Entrepreneurial Marketing is a assemblage of two distinct management areas and refers to a procedure which is undertaken by organisations as a combination of various marketing strategies which are discrete from the traditional marketing practices adopted by these companies (Miles and et. al.., 2015). The report is based on Verdant Leisure, which provides effective holiday and self-catering services to its customers in the UK. It covers analysis of distinguishing features of small business marketing environment and identification of key marketing operational issues faced by small businesses in a global context. The report also covers a critical comparison between the standard marketing theory and practice from what is witnessed from small business research findings.
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Analysis of Distinguishing Features of Small Business Marketing Environment
The small business marketing environment is quite discrete from that of large-scale businesses. In every aspect, small businesses tend to keep a simpler yet effective approach that connects them directly with customers (O'Cass and Morrish, 2016). However, there are various strategic differences too which distinguishes features of small business marketing environment from that of larger organisation. These features are discussed below:
- Political Environment:
One of the most evident distinguished feature of small business marketing environment is the regulatory environment which sets up political framework for smaller organisation to operate upon. Political trends have an impact on the market conditions in which these small businesses function (How Does a Political Trend Affect a Small Business?,2019). There are various constraints such as unavailability of support from local communities in a political environment of small business which constructs barriers for them. Such barriers create burden in their operations and creates difficult situations which are not faced by large businesses.
- Social Environment:
A business, large or small, requires effective human resources to implement marketing strategies and plans. However, small businesses find it really hard to acquire appropriate individuals for their firm so that their marketing agendas could be accomplished.
Where marketing is concerned, small businesses tend to blend this aspect with leadership (How Small Business Marketing Differs from Big Business Marketing,2018). Usually, top management of these firms deals with marketing and manage all the aspects underneath it. In addition to this, marketing also depends upon how diverse the workforce is which influence innovation and creativity. Such factors distinguishes this feature from large organisations as small businesses are likely to have a workforce which is diverse and usually attracts individuals wanting more growth and opportunities than job security.
- Economical Environment:
This feature of marketing environment is concerned about how finance plays a role in small businesses. In addition, it also determines how economic environment of countries effct these organisations. Small businesses have a hard time in obtaining finance and are required to approach various institutions to acquire monetary resources essential for marketing. Moreover, unlike large businesses, their marketing strategies must be scaled and aligned with their budget as they are not much capable where financial aspects are concerned.
This feature restricts them at a point in regards of acquisition of capable human resources and outsource activities to achieve complex objectives. Thus, it is necessary for small businesses to implements strategy that could provide maximum results with limited budget.
- Technological Environment:
Technology plays a crucial role in marketing and its importance has been substantially increasing in recent years (4 Differences Between Small Business Marketing and Big Business Marketing,2018). Majority of population in various developed nations have become technologically inclined and even developing countries are taking initiatives to digitalise each operation within their departments.
However, it is not easy for small businesses to implement high-end technologies and implement effective techniques which use such methods. Thus, this feature distinguishes on ways it is applied. Their techniques differ vastly form that of large companies. For instance, these firms usually approach marketing consultants which help them set up their campaigns effectively.
All these features are distinctive and influence the marketing decisions effectively. Moreover, strategies and techniques used must be utilised in ways which bring maximum opportunities to small companies and help to achieve their marketing objectives effectively.
- Legal Factors:
Since legal regulations within a country are more or less same for organisations regardless of their structure and scope, this feature is somewhat applied similar in small as well as large organisation. For instance, there are various regulations related to marketing like prohibition of unfair commercialisation, aggressive marketing practices, etc. (Marketing and the law,2018). However, this feature becomes more intense in case of small businesses as regulatory bodies are associated with marketing of larger firms, thus, guiding them through their content, which is not the case with small businesses due to their constraints.
- Environmental Factors:
In today's world, every enterprise whether small or large is affected by a number of environmental factors and both the forms of organisations have to conduct marketing activities which are in interest of environment. Sustainable tourism refers to a concept of visiting a place as a tourist and giving substantial contribution towards making a positive impact upon the society, environment and nearby surroundings. This concept largely reflects the desire and willingness of an entity to conduct responsible tourism in order to carry out sustainable development. In this regard, large companies generally promote sustainable tourism by getting brochures and pamphlets printed to create awareness about this concept. In contrast with large entities, small businesses are generally not much equipped with financial resources so as to market about this significantly essential concept. It is largely required by small business entities to focus upon making large proportion of audience popular with this idea so that environment can be significantly preserved.
Identification of Key Marketing Operational Issues
Within a global environment, each new venture as well as large firm is determined to effectively market their products and services to maximum number of individuals. The agenda of adopting marketing is to influence vast audiences in preferring their products and services (Kilenthong, Hultman and Hills, 2016). For example, within tourism sector, marketing plays a crucial role in presenting the offerings and services globally. However, various entrepreneurial ventures and SME's like Verdant Leisure face various operational issues which are discussed below:
- Lack of Managerial Talent:
Small businesses does not guarantee effective job safety due to its ambiguous nature and unnatural business growth. Thus, small companies such as Verdant Leisure face this issue of hiring talent that help to manage their marketing facet and help to carry out effective strategies for their firms. Thus, each human resource they acquire are not much experienced and require to give proper training and development which is essential for them to manage their marketing departments. Managerial talent is crucial as adequate and potent human resources could assist organisations like Verdant Leisure grow in an appropriate manner.
- Budget Constrains:
Another operational issue which is faced by small businesses of tourisms sector is funding. Tourism industry needs their businesses Verdant Leisure to market the services set up for their customers. However, with small and medium businesses, no matter how much time they have served the market, it becomes very complex for them to manage their budget and arrange funding which is essential to carry out their marketing activities (Common Small Businesses Marketing Challenges,2019).
- Market Research:
Within tourism sector, it is imperative that each organisation conduct adequate market research which could help them identify their target customers upon which they apply their strategies. However, Verdant Leisure and other similar small scale companies face this issue and are somewhat incapable in keeping up with the trend and technological advancements (2017 Top 5 Small Business Marketing Challenges,2019). Such factors increases complexity in operations and firms end up applying ineffective marketing strategies. In addition to this, inadequate market research also results in choosing inappropriate media techniques to reach customers which unnecessarily adds to the cost and leads to failure in achievement of marketing objectives.
Tourism industry face tough competition. Each small and even large scale firms come up with different aspects and factors to satisfy their customers in an appropriate manner. However, where small firms are concerned, they tend to lose their flow in consistently marketing their products and services to customers (7 Marketing Challenges Facing Small Business Owners,2019). The reason for this is that these companies operate with uncertainty of having adequate resources which are required each time during marketing their activities. Thus, they might effectively use adequate and appropriate marketing techniques, however, it is difficult for Verdant Leisure and similar businesses to carry out their marketing techniques consistently.
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Critical comparison of 'Standard' Marketing Theory and Practice With That of Verdant Leisure
A standard marketing theory and practice requires an organisation to market in ways which is essential for establishing agendas of the firm (Nijssen, 2017). These purposes include, brand establishment, specifying target market, enhancing the familiarity of services and products within the marketplace and gaining a competitive advantage (What Is the Purpose of Marketing & Sales?,2019).
This theory and practice must be aligned with current trends and customer preferences which would assist a company in appropriately establishing itself in the market. Verdant Leisure is a small scale firm which is quite well known in the UK. The firm deals in all kinds of tourism and leisure activities and thus, marketing is an important element for this company. There are various factors in the marketing strategy of Verdant Leisure that are effectively compared against the standard marketing theory and practice. These factors are mentioned below:
- Standard Marketing Methods:
Marketing requires coping up with current trends and is an essential practice for each organisation thriving to succeed. Verdant Leisure carries on with sales campaigns to encourage people of taking up their services. Moreover, the company does it on seasonal basis and uses various media which focuses more on traditional media methods such as newspaper advertising, posts, banners, etc. (Verdant Leisure Sales Campaign,2019).
However, relying too much on traditional methods at a time of drastic advancements in technology requires the firm to effectively cope its operations up with the current trend. Moreover, majority of millennials are social media users which could be used by this company to adopt these methods to align itself with the new trend.
Another aspect due to which it is necessary is that sustainability is a key issue that must be addressed through marketing and other functional operations. Through usage of traditional methods, environment is being harmed which could be negatively perceived by the government, as well as the customers. Thus, it is necessary for the firm to modify its marketing practices in ways which helps it ensure sustainability.
- Inconsistent Promotional Strategies:
Verdant Leisure is a company which is quite consistent to adopt methods that help the company grow effectively. Recently, the firm had acquired its ninth leisure park (erdant leisure continues investment drive with the acquisition of ninth leisure park,2019). The company is growing quite substantially, however, it still lacks appropriate and consistent promotion at global level. The firm and its services are still overshadowed by companies like Costsaver and Topdeck (Tour Operators & Travel Companies in UK and Great Britain,2019).
Traditional marketing practices and theories require firms to consistently present their products in front of customers which helps in psychological marketing. Thus, Verdant Leisure must adopt consistent promotional strategies using diversified methods and multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
In addition to this, the firm could also opt for automation and VR technology to help market their services and stand ahead in the marketplace (5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality in Your Marketing Strategy in 2018,2019). It would help in avoiding ad blockers and would give an unique experience to its customers. This would also help in maintaining the consistency which is essential for Verdant Leisure to grow more effectively and with prosperity.
Thus, it could be concluded by the information mentioned above that entrepreneurial marketing is quite essential in respect to making a firm more effective in the market. Marketing environment helps in determining how features differentiate between small and large enterprises. Operational issues in marketing also assists companies in determining aspects which affect small companies and could aid in identifying strategies effectively. Lastly, it is imperative that traditional marketing theory and practise be compared with that of organisation to determine the shortfalls and appropriately deal the situation in a better manner. Thus, all these aspects would help in implementing marketing strategies that would help enhancing market position of the firm.
Books and Journals
- Kilenthong, P., Hultman, C.M. and Hills, G.E., 2016. Entrepreneurial marketing behaviours: impact of firm age, firm size and firm’s founder. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. 18(1). pp.127-145.
- Miles, M., and et. al.., 2015. Exploring entrepreneurial marketing. Journal of Strategic Marketing. 23(2). pp.94-111.
- Nijssen, E.J., 2017. Entrepreneurial marketing: an effectual approach. Routledge.
- O'Cass, A. and Morrish, S., 2016. Anatomy of entrepreneurial marketing. Journal of Strategic Marketing. 24(1). pp.2-4.