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Networking as a Marketing Tool in Small Companies: A Random and Informal Approach

Franco, M. (2018), "Networking as a Marketing Tool in Small Companies: A Random and Informal Approach", Journal of Business Strategy, 39(2), 47-55.
Resumo:

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse the particularities of marketing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), to try to understand how networking can influence the marketing activities implemented in this firm segment.
Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, the author decided on a qualitative approach and performed exploratory case studies of four SMEs in Portugal.
Findings

The results obtained show that the owners/managers of the SMEs studied here recognize the importance of marketing and networking, but have not yet implemented them in a structured way. In these SMEs, marketing is informal and reactive to market opportunities.
Practical implications

This study contributes to showing the importance of marketing in SMEs, providing more information and evidence about marketing in this firm sector, as well as about the owner/manager’s influence on the use of networking in marketing activities.
Originality/value

In spite of the opportunities associated with networking in SMEs, there is only limited empirical evidence of its importance in marketing activities. This holds particularly for the realm of SMEs.