Due to the liability of smallness, this kind of expertise may not be available. Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures 25 2. However, entrepreneurs may tend to underestimate the importance of marketing. The strong reliance on a single entrepreneur may have negative consequences. A study on VC-backed start-ups from Germany shows that marketing planning that is carried out in a team is significantly more successful Gruber, This may, particularly in the case of younger small ventures, be the result of the general corporate goal of survival, as initial sales are needed to keep the company afloat.
A primary task for new ventures will be to build up trust and to win their first customers. Pertaining to the necessity to build up trust, a study by Witt and Rode on new ventures from Germany showed the importance of a timely corporate brand-building process that includes the corporate culture, behaviour, design and communication, and is addressed not only to external, but also to internal stakeholders.
With regard to the acquisition of customers, personal networks play an important role for the acquisition of first customers Carson, ; Tyebjee et al. The use of personal networks may be both an effective and cost-efficient way to address customers. In the context of new ventures, a number of articles discussed that these firms tend to begin with informal marketing efforts, only gradually professionalising and formalising them as the venture grows and an official marketing department becomes a necessity Carson, ; Tyebjee et al.
According to Carson and Gilmore , SMEs develop in a stage model when it comes to marketing behaviour: in the start-up stage, business activity will focus mostly on the product and its customer acceptance. Marketing is thus likely to be dominated by reactions to customer demands and market changes. Marketing in SMEs seems to be more ad hoc like in the initial phases of enterprise existence.
As the business develops, more experimenting will take place. Over the years, the enterprise will develop its own marketing style and practice. These steps imply a development from uncontrollable to relatively controllable marketing circumstances when growing within the organisational life cycle. For conceptualising entrepreneurship, we base our 26 S. According to Miller , p. By enhancing the focus from product-market innovations to the execution of other organisational functions, a conceptualisation of EM emerges.
This conceptualisation adds the elements of the pursuit of opportunities and the disregard for currently controlled resources to our conceptualisation of entrepreneurship. This definition also has a process orientation, but is restricted to the aspect of opportunity recognition, while innovativeness, risk taking and pro-activeness are not included. Hence, we believe that this definition may be somewhat narrow.
Our definition is very close to the one proposed by Morris et al. An entrepreneurial approach to marketing would use innovative communication channels e. In addition, the communication strategy makes use of resources that are external to the firm, such as word-of-mouth from customers.
In the same vein, other marketing functions used to create and deliver value to customers and to manage customer relationships Ahuja et al. Small firms with a conservative approach to marketing might advertise in a local newspaper with commonplace advertising, while a large firm that uses EM might launch Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures 27 a sophisticated viral advertising campaign. To underpin this view on EM, in the next section we will discuss various examples of an entrepreneurial approach to promotion.
This approach may be more cost-efficient than classical advertising. In addition, EM aims at target groups that are often not accessible via TV or print. It is grounded on the exponential diffusion of communication contents. Because the communication is distributed not by the company, but by the customers themselves, using their private or professional networks, the customers need to have a high involvement in the product in order to spread the message Ahuja et al.
The following sub-sections deal with the three best-known and momentarily most successful forms of EM in terms of an entrepreneurial approach to promotion: guerrilla marketing, buzz marketing and viral marketing See Table 2. These three forms are partially overlapping, since they are all based on the concept of word-of-mouth marketing Ahuja et al. Buzz marketing Customer-generated information distribution by Rosenbloom verbal means, especially recommendations, through personal networks by creating excitement, infatuation and enthusiasm, often connected to events.
Viral marketing Self-replicating promotion spreading and Jurvetson and multiplying like a virus over community webs. Draper ; Similar to buzz marketing, but more Godin and Gladwell internet-oriented. Guerrilla marketing can be regarded as the ancestor of the other EM concepts. It is about the attempt to achieve wide-ranging results with an untypically low utilisation of resources by acting like a guerrilla.
It focuses on simplicity, and aims for the recipient to be 28 S. Guerrilla marketing actions are often only one-time, limited in scope, and seldom repeatable. Another example was the henna tattoo of the German condom producer Condomi! The campaign sponsored the participation of the year-old runner Heinrich at the famous Berlin marathon. This campaign ultimately called traditional sports sponsoring and the modern image of the sports brand Adidas into question Kraus et al. It is the attempt to stimulate the recipients through the use of spectacular actions so much that the product becomes the subject of discussions or gossip Rosenbloom, These actions can, for example, be an event or an activity which causes a ruckus and thereby builds publicity, enthusiasm and information for the customers and leads to brand-building Ahuja et al.
Buzz is not only initiated by media campaigns; media coverage itself is a part of buzz. In the ideal case, a cleverly designed buzz marketing action is covered by the media and further distributed at no costs for the marketer.
Therefore, they can disseminate the message in an exponential way. The major strength of buzz marketing is its credibility, since people never trust advertising as much as the statements of other persons which they know. The biggest weakness of buzz marketing is that it can be counterproductive when the product itself does not ultimately convince the customer.
In addition, buzz marketing is suited only for new products or services since it addresses the appeal of novelty the product has for the customer. Therefore, buzz marketing functions best with products that are perceived as exciting and innovative. Only few companies successfully manage to constantly create new rumours and buzz around their products Kraus et al.
The producers used the new medium of the internet to create word-of-mouth communication for the movie. They initiated the rumour that the original film-makers, three college film students, disappeared during their inquiries in the Maryland woods, and that the movie contained the last shots the three had made with their camera.
Half of the world asked themselves, accompanied by a background documentary on the US Sci-Fi channel, what might have Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures 29 happened to the three students.
The film industry website IMDB. However, buzz marketing is not restricted to small or new firms. Tremor built up a panel of more than , teenagers who exclusively receive information about the newest movies, music and products, and forward these messengers to their friends. It describes a form of marketing that uses social networks family, friends, neighbours, colleagues to draw attention towards brands, products or campaigns by spreading messages — mostly through word-of-mouth marketing — like a virus Phelps et al.
Viral marketing is about spreading messages and rumours about the product through voluntary and honest communication by the customer himself with the aim of acquiring new customers Rosenbloom, Viral marketers spread their campaign like a virus, seemingly uncontrolled, mostly over the internet. The success of viral marketing depends on whether the client has a personal benefit to forward the marketing message Dobele et al.
If successful, the message can be distributed with low costs by the marketer to a large number of recipients Mohr and Spekman, Its main advantages are extraordinarily low costs, resulting from the use of new communication channels, particularly internet and e-mail Dobele et al.
Viral marketing can accordingly be understood as the impersonal lacking face-to-face communication and technology-backed version of buzz marketing Mohr and Spekman, The game was advertised only by word-of-mouth through the internet and newspaper and TV coverage. The game became so popular that the media reported productivity losses of several million euros in Germany alone, as the game was played mostly during official working hours.
Other prominent examples are internet services such as the first file sharing network Napster, YouTube. The rock band Nine Inch Nails used viral marketing to promote its album.
The viral marketing campaign was based on secrecy coupled with the publication of little snippets such as fake news broadcasts in several languages, which were spread over YouTube and other internet channels. The campaign began with a teaser trailer published long before the movie. After the teaser, cryptic messages sent moviegoers on a scavenger hunt to decode clues about the movie.
At the same time, a weblog of the proclaimed antagonists of the chief character appeared in Nepalese. In addition to that, MySpace profiles for the movie characters were set up, and an interactive comic story was developed in cooperation with fans.
As a result, buzz developed and people wanted to know more about the movie. However, an entrepreneurial approach to marketing can also cover the elements of product, place, and price. An impressive example of EM focused on product development was a young entrepreneur from New Zealand named Jeremy Moon who created a company called Icebreaker. He realised that wool underwear had a negative image itchy, bad smell, outdated designs.
So he decided to draw up a global product line of underwear made of merino wool. He was sure that the long, fine wool which already was used for high-end suits and ties would be a best seller.
Moon spent half of his seed financing on creating a concept of what his global brand would look like in a few years time. Starting from this vision, he developed the product in a retrograde manner and started to build a global brand Birchfield, Another example of EM which focuses on the element of place is the fund raising program of the non-profit organisation Two Wheel View.
Based on the insight that young adults distrust the media and traditional advertising, the organisation developed a concept that directly reaches the target group by taking them on adventure trips to countries such as Argentina. The participants return with a deep understanding of the problems and are devoted to the aims of the organisation.
The customers could download the album and decide how much to pay for it. The band successfully communicated its new distribution policy as a struggle for freedom of idealistic artists against the corrupt music industry Peitz and Waelbroeck, In particular, the latter aspect of the resources might make EM especially attractive to small and new ventures that face the liabilities of newness and smallness.
However, we believe that EM can be implemented irrespective of firm size. Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures 31 The benefit of our conceptualisation is that it disentangles EM from new venture marketing and innovation marketing i. This might add clarity to the understanding of EM in the current literature.
Moreover, it stresses the fact that entrepreneurial aspects of marketing in large enterprises might also be subject to research.
A potential drawback of our conceptualisation may be that it adds yet another approach to the many definitions of this concept.
However, as we draw on established concepts for both marketing and entrepreneurship, we hope to find some support for our proposition. To tap the full potential of EM, it is necessary to customise these alternative approaches to marketing for less sophisticated marketers as well.
For this, a standard set of EM measures could be defined. Such an EM toolkit might serve as a first orientation and as a starting point for the conceptualisation of EM activities.
So far, the marketers can only refer to more or less elaborate compilations of best-practice cases. To provide a set of norm strategies for different applications and contexts, we need to understand the mechanisms behind EM activities in greater depth.
This implies two tasks for future research in this field. First, we have to interlink our research activities and current results with those of neighbouring disciplines such as sociology and psychology to get a more holistic picture and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and their interdependencies. Second, we need to pursue empirical research in EM to build up a basis for the evaluation of the theses formulated in current literature.
Other methods of empirical social science such as participative observational research or narrative interviews also appear promising. A prerequisite for concerted efforts in empirical research on EM is to reach a basis consensus on what we mean when we talk about EM.
In this article, we challenged the misperception that EM might only be regarded as marketing for new ventures. On the other hand, EM can also be found in larger firms.
In addition to our conceptual arguments, we provided a variety of examples that support our ideas. We hope that the arguments presented in this text contribute to an integrative understanding of EM, and lead to vital academic discussions.
References Ahuja, R. Aldrich, H. Aldrich, E. Auster, U. Staber and C. Zimmer Eds. Barrett, P. Birchfield, D. Bjerke, B. Brown, T. Businessmen who are not aware of important business functions and trade activities fail to survive. Apart from inexperience, lack of marketing is one important factor as well.
Why do people buy products only when they have awareness? The answer is simple. They cannot depend on a product which they have never heard of. Even when a product is very efficient but it is not marketed well; it does not generate an impression in the mind of the consumer. When you are involved in entrepreneurial marketing, you have to keep the buying behavior of the consumer in mind.
A high-earning person would not buy at the same rate as an unemployed person. If you are a marketing student, try to understand the basic consumer retention concepts.
As the business develops, more experimenting will take place. Miles, M. This implies two tasks for future research in this field. Zimmer Eds. Marketing is thus likely to be dominated by reactions to customer demands and market changes.
Viral marketing Self-replicating promotion spreading and Jurvetson and multiplying like a virus over community webs. The biggest weakness of buzz marketing is that it can be counterproductive when the product itself does not ultimately convince the customer. McGrath, R. Viral marketing can accordingly be understood as the impersonal lacking face-to-face communication and technology-backed version of buzz marketing Mohr and Spekman, The editing department proofreads the paper, checks the format and deals with revision queries. Harms, R.
Chiasson, M. To provide a set of norm strategies for different applications and contexts, we need to understand the mechanisms behind EM activities in greater depth.
It is about the attempt to achieve wide-ranging results with an untypically low utilisation of resources by acting like a guerrilla. In the same vein, other marketing functions used to create and deliver value to customers and to manage customer relationships Ahuja et al. In small ventures which new ventures typically are , the owner-manager is the focal person for all decisions Stokes, and shapes all its activities Hill and Wright, To underpin this view on EM, in the next section we will discuss various examples of an entrepreneurial approach to promotion. Biographical notes: Sascha Kraus is Asst.
Dess, G. August 15,
The participants return with a deep understanding of the problems and are devoted to the aims of the organisation. However, there might be other interpretations of marketing such as marketing activities of individuals, or pertaining to marketing not so much as an organisational function but rather as a cultural orientation Zinkhan and Willams,
If you are a marketing student, try to understand the basic consumer retention concepts.
Bjerke, B. In the ideal case, a cleverly designed buzz marketing action is covered by the media and further distributed at no costs for the marketer. As a consequence for marketing, this implies that marketing may be performed in a relatively unsophisticated way, is strongly tied to the person of the owner-manager and might have to be executed with limited resources. Teach, R. Therefore, buzz marketing functions best with products that are perceived as exciting and innovative. Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures 31 The benefit of our conceptualisation is that it disentangles EM from new venture marketing and innovation marketing i.
Gumpert, D. Due to the liability of smallness, this kind of expertise may not be available. In addition, buzz marketing is suited only for new products or services since it addresses the appeal of novelty the product has for the customer. Creelman, J. Tremor built up a panel of more than , teenagers who exclusively receive information about the newest movies, music and products, and forward these messengers to their friends. Therefore, buzz marketing functions best with products that are perceived as exciting and innovative.