Marketing scholars and practitioners have questioned the relationship between marketing activities and firm performance. However, the entrepreneurial vision as a background factor for marketing activities designed and implemented has not been linked to firm performance. By doing this, the authors investigate the relationship between the invisible and visible parts of market performance in the context of SMEs' international marketing process. The leading effort in this study is to explore the marketing capabilities as the antecedents of the performance in international markets, and also to understand the relationship between entrepreneurial vision of SMEs and their marketing capabilities. A research model developed by the authors is employed for empirical analyses based on 209 questionnaires from SMEs in manufacturing industry. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.