The Effect of Digital Marketing Communication for Rural Micro-enterprises in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The aim of this research is to develop a conceptual framework in aiding effectiveness of digital marketing communication within a context of small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), in particular those micro-sized enterprises operating in rural areas. The research methodology was derived from an interpretivist paradigm to perform a qualitative study conducting in-depth face-to-face interviews in a semi-structured form with 10 micro-enterprise owners who have chosen the adoption of Internet-based technologies (e.g., social media, or website) for business to venture. This digital adoption is generally believed for the purpose to strengthen traditional communication strategies within the enterprises to effective marketing outcomes.

The locus of this research is in Ireland and Northern Ireland’s rural areas. From both theoretical and practical aspects, it has become a major challenge as having lack of knowledge and expertise for SMEs to adopt potential technological development in this informative marketplace. Additionally, it is considered that micro-enterprises are having even more restricted resources than other SME forms to growing business.

This paper therefore proposes a conceptual framework from three SME characteristic perspectives integrated with three digital technology adoption schemes for rural micro-enterprises to improve the marketing communication effectiveness in this digital era. The finding is highlighted that there are three core elements for rural micro-enterprises to start up a business in digital marketing communication for a long-term development.
Date of AwardAug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Dept of Mgmt, Leadership & Marketing
SupervisorDamian Gallagher (Supervisor)


  • Effectiveness
  • Marketing Communication
  • Digital Technology
  • Internet
  • SMEs
  • Micro-enterprises
  • Rural Areas

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