February 15, 2018

Entrepreneurial marketing boosts performance

Man Yang

D.Sc.(Econ), Researcher at the School of Marketing and Communications at the University of Vaasa

It’s great to see Finnish firms go abroad. However, the vast majority, well over 90 per cent, of Finnish companies are micro, small and medium-sized with fewer than 10 employees. How and where can they get the resources for international marketing?

Access to such funds is often very limited, as the firm may be very small and new. Furthermore, for international markets such as the Far East, it is just another foreign company. This is the problem for many enterprises from small and open economies.

Therefore, I strongly believe that companies, particularly SMEs, need to conduct more innovative and entrepreneurial marketing to succeed in international business. When employing international entrepreneurial marketing, firms discover or create market opportunities abroad in a proactive manner. They acquire and retain international customers through innovative approaches.

Firms also leverage the resources of their network partners to create value and manage risks in international markets. A survey of young, internationalising SMEs from Finland suggests international entrepreneurial marketing enhances their marketing performance in international markets.

What is important in order to achieve entrepreneurial marketing is the effectual decision-making logic used by Finnish entrepreneurs. Effectual decision making means the starting point for decision makers is utilising their own knowledge, experience and networks to identify initial market alternatives, rather than beginning with goal setting on the basis of competitive analysis. These alternatives should be continuously sought after, in order to experiment with new technology or product offerings.

Practitioners are advised to use experimentation to identify customer groups whose needs best fit the features of their innovation. It is important that products or services are co-developed with the first customer group, so that buyers are already secured before launching the product or service to international markets.

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