An exploratory study into the strategic marketing planning practises of micro businesses in Ireland

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McElherron, Lynda
Issue Date
MA of Business Studies
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Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy. Yet every year, thousands of businesses fail. It is recognised that an essential element of economic recovery will be the support and development of micro and small businesses. This study explores the practise of strategic marketing planning within micro-businesses in Ireland. In order to obtain an insight, the author first looked into the literature around strategic marketing planning, micro-businesses and small firms in Ireland, Marketing practise in micro-business and small business, Characteristics of Micro-Business and Small Business Owners and Marketing Education in SMEs. To gather the data a qualitative case study methodology was used, using documentations and interviews of four Irish micro-businesses. Each business owner participated in an in-depth semi-structured interview. The findings suggest that there is evidence of some strategic marketing practises in micro-businesses in Ireland. However, micro-business owners show strength in certain marketing areas but perform poorly in others. The study concludes that micro-business owners are being hampered by their lack of marketing knowledge and expertise. Further study is advised on the implementation and effectiveness of marketing activities for small businesses. Also recommended is further investigation into the role played by Government and Enterprise organisations in meeting the marketing education and training needs of small business. Author keywords: Strategic marketing, strategic marketing planning, marketing practises, micro-business, small business, planning