The Emergence of Entrepreneurial Marketing: Nature and Meaning

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The Emergence of Entrepreneurial Marketing: Nature and Meaning

Michael H. Morris, Ph.D. Harold and Sandy Noborikawa Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing Department of Marketing College of Business Administration University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 E-mail: Telephone : (808) 956-6692 Minet Schindehutte, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Page Center for Entrepreneurship Miami University Oxford, Ohio 45056 E-mail: Telephone : (513) 529-1221 Raymond W. LaForge, Ph.D. Brown-Forman Professor of Marketing College of Business Administration University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 40292 E-mail: Telephone : (502) 852-4849 Submitted July 2001

The Emergence of Entrepreneurial Marketing: Nature and Meaning

Abstract The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the concept of entrepreneurial marketing. This term is used as an umbrella to capture conceptualizations of marketing as an innovative, risk-taking, proactive area of managerial responsibility. Such conceptualizations include guerrilla marketing, radical marketing, expeditionary marketing, subversive marketing and others. Six core dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing are identified and explored. The advantages of an entrepreneurial perspective on marketing are identified. Insights are synthesized from various literatures, including the work on corporate entrepreneurship, innovation and new product development, creative leadership, and change management. Linkages are established between entrepreneurial marketing and resource advantage theory. An integrative model is proposed that includes a number of key factors surrounding the phenomenon of entrepreneurial marketing. Conclusions are drawn regarding the intellectual substance or legitimacy of entrepreneurial marketing. Priorities are proposed for continuing research, and implications are drawn for theory development, teaching, and managerial practice.


Introduction Companies find themselves operating in a new competitive landscape. The contemporary business environment can be characterized in terms of increased risk, decreased ability to forecast, fluid firm and industry boundaries, a managerial mindset that must unlearn traditional management principles, and new structural forms that not only allow for change but also help create it. This new landscape has been characterized in terms of four overriding forces: change, complexity, chaos, and contradiction (Bettis and Hitt, 1995; Hitt and Reed, 2000). What are the implications of the new competitive landscape for marketing? Do the roles and responsibilities of the marketing function within the firm change under such circumstances? On the one hand, it might be argued that the fundamental precepts of marketing remain unchanged but more attention must be given in the contemporary environment to customization and one-to-one approaches, relationships, networking, strategic alliances, globalization, and technology (Day and Montgomery, 1999). On the other hand, it may be that marketing itself should be reconceptualized. Srivastava, Shervani and Fahey (1998, p. 168) note: “Extending existing theoretical frameworks may no longer be sufficient to reflect marketplace shifts and guide marketing practice in the fundamentally new competitive context and conditions that will characterize the new millennium.” It is this latter alternative, the idea that there is a need to fundamentally rethink the marketing function itself, that is the focus of this white paper. Recent years have witnessed the application of a number of adjectives to describe new approaches to the marketing function, including “guerrilla marketing”, “proactive marketing”, “subversive marketing”, “expeditionary marketing”, and “disruptive marketing”. At the same time, marketing courses and curricula are increasingly embracing modules or courses on creativity and innovation. Interest in the...
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