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Strategic network marketing in technology SMEs

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This study seeks to explore strategic networks from an entrepreneurial marketing and value creation perspective in the business-to-business (B2B) context to ascertain the value generated by strategic groups of network actors. This area has received little research investigation, despite the importance of network marketing in small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Strategic Network Marketing Model (SNMM) is generated from the study which presents a typology of six network types, together with their associated value creation opportunities. Both the typology and the focus on opportunities generated by the network types are novel. Qualitative interviews were conducted in 12 software SMEs located in two technology clusters in the UK and United States. Thematic analysis of the interview data uncovered use of six strategic networks; firms use intra-firm, social, customer, business, innovation, and marketing and sales networks to leverage additional resources that create value for the firm. Interviewees’ comments provide evidence of the processes and value creation associated with each of the networks. This typology of network types are summarised in the SNMM. Implications for practice, theory, and further research are proposed.

Keywords: business-to-business; entrepreneurial marketing; innovation; networks; relationships; technology SMEs; value creation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Glyndwr University, UK 2: University of Jyvaskyla, Central Finland 3: Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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