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This paper provides the first literature review of work using Lees-Marshment's product-oriented party (POP), sales-oriented party (SOP) and market-oriented party (MOP) process models with the aims of assessing the models' usefulness to academics, practitioners and educators. This is motivated by an urgent need to evaluate models that claim to balance explanatory power, practical applicability and pedagogic value. Our literature review demonstrates that although the process models can be used in a classroom setting, empirical results are ambivalent as to the usefulness and even existence of the MOP process in contrast to the POP and/or SOP processes. We conclude that academics need to revisit the conceptualisation of the process models, that practitioners need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the process models, especially the assertion that the MOP process is normatively ‘superior’ to the SOP and POP process models, and that educators can use the process models to introduce political marketing before moving on to more comprehensive models. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.