IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bng/wpaper/10016.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Marketing for Survival: A Comparative Case Study of SME Software Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Sara Parry

    (Bangor University)

  • Rosalind Jones

    (Bangor University)

  • Jennifer Rowley

    (Manchester Metropolitan University)

  • Beata Kupiec-Teahan

    (Scottish Agricultural College)

Abstract

Purpose This study explores the success and failure of two similar small software technology firms from a marketing perspective, where there is a paucity of research. Using a dyadic approach, this research compares the degree of customer orientation and innovativeness exhibited in both firms by investigating the companies and their customers. The paper seeks to understand contributing factors for success and failure with the acknowledgement that both marketing and innovativeness are drivers for competitive advantage, firm growth and sustainability. Design/methodology/approach A two-case comparative case study was employed as the primary method of investigation. Company B was investigated for a period of three months but went into liquidation after six years of operation, whilst Company A was investigated over a period of two and a half years. Both cases were based on the same technology park in the North Wales region. Participant-observation in both firms and 22 semi-structured interviews with owner-managers, employees and customers provided a holistic approach to how these firms perceived and prioritised marketing and innovation. Findings The findings confirm the need for small software firms to strike a balance between customer orientation and innovativeness in order to survive. In terms of customer orientation, the findings show that it is not only related to customer contacts and relationships, but is also about delivering on the promise. The small firm’s ability to achieve this is highly dependent on managerial style, communication between the firms and their customers, business planning, market research, promotion and firm culture.Practical implications The benefits of this study which demonstrates the stark contrast between successful and unsuccessful behaviour can act as a useful guide to practitioners, and could be particularly valuable to SME managers who often have technical but less managerial competencies. The results can also offer a marketing benchmark for other SMEs within the software industry. Originality/value This is a unique study comparing two software SMEs, particularly one which failed and one which succeeded under similar condition, thus illustrating good practice by contrasting with bad practice. It also contributes to the literature on how SMEs conduct marketing in the software industry and how to secure small firm sustainability and growth in developing regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Parry & Rosalind Jones & Jennifer Rowley & Beata Kupiec-Teahan, 2010. "Marketing for Survival: A Comparative Case Study of SME Software Firms," Working Papers 10016, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  • Handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:10016
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/business/docs/BBSWP10016.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch, 1990. "Innovation and Small Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011131, February.
    2. Thierry Burger-Helmchen, 2009. "Capabilities in small high-tech firms : A case of plural-Entrepreneurship," Post-Print hal-02302906, HAL.
    3. Gilmore, Audrey & Carson, David & Rocks, Steve, 2006. "Networking in SMEs: Evaluating its contribution to marketing activity," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 278-293, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Janne Harkonen & Harri Haapasalo & Kai Hanninen, 2013. "Productisation: A Literature Review," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management,, ToKnowPress.
    2. GEZER, Yusuf & KINGIR, Said, 2020. "Entrepreneurss Decision Processes On A New Business Investment: Feasibility Study In London Flower Industry," Academic Review of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bursa Teknik Üniversitesi, vol. 3(1), pages 139-160.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Michael Fritsch & Viktor Slavtchev, 2007. "What determines the efficiency of regional innovation systems?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Talat Mahmood, 1997. "Survival of Newly Founded Businesses: A Log-Logistic Model Approach," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-32, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    3. Werner, Arndt, 2008. "Do Credit Constraints Matter more for College Dropout Entrepreneurs?," MPRA Paper 11867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "Employment growth from public support of innovation in small firms," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 3, pages 41-64, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Andrea Vaona & Mario Pianta, 2008. "Firm Size and Innovation in European Manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 283-299, March.
    6. Muhammad Sajjad Hussain & Muhammad Muhaizam Bin Musa Musa & Abdelnaser Omran Ali, 2018. "The Impact of Private Ownership Structure on Risk Taking by Pakistani Banks: An Empirical Study AbstractThe financial crisis of 2007-09 was converted the focus of researchers and regulators toward ban," Pakistan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, International Research Association for Sustainable Development (iRASD), vol. 6(3), pages :325-337, September.
    7. Andreas Koch & Harald Strotmann, 2006. "Determinants of Innovative Activity in Newly Founded Knowledge Intensive Business Service Firms," International Studies in Entrepreneurship, in: Michael Fritsch & Juergen Schmude (ed.), Entrepreneurship in the Region, chapter 10, pages 195-224, Springer.
    8. Zahra, Shaker A., 1996. "Technology strategy and new venture performance: A study of corporate-sponsored and independent biotechnology ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 289-321, July.
    9. Tether, B. S., 1998. "Small and large firms: sources of unequal innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 725-745, November.
    10. Enrico Guzzini & Donato Iacobucci, 2014. "Ownership as R&D incentive in business groups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 119-135, June.
    11. Fontana, Roberto & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Shimizu, Hiroshi & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2013. "Reassessing patent propensity: Evidence from a dataset of R&D awards, 1977–2004," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1780-1792.
    12. Vanhaverbeke, Wim & Li, Ying & Van de Vrande, Vareska, 2009. "The dual role of external corporate venturing in technological exploration," MPRA Paper 26488, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    13. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Elert, Niklas & Lang, Ã…sa, 2012. "Does Gibrat's law hold for retailing? Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 464-469.
    14. Wei, Hao & Yuan, Ran & Zhao, Laixun, 2020. "International talent inflow and R&D investment: Firm-level evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 32-42.
    15. Baldwin, John R., 1997. "Importance de la recherche et du developpement sur l'aptitude a innover des petites et des grandes entreprises manufacturieres canadiennes," Direction des études analytiques : documents de recherche 1997107f, Statistics Canada, Direction des études analytiques.
    16. Francesco Quatraro & Marco Vivarelli, 2015. "Drivers of Entrepreneurship and Post-entry Performance of Newborn Firms in Developing Countries," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 277-305.
    17. David B. Audretsch & Martin A. Carree & Adriaan J. Van Stel & A. Roy Thurik, 2002. "Impeded Industrial Restructuring: The Growth Penalty," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 81-98.
    18. Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod & Agustí Segarra-Blasco, 2005. "The Determinants of Entry are not Independent of Start-up Size: Some Evidence from Spanish Manufacturing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 27(2), pages 147-165, September.
    19. Baldwin, John R. Jarmin , Ron S. Tang, Jianmin, 2002. "L'importance accrue des producteurs plus petits dans le secteur de la fabrication : comparaison Canada-États-Unis," Série de documents de recherche sur l'analyse économique (AE) 2002003f, Statistics Canada, Direction des études analytiques.
    20. H. T. Tran & E. Santarelli, 2013. "Determinants and Effects of Innovative Activities in Vietnam. A Firm-level Analysis," Working Papers wp909, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:10016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sabanuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Alan Thomas (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sabanuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.