Institutional competition to retain and recruit marketing scholars capable of publishing in the leading marketing journals has intensified. Although increased emphasis has been placed on publication productivity in the leading marketing journals, little is known about questions such as (1) What level of publication productivity in the leading marketing journals does it take to get promoted in marketing academia? (2) What level of publication productivity in the leading marketing journals warrants exception? and (3) What drives research productivity in the leading marketing journals? The authors draw on the economic concept of imperfect substitution to address these questions using two data sets: (1) a census of publication activity in the leading marketing journals of 337 scholars in the top 70 institutions who were promoted between 1992 and 2006 and (2) an examination of 2672 scholars who published 3492 articles in the four leading marketing journals over the 1982–2006 period. The results indicate that the average number of publications by successful candidates for promotion to associate professor from PhD conferral at the top 10 institutions was .57 articles in the leading marketing journals per year, compared with .47 in the top 11–20 institutions, .47 in the top 21–40 institutions, and .26 in the top 41–70 institutions. The authors also present findings related to promotion to full professor both from PhD conferral and from promotion to associate professor, as well as scholars identified as warranting exceptional publication productivity. The findings provide substantive implications for marketing academics, for those involved with the recruitment and retention of marketing academics, and for the field of marketing thought in general.