Marketing in SMEs during economic crises: an investigation of marketing activities within the small retail sector
Mc Ateer, Adelle
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It is a widely acknowledged fact that businesses tend to face increased difficulty during times of economic downturn. The purpose of this study is to examine how retail businesses deal with the effects of economic crises, how their level of marketing activities can impact on performance and to assess the level of emphasis on customer service in the small retail sector. The research methodology is predominately exploratory in nature. The research approach involved phase one, semi-structured interviews with eight retail owner-managers in Letterkenny, phase two, a focus group with employees from the retail sector, and a third phase consisting of an interview with a professional of marketing. The role of marketing in small retail outlets and the activities which are engaged in are discussed and a professional opinion on the above is offered within the research indicating that small businesses are slow to engage in newer forms of marketing and tend to employ traditional methods as they are somewhat uneducated regarding the value of marketing. The findings suggest that marketing activities such as public relations, customer service, brand building and the use of online marketing are somewhat lacking in the operations of small businesses. In addition, it was found newly established businesses are more open to such activities than more established businesses that have been in operation for a long time. The research did have limitations which were mainly of a financial or time related nature. Overall the research suggests marketing activities that can be undertaken, yet do not necessarily require large financial investment, for smaller businesses.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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