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An Exploratory Study of Entrepreneurial Marketing in SMEs: The Role of the Founder-Entrepreneur

Franco, M., M. Santos, I. Ramalho, C. Nunes (2014), "An Exploratory Study of Entrepreneurial Marketing in SMEs: The Role of the Founder-Entrepreneur", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 21(2), 265-283.
Resumo:
Purpose

– Marketing has been seen as one of the greatest problems faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but simultaneously one of the most important activities for their growth and survival. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to determine the importance and role of entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

– To reach this goal, a qualitative approach was adopted, with two case studies (SMEs) selected. As data-collecting instruments, interviews and documentary analysis were used, and the data-treatment technique was content analysis.

Findings

– The empirical evidence obtained shows that the importance of entrepreneurial marketing is recognized, but that it differs considerably according to firm size. In the SMEs studied, marketing is informal and reactive to market opportunities and the founder-entrepreneur has an influence on the decision-making process.

Practical implications

– The study contributes to the existing research about the role the founder-entrepreneur can have in the firm's ability to develop entrepreneurial marketing activities. From a practical viewpoint, the study has found that entrepreneurial marketing is based on networking to build and support marketing activity and it is associated with the use and development of the marketing management competencies of their entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

– The study is innovative because the authors are able to outline empirically new issues for future investigation in this area of scarce research. Second, an integrative and holistic model is proposed for entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs and this represents the primary contribution of the study.