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

Paul Harrigan, Elaine Ramsey, Patrick Ibbotson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages127-163
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Marketing
Mixed methods
Small and medium-sized enterprises
Customer relationship management
Communication
Research design
Small business
Customer information
Owner-managers
Quantitative methods
Mixed methods research
Management activities
Information management
Business marketing
Ireland
Management theory
Qualitative methods

Cite this

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title = "Exploring and Explaining SME Marketing: Investigating e-CRM Using a Mixed Methods Approach",
abstract = "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.",
author = "Paul Harrigan and Elaine Ramsey and Patrick Ibbotson",
note = "Reference text: Ab Hamid, N.R., & Kassim, N. (2004). Internet technology as a tool in customer relationship management. Journal of American Academy of Business, 4, 103–108. Adebanjo, D. (2003). Classifying and selecting e-CRM applications: An analysis-based proposal. Management Decision, 41, 570–577. Admiraal, W., & Lockhorst, D. (2009). E-learning in small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe: Attitudes towards technology, learning and training. International Small Business Journal, 27, 743–767. Becker, H.S. (1970). Sociological work: Method and substance. New Jersey: Transaction Books. Bernard, H.R. (2000). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. BERR (Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform). (2009). Annual small business survey 2007/08. Retrieved from http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file50124.doc Bhatnagar, A. (2008). Product choice for international web-based SMEs. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 4(2/3), 145–155. Blili, S., & Raymond, L. (1993). Information technology: Threats and opportunities for SMEs. International Journal of Information Management, 13, 439–448. Boddy, C.R. (2007). Projective techniques in Taiwan and Asia-Pacific market research. Qualitative Market Research, 10, 48–62. Boulding, W., Staelin, R., Ehret, M., & Johnston, W.J. (2005). A customer relationship management roadmap: What is known, potential pitfalls and where to go. Journal of Marketing, 69(4), 155–166. Boyle, A.B. (2001). The Internet in industrial channels: Its use in (and effects on) exchange relationships. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 16(6/7), 452–469. Bradshaw, D., & Brash, C. (2001). Managing customer relationships in the e-business world: How to personalise computer relationships for increased profitability. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 29(11/12), 520–530. Carson, D., Cromie, S., McGowan, P., & Hill, J. (1995). Marketing and entrepreneurship in SMEs: An innovative approach. London: Prentice Hall. Carson, D., & Gilmore, A. (2000). SME marketing management competencies. International Business Review, 9, 363–382. Catterall, M., & Ibbotson, P. (2000). Using projective techniques in education research. British Educational Research Journal, 26, 245–256. Cavusoglu, H., Mishra, B.K., & Raghunathan, S. (2002, December). Optimal design of information technology (IT) security architecture. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, Barcelona, Spain. Chan, J.O. (2005). Toward a unified view of customer relationship management. Journal of American Academy of Business Cambridge, 6, 32–38. Chaston, I., & Mangles, T. (2003). Relationship marketing in online business-to-business markets: A pilot investigation of small UK manufacturing firms. European Journal of Marketing, 37, 753–773. Chen, J., & Ching, R.K.H. (2007). The effects of information and communication technology on customer relationship management and customer lock-in. International Journal of Electronic Business, 5, 478–498. Coltman, T. (2007). Why build a customer relationship management capability? Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 16, 301–320. Connelly, B.L., Ireland, R., Reutzel, C.R., & Coombs, J.E. (2010). The power and effects of entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34, 131–149. Creswell, J.W., & Plano Clark, V. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 152 P. Harrigan et al. Downloaded by [University of Ulster at Coleraine] at 01:49 20 May 2013 D’Andrade, R.G. (1995). The development of cognitive anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Delmar, F., & Wiklund, J. (2008). The effect of small business managers’ growth motivation on firm growth: A longitudinal study. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32, 437–457. Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2005). Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–28). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Dibb, S., & Meadows, M. (2004). Relationship marketing and CRM: A financial services case study. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 12, 111–125. Dibrell, C., Davis, P.S., & Craig, J. (2008). Fueling innovation through information technology in SMEs. Journal of Small Business Management, 46, 203–218. Doern, R. (2009). Investigating barriers to SME growth and development in transition environments: A critique and suggestions for developing the methodology. International Small Business Journal, 27, 275–305. Doole, I., Grimes, T., & Demack, S. (2006). An exploration of the management practices and processes most closely associated with high levels of export capability in SMEs. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 24, 632–647. E-Business Watch. (2006). The European E-Business report 2006/07. Retrieved from http://www. ebusiness-watch.org/about/methodology.htm Eichorn, F.L. (2004). Internal customer relationship management (IntCRM): A framework for achieving customer relationship management from the inside out. Problems & Perspectives in Management, 1, 154–177. Feinberg, R.A., Kadam, R., Hokam, L., & Kim, I. (2002). The state of electronic customer relationship management in retailing. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 30, 470–481. Gilman, M.W., & Edwards, P.K. (2008). Testing a framework of the organization of small firms: Fast-growth, high-tech SMEs. International Small Business Journal, 26, 531–558. Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D., & Henry, S. (2007). E-marketing and SMEs: Operational lessons for the future. European Business Review, 19, 234–247. Glaser, G.B., & Strauss, A. (1967). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Guba, E.G., & Lincoln, Y.S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. 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Relationships, marketing and small business: An exploration of links in theory and practice. Qualitative Market Research, 7, 228–236. 156 P. Harrigan et al. Downloaded",
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Exploring and Explaining SME Marketing: Investigating e-CRM Using a Mixed Methods Approach. / Harrigan, Paul; Ramsey, Elaine; Ibbotson, Patrick.

In: Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2011, p. 127-163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Exploring and Explaining SME Marketing: Investigating e-CRM Using a Mixed Methods Approach

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N1 - Reference text: Ab Hamid, N.R., & Kassim, N. (2004). Internet technology as a tool in customer relationship management. Journal of American Academy of Business, 4, 103–108. Adebanjo, D. (2003). Classifying and selecting e-CRM applications: An analysis-based proposal. Management Decision, 41, 570–577. Admiraal, W., & Lockhorst, D. (2009). E-learning in small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe: Attitudes towards technology, learning and training. International Small Business Journal, 27, 743–767. Becker, H.S. (1970). Sociological work: Method and substance. New Jersey: Transaction Books. Bernard, H.R. (2000). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. BERR (Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform). (2009). Annual small business survey 2007/08. Retrieved from http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file50124.doc Bhatnagar, A. (2008). Product choice for international web-based SMEs. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 4(2/3), 145–155. Blili, S., & Raymond, L. (1993). Information technology: Threats and opportunities for SMEs. International Journal of Information Management, 13, 439–448. Boddy, C.R. (2007). Projective techniques in Taiwan and Asia-Pacific market research. Qualitative Market Research, 10, 48–62. Boulding, W., Staelin, R., Ehret, M., & Johnston, W.J. (2005). A customer relationship management roadmap: What is known, potential pitfalls and where to go. Journal of Marketing, 69(4), 155–166. Boyle, A.B. (2001). The Internet in industrial channels: Its use in (and effects on) exchange relationships. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 16(6/7), 452–469. Bradshaw, D., & Brash, C. (2001). Managing customer relationships in the e-business world: How to personalise computer relationships for increased profitability. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 29(11/12), 520–530. Carson, D., Cromie, S., McGowan, P., & Hill, J. (1995). Marketing and entrepreneurship in SMEs: An innovative approach. London: Prentice Hall. Carson, D., & Gilmore, A. (2000). SME marketing management competencies. International Business Review, 9, 363–382. Catterall, M., & Ibbotson, P. (2000). Using projective techniques in education research. British Educational Research Journal, 26, 245–256. Cavusoglu, H., Mishra, B.K., & Raghunathan, S. (2002, December). Optimal design of information technology (IT) security architecture. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, Barcelona, Spain. Chan, J.O. (2005). Toward a unified view of customer relationship management. Journal of American Academy of Business Cambridge, 6, 32–38. Chaston, I., & Mangles, T. (2003). Relationship marketing in online business-to-business markets: A pilot investigation of small UK manufacturing firms. European Journal of Marketing, 37, 753–773. Chen, J., & Ching, R.K.H. (2007). The effects of information and communication technology on customer relationship management and customer lock-in. International Journal of Electronic Business, 5, 478–498. Coltman, T. (2007). Why build a customer relationship management capability? Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 16, 301–320. Connelly, B.L., Ireland, R., Reutzel, C.R., & Coombs, J.E. (2010). The power and effects of entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34, 131–149. Creswell, J.W., & Plano Clark, V. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 152 P. Harrigan et al. Downloaded by [University of Ulster at Coleraine] at 01:49 20 May 2013 D’Andrade, R.G. (1995). The development of cognitive anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Delmar, F., & Wiklund, J. (2008). The effect of small business managers’ growth motivation on firm growth: A longitudinal study. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32, 437–457. Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2005). Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–28). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Dibb, S., & Meadows, M. (2004). Relationship marketing and CRM: A financial services case study. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 12, 111–125. Dibrell, C., Davis, P.S., & Craig, J. (2008). Fueling innovation through information technology in SMEs. Journal of Small Business Management, 46, 203–218. Doern, R. (2009). Investigating barriers to SME growth and development in transition environments: A critique and suggestions for developing the methodology. International Small Business Journal, 27, 275–305. Doole, I., Grimes, T., & Demack, S. (2006). An exploration of the management practices and processes most closely associated with high levels of export capability in SMEs. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 24, 632–647. E-Business Watch. (2006). The European E-Business report 2006/07. Retrieved from http://www. ebusiness-watch.org/about/methodology.htm Eichorn, F.L. (2004). Internal customer relationship management (IntCRM): A framework for achieving customer relationship management from the inside out. Problems & Perspectives in Management, 1, 154–177. Feinberg, R.A., Kadam, R., Hokam, L., & Kim, I. (2002). The state of electronic customer relationship management in retailing. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 30, 470–481. Gilman, M.W., & Edwards, P.K. (2008). Testing a framework of the organization of small firms: Fast-growth, high-tech SMEs. International Small Business Journal, 26, 531–558. Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D., & Henry, S. (2007). E-marketing and SMEs: Operational lessons for the future. European Business Review, 19, 234–247. Glaser, G.B., & Strauss, A. (1967). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Guba, E.G., & Lincoln, Y.S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. 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PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

U2 - 10.1080/0965254X.2011.606911

DO - 10.1080/0965254X.2011.606911

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 127

EP - 163

JO - Journal of Strategic Marketing

T2 - Journal of Strategic Marketing

JF - Journal of Strategic Marketing

SN - 0965-254X

IS - 2

ER -