Marketing and Entrepreneurship: Research Ideas and Opportunities

By Gerald E. Hills | Go to book overview

A WARNING

This exploration of the entrepreneurial behavior/marketing interface is not designed to explore the entire range of entrepreneurial issues. It is only designed to explore the important, but somewhat narrow, range of issues where entrepreneurial behavior and marketing share common ground.


TOWARD A THEORY OF NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION AND GROWTH

Much of what often passes for new product planning and marketing is really only "new" in a very limited sense. It uses accepted and stable technology, it does not require customers to change usage habits or perceptions and existing markets are the target. In fact, many of the target markets are mature and the nature of the "new" products is very incremental. There is nothing wrong with new styles of cookies sold through supermarkets. There is nothing wrong with new flavors of toothpaste or even toothpaste with new therapeutic properties.

However, both sides of this interface offer much toward a new theory of new product introduction and growth. From entrepreneurial behavior comes the propensity to challenge the "accepted" understanding of the currently available information, and then, to move toward closing the gap given a set of unique information. From marketing comes the concepts and tools to implement the strategies to successfully take innovation to market. But, although entrepreneurial behavior needs to learn to address the issues of the market, marketing needs to develop concepts that allow it to better understand the early stages of the life cycle where most entrepreneurial behavior takes place.


NOTES

This paper originally appeared in Research at the Marketing/ Entrepreneurship Interface, edited by Gerald E. Hills and Raymond W. LaForge. Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991.

1.
Interface is defined as (1) "a plane or other surface forming a common boundary of two bodies or spaces" or (2) "the boundary between two phases in a heterogeneous physical-chemical system" in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.
2.
See Houston ( 1986) for a discussion of the marketing concept.
3.
For discussion and review of the concept of segmentation, see Bonoma and Shapiro ( 1983) and Beane and Ennis ( 1987).

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