Entrepreneurial marketing (EM) is considered a marketing concept for firms that strive to run entrepreneurial, market-driving and at the same time customer-focused marketing programs that work particularly well under resource constraints. However, even after more than three decades after its inception, researchers still focus on validating single dimensions of the EM concept (the outer frame), but do not ask what these dimensions may have in common (the inner frame). Using a sample of 1156 firms, this paper develops such a valid scale and analyzes its effect on firm performance. Results show that EM consists of three correlating dimensions: 1) change-driving, 2) bootstrapping, and 3) risk-taking that have a positive effect on firm performance.
In the last 30 years, more and more research has focused on the marketing/entrepreneurship interface, particularly studying the entrepreneurial marketing (EM) concept (Hills, Hultman, & Miles, 2008; Kraus, Filser, Eggers, Hills, & Hultman, 2012). A lot of research has focused on describing and defining EM (see e.g., Bjerke & Hultman, 2002; Hills et al., 2008; Kraus, Harms, & Fink, 2010), which includes distinguishing it from other marketing approaches such as innovation marketing or the classic approach. The latter segments markets first before target segments are chosen and a specific marketing program (the “4Ps”) is executed (Kotler, 1967). The classic approach was developed on the basis of and for large, resource-intensive firms and is still largely practiced and taught today. Whereas in the early stages EM was considered a marketing approach for small and new firms (see e.g. Carson, Cromie, McGowan, & Hill, 1995; Hills, 1987), the discipline developed into an entrepreneurial version of marketing suited for all kinds of firms (Kraus et al., 2010). EM is considered an entrepreneurial, customer-oriented, market-driving marketing approach that works particularly well under resource constraints. This goes along with Morris, Schindehutte, and Laforge's (2002) EM conceptualization that describes EM as opportunity-driven, proactive, innovation-focused, customer intense, risk-taking, resource leveraging and value creating.
5.3. Limitations and future outlook
This paper is not without limitations. First, our data collection focuses only on one country and covers a wide span of firms and industries. Although it was our goal to cover a variety of firms, it might be of interest to see in more detail how EM differs from young to old firms, from small to large, or from industry to industry. Also, the market characteristics of a developed, Western European country might have impacted scale development. Therefore, testing, or even re-developing the scale in different contexts, might be recommended.