linking capability. Customer-linking capability further explained how supportive HRM contributed to perceived ﬁnancial performance. This study explicates the implication of customer-oriented strategy for HRM and reveals the importance of HRM in strategy implementation. It also sheds some light on the ‘black box’ between HRM and performance. While making important contributions to the ﬁeld of strategy, HRM and marketing, this study also offers useful practical implications.