Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the market orientation literature from a managerial perspective and to discuss and integrate the implementation lessons that can be drawn from it. Design/methodology/approach The paper starts with a review of the managerial implications of the market orientation literature. It then provides an overview of nine implementation approaches. It draws on an integrative model of marketing orientation to organize the implementation lessons from the literature into an actionable approach to implementing a market orientation. Findings The paper finds that the literature offers a rich, yet fragmented, picture of what market orientation is, and how it can be improved. Research limitations/implications The paper identifies a conceptual gap in the literature between market orientation and customer value generation and offers a model to bridge this gap that can serve as a guide for future theory development and empirical research. Practical implications The paper identifies four design enablers and three development enablers that can guide managerial action to improve market orientation and offers practitioners a structured way to go about the implementation of a market orientation. Originality/value Despite significant advances in the development of market orientation theory, there is still a void in the literature with respect to the implementation of a market orientation. This paper is the first to review the market orientation literature from a managerial perspective, to provide an overview of the implementation approaches published to date, and to integrate the managerial implications of the market orientation literature.