Entrepreneurial Application of Marketing Communication in Small Business: Survey Results of Small Business Owners

By Bell, Joseph R.; Parker, Richard D. et al. | Entrepreneurial Executive, Annual 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Entrepreneurial Application of Marketing Communication in Small Business: Survey Results of Small Business Owners

Bell, Joseph R., Parker, Richard D., Hendon, John R., Entrepreneurial Executive


The role of advertising in the course of entrepreneurial ventures is largely misunderstood by many academicians, practitioners and small business planners. Yet without a proper understanding of how entrepreneurs and small business owners view and use advertising, those who seek to study this area as well as those whose role in society is to advise and guide those working to develop their own enterprises are navigating without a compass.

This study seeks to address how small business owners in a mid-sized metropolitan area in a largely rural state view and use advertising in their ventures. By utilizing Internet-based surveys the researchers in this project seek to develop a greater understanding of how entrepreneurs and small business owners develop messages, understand target audiences and whether or not advertising is seen as a successful part of their businesses.


Entrepreneurship and Advertising are fields rich in theoretical research, case studies and other forms of scholarship, yet surprisingly little work exists in how these two areas are combined. In order to understand how advertising and entrepreneurship work together one must review literature in separate areas and consider the inclusion of research in retailing, marketing and other related disciplines.

In a 2003 study about advertising and marketing behaviors in small business firms, Harris and Reece found that much literature exists regarding competitive advantage. Yet, despite the wealth of knowledge on this topic, it was "not clear whether small businesses are engaging in marketing and advertising planning" (Harris and Reece, 2003). A study in the Journal of Small Business Management found that in fact very little planning of any kind goes into small business activities, yet those who do some amount of planning are less likely to fail (Perry, 2001).

For small businesses to succeed some marketing activities must take place. Small firms can gain advantage over the obstacles to success through the use of appropriate planning activities (Harris and Reece, 2003). One potential reason for the reluctance of some small business owners to engage in any type of advertising may be the perception that advertising clutter could negatively impact their businesses. Ha and Litman found that while there was in fact a negative correlation with advertising clutter the effects were limited to certain vehicles within distinctive advertising media (Ha and Litman, 1997). Other studies (e.g. Lohse, 1997) suggest that the way ads are designed will impact how consumers pay attention to them. Yet one thing is abundantly clear: businesses that fail to engage in some form of marketing to promote their businesses will eventually fail.

While some entrepreneurs may feel that money spent on advertising is wasted, evidence shows that consumers often value advertising that is believable, credible and ethical (Ducoffe, 1995). Given that many entrepreneurs are ethical individuals who wish only to succeed in their business ventures, advertising that is seen as good (believable, credible and ethical) would seem to be an important element in small business strategy. One growing enterprise among entrepreneurs is in the area of service retailing. Given the number of individuals starting businesses that offer services over goods, advertising will be an essential key to the success of those types of businesses. In their 1995 study Stafford and Day found that advertising which is both informative and rational works best for service retail firms; but how many business owners specializing in this area are aware of this?

Many experts acknowledge the fact that the greatest marketing challenge facing small business owners is limited resources for effective advertising (Lipput, 1995; Harris and Reece, 2003). Other experts (e.g. McCarthy, 1999) suggest that effectively written and placed advertisements will have a positive effect on business growth.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Entrepreneurial Application of Marketing Communication in Small Business: Survey Results of Small Business Owners


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?