Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Entrepreneurial Marketing: A New Approach for Challenging Times

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Entrepreneurial Marketing: A New Approach for Challenging Times

Article excerpt

Abstract. Entrepreneurial Marketing (EM) is a theoretical construct at the nexus between marketing and entrepreneurship, with a relatively long existence - over thirty years - but insufficiently developed. Entrepreneurial thinking, which is nonlinear, creative and avoids predictions, contradicts the traditional marketing model. Thus a "divorce" appears between marketing theory - which emphasizes managerial marketing behavior- and marketing practice in entrepreneurial firms. The purpose of this paper is to conceptually define EM through integration of different perspectives of marketing, management and entrepreneurship. This conceptual paper used a critical review of the most representative articles from international marketing and entrepreneurship journals. This paper presents a brief history of EM evolution and an analysis of the most common definitions. It clarifies the differences between EM and small business marketing, based on the differences between entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Keywords: effectual logic, Entrepreneurial Marketing (EM), entrepreneurial marketing competencies, Marketing- Entrepreneurship Interface (MEI), network.

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurial Marketing (EM) is a concept that was developed at the interface between two sciences - marketing and entrepreneurship - almost thirty years ago. While Marketing-Entrepreneurship Interface (MEI) has attracted researchers not only from marketing and entrepreneurship, but also from economy, psychology and sociology, the evolution of this construct is still underdeveloped. There are a variety of definitions, specific principles in this area are missing, practical tools are inadequate developed and unfortunately there is no unifying theory. Although it is generally accepted that entrepreneurs behave differently regarding "traditional" marketing, however some of them are very successful. Lacking a unique definition makes research efforts remain fragmented and misaligned. Consequently, the theoretical development is limited to the identification of concepts, mostly borrowed from other social sciences and the development of some conceptual models. However, there is a strong need to develop tools, principles and theories to help businesses - especially start-ups and small ones - to survive and thrive in an increasingly hostile and unpredictable environment.

This article presents a brief history of the evolution of EM concept, an analysis of the most common definitions, a comparison with "traditional" marketing, a brief overview of the most important concepts developed in the MEI and an inventory of research methodologies.

2. Brief history of EM evolution

EM came out in 1982 at a conference at University of Illinois, Chicago sponsored by International Council for Small Business and American Marketing Association, two of the largest professional and academic associations in these fields (Hills, Hultman et al., 2010). On this occasion the most important research topics were established, although at that time the interest of marketing academics for this area was still limited. Since 1986 an annual symposium is organized dedicated to MEI area and legitimated by American Marketing Association (AMA). Researchers' interest started to grow and they organized their efforts in a Marketing and Entrepreneurship Task Force which became later a permanent Special Interest Group. EM topics spread out in Europe and in 1995 the Academy of Marketing organized the first symposium dedicated to this area.

In 1999 Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship is founded, as a dedicated venue for EM researchers. The researches on this issue amplified and the results are published both in its own magazine and special issues of marketing journals (European Journal of Marketing, Marketing Education Review, Management Decision, Journal of Marketing: Theory and Practice) and entrepreneurship journals (Journal of Small Business Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management). …

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