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E-marketing and SMEs: operational lessons for the future

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E-marketing and SMEs: operational lessons for the future

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  • March 26, 2014
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Page 1 of 24
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0955-534X.htm

EBR
19,3

E-marketing and SMEs:
operational lessons for the future

234

School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK

Audrey Gilmore
Damian Gallagher
The School of Management and Business, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, and

Scott Henry
School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a study that re-examines the impact of the internet on small to medium-sized enterprise marketing activities, following a similar study four years earlier (2000) in order to see what, if any, changes have occurred. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research approach was adopted using one-to-one, in-depth semi-structured interviews with the marketing managers or IT professionals of ten small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who were directly involved in introducing the internet and e-marketing activities within their respective company.

Findings – The all-encompassing role of the internet in today’s business world and the findings of this study raise some serious issues for the future of SMEs operating in a peripheral location and their e-marketing provisions. It is still very much in its infancy for some SMEs although its use has generally continued since 2000. SMEs still do not use it to its full scope and potential. Originality/value – The outcomes of the study illustrate the specific barriers and implementation issues encountered by SMEs, identify the consequences of implementing e-marketing on the SME businesses, and identify how SMEs within regional economies could better use e-marketing and facilitate better implementation in the future.

Keywords Small to medium-sized enterprises, Internet, Internet marketing, Electronic commerce Paper type Research paper

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