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Journal cover: Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Marketing

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Entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs: the key capabilities of e-CRM


Document Information:
Title:Entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs: the key capabilities of e-CRM
Author(s):Paul Harrigan, (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK), Elaine Ramsey, (University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK), Patrick Ibbotson, (University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Citation:Paul Harrigan, Elaine Ramsey, Patrick Ibbotson, (2012) "Entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs: the key capabilities of e-CRM", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 14 Iss: 1, pp.40 - 64
Keywords:e-CRM, Internet, Marketing, Small to medium-sized enterprises, SME, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14715201211246760 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – Entrepreneurial marketing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is very different to marketing prescribed theoretically for large organisations. The purpose of this paper is to present research evidence on the impact of internet-based technologies (IBTs) on the customer relationship management (CRM) activities (i.e. e-CRM) of SMEs in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach incorporating an online questionnaire, qualitative in-depth interviews and projective techniques was adopted. Factor analysis was carried out on 286 respondents, which led to communication with customers and the management of customer information being distilled as key areas within e-CRM in SMEs.

Findings – To varying extents, SMEs are adopting relatively simple IBTs to improve customer communication and information management capabilities and to create competitive advantage through e-CRM. SMEs find the communication aspect of e-CRM easier, but struggle to integrate customer information into their decision making. In all, e-CRM tends to be ad hoc rather than strategic in SMEs.

Practical implications – SMEs must use technologies to compete with larger organisations in today's global marketplace. These technologies may be relatively simple, but the focus must always be on how they can impact on the relationship with the customer making it more efficient without losing effectiveness.

Originality/value – This study, by reporting how SMEs innovate in marketing, sheds light on an important theoretical and practical area. Theoretically, the paper breaks down e-CRM into key capabilities that may apply to larger organisations as well.



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