Exploring and Explaining SME Marketing: Investigating e-CRM Using a Mixed Methods Approach

Paul Harrigan, Elaine Ramsey, Patrick Ibbotson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital to our economies, and they perform marketing resembling customer relationship management (CRM) theory. This study investigated the role of technology on the CRM activities (i.e. e-CRM) of SMEs in Ireland. This paper both reports the findings and the methodological process undertaken, which was a mixed methods research design comprising quantitative and qualitative methods. Hence this paper constitutes a methodological contribution to the small business discipline. Regarding the research problem, the research design facilitated significant theoretical and practical contributions to small business marketing, regarding using technology in customer communication and customer information management in e-CRM. SMEs are performing e-CRM that enables customer communication and customer information capabilities, but challenges focus on balancing e-communication with traditional communication and integrating technologies into existing processes. For SME owner-managers, ‘Ten Commandments for e-CRM’ are presented as the paper's managerial take-away.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-163
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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