Entrepreneurial Marketing 

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Entrepreneurial Marketing
A Perspective from Tech Entrepreneurs
The concept of entrepreneurial marketing (Collinson,Shaw,Stokes) in essence seeks to capture the unusual methods and processes that entrepreneurs apply in the marketing practices. Entrepreneurs typically use unconventional methods of marketing relying on informal networks, close customer relationships for marketing intelligence as well as their technical insights in their chosen fields to formulate marketing. Innovation sits at the heart of most entrepreneurial ventures they seeks out to develop new products and services to bring disequilibrium into existing markets. (Shane and Venkaterman/Schumpeter)
The importance of entrepreneurs cannot be underestimated due to the significant contributions there firms make economically not to mention the ripple effects there innovations bring to other companies most notably through the advent of the internet and high tech firms.
Entrepreneurs are associated with personality tendencies such as being risk takers, opportunistic. They rely on unconventional methods of marketing relying on informal networks, close customer relationships for marketing intelligence as well as their technical insights in their chosen fields to formulate marketing practices that are often at odds with conventional marketing practices of marketing management (Shaw).
An Innovation orientation sits at the heart of most entrepreneurial organisations they seek out to develop new products and services to bring disequilibrium into existing markets. (Shane and Venkaterman/Schumpeter).The importance of entrepreneurs cannot be underestimated due to the significant contributions there firms make economically not to mention the ripple effects there innovations bring to other companies most notably through the advent of the internet and high tech firms.
Entrepreneurs have significant effects on the way small businesses are run. Their personality traits and behaviour play an important role in determining the direction their firms head in when determining service and product development. Specifically in SME’s they allow there informal understanding of their markets determines the marketing behaviours and processes. (Stokes 2000, Carson Gilmore 2001 Martin 2009).
The research conducted here responds to calls to further develop the concept of Entrepreneurial Marketing (Collinson,Shaw 2001).Entrepreneurial Marketing (Stokes 2001, Collinson, Shaw 2001) in essence seeks to capture and define the unusual marketing methods and processes entrepreneurs follow in their firms. The purpose of the research in this study to add to the evolving definition of entrepreneurial marketing as developed by and further conceptualised by his qualitative study of entrepreneurs based on their understanding of marketing practices, in an entrepreneurial context. We will apply a qualitative study of entrepreneurs specifically to the context of the technology sector and through depth interviews focus the spotlight on technology entrepreneurs of an internet age and conceptualise their marketing behaviours and processes.
The main questions we attempt to answer include.
1. How do technology oriented entrepreneurs of the internet define marketing?
2. What are the behaviours and process that these entrepreneurs follow in the firms to deliver value to their clients or customers?
In the next section we review some the relevant literature on Entrepreneurial foreshadowing a proposed conceptualisation of Entrepreneurial Marketing for technology entrepreneurs. The system area gives a portrayal of the business people recognized for this study. The exchange gives and inside and out the examination of the outcomes picked up from the profundity interviews.
Literature Review
The centre of this section will be on checking on the writing on Entrepreneurial Marketing from different academic writers. First a brief discussion of the definitions of technology entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial marketing are introduced and the Entrepreneurial Marketing literature is reviewed. We then review Stokes conceptualisation of entrepreneurial marketing and propose amendments to this model for the technology orientated organisation based on the radical levels of innovation experienced by technology entrepreneurs in start-up technology or technology oriented businesses.
Defining Entrepreneurship
Over the years of research definitions of entrepreneurialism amongst marketing academicians have varied but researchers in general capture certain common traits and behaviours. Entrepreneurs create and exploit turbulent markets, something that other economic actors tend not to do. Economic theory suggests that entrepreneurs are creating imbalances by introducing innovations to drive imbalances (Schumpeter 1934) or as firms that attempt to drive economies away from equilibrium by exploring unidentified opportunities (Kirzner 1973). Entrepreneurs exploit opportunities through innovative risk taking approaches. Early definitions of entrepreneurship emphasised the entrepreneur as an agent of change, someone who does not seek to perfect, or optimise existing ways of doing things, but searches instead for new methods and new markets (Schumpeter, 1934). Others have added to this topic by characterizing a business person as somebody who hunts down change, as well as reacts to it in an inventive way, misusing it as an open door. Shane and Venkataraman (2000) argue that: “entrepreneurship is concerned with the discovery and exploitation of profitable opportunities”.
Primarily entrepreneur’s exhibit follow certain behavioural processes in venture creationand have certain personality traits such as being risk taking innovative and focus on exploiting opportunities, which is common in tech oriented companies which will shed further light on in the following section.
Technology Entrepreneurs
Since the advent of “start-up” type technology oriented firms founded by tech savvy entrepreneurs of the internet age, there has been little academic literature dedicated to these firms, their founding entrepreneurs and their marketing processes and behaviours. These tech entrepreneurs have a very strong focus on innovation by which they gain competitive advantage. The innovation focus normally stems from the entrepreneur’s technical speciality in a certain field, due to this specialisation in field entrepreneurs are then able to utilise their intricate knowledge of certain fields to develop innovative new products and approaches to established markets. These entrepreneurs are often responsible for radical innovations that have disruptive effects on existing markets as they can influence their innovation innovations to great advantageous use in existing markets and new markets.(Marvel and Lumpkin;2007).
Traditional definitions of entrepreneurship seek to understand how, by whom and with what influences chances to make future products and administrations are found and abused (Shane and Venkatarman, 2000). Technology firms with entrepreneurs central to product creation and firm creation exploit opportunities in industries where the majority of the firm’s resources are focused on the technology development. Park (2004) considered hi tech entrepreneurial firms to consist of three critical components:
The principal part is the establishing business person who chooses to make a firm seek after the entrepreneurial innovation wander. The second part concentrated on is the association they assemble around themselves and how this aggregate hierarchical learning and experience affect the achievement of the endeavour. The last segment of the procedure is the innovation on which the endeavour is based, how this innovation creates and advances because of cooperation with the establishing business person and the information of the firm.
In addition to the above mentioned definitions Park (2004) defines the hi tech firm as a firm that relies on a firm that uses or invests in quickly rising or advancing innovation as a key part of its item advancement, generation or promoting methodologies. For the purposes of this study we will look at the behavioural approach of entrepreneurialism as applied by Stokes (2000) and define tech firms according to Park (2004) where an entrepreneur is the founder interacting with the other two components of his firm, the organisation and experience within it and the technology on which the venture is based. For the purposes of this study we will be considering tech entrepreneurs and their processes and activities. Tech or otherwise known as Hi-tech entrepreneurs have technology as their main focus.
Entrepreneurial Marketing Literature
As previously discussed traditional academic literature suggested that entrepreneurship and marketing existed as two separate constructs. Attempts to adapt and apply traditional marketing models to SME’s based on the assumption that basic principles of marketing developed in large firms are universally applicable have been unsuccessful (Stokes 2001; Jones and Rowley 2011).
Conventional advertising reactions include an over dependence on settled dependable guidelines, consolation of formulae based considering, absence of responsibility for promoting uses, an accentuation on advancements components of the showcasing blend, focus on whims of customer, tendency to imitate and not innovate, serve existing markets instead of creating new ones (Martin 2009).The owner manager traits, competencies and behaviours are key components of the entrepreneurial organisation. In EM the entrepreneur plays an active role which distinguishes it from traditional roles (Chell).
Marketing practices within small firms remain an area of business that needs to be further explored by academics (Davis et al ,1985). Several researchers have identified that a lack of marketing orientation often leads to lower performance levels and higher risks of business failure (Alpken et al,2007). So it is with the survival interests of small firms at heart further investigation of small firms and the nature of influence entrepreneurs have other the failure and successes of these firms should be investigated.
Marketing practice in bigger firms has generally been connected with the thought of 4P's and has been recognized as an imperative benefactor to the execution of organizations (Jaworski and Kohli, 1993; Narver and Slater, 1990). Marketing orientation in SME’s takes on a different focus with researchers noticing a lack of market orientation skills in SME’s (!!!!)
The emergence of Entrepreneurial Marketing as an academic concept has highlighted the strongly perceived convergence between these two fields of research that was historically considered rather distinct. There are areas such as value creation and innovation that overlap but there areas.
Marketing as a management practice has been based on conventional marketing mix approach, also known as the 4 P's of Marketing, is the combination of product, price, place (distribution), and promotion. More recently marketing as a practise has been defined as an “organizational function furthermore, an arrangement of courses of action for making, imparting and conveying worth to clients and for overseeing client associations in ways that point of interest the affiliation and its accomplices models " (Kraus et al 2009). These practises generally consisted of understanding consumers, studying potential target markets so as to take as minimal risk as possible when implementing the marketing activities associated with getting new products or services into existing markets. Marketing practices included analysing and breaking down markets into targeted geographic area, demographic groups and loyalty or preference of certain product attributes (Stokes 2001)
The central problem of Entrepreneurial is the difference between marketing defined by management practice in large firms and the way entrepreneurs define marketing within their smaller firms and the behaviours and practices by these firms when investigating their different and unusual marketing methods. The entrepreneurial approach to business and getting new products to potentially new market types emphasises a very different undertaking of how best to implement what they perceive to be valuable marketing practices.
Entrepreneurs in the processes of delivering new services and products are prone to testing their products in live market situations and using close relationships with their consumers and customers. They are able to adjust their product or service offering to meet the needs of the client in market situations (Shane; Venkanteram, 2000). It is within this customer orientation that elements of marketing practise are observed and a developing attention to the significance of advancement and business enterprise to advertising and of promoting to effective business (Stokes, 2000)
Entrepreneurialism and marketing as a management practices were considered separate concepts. An attempt to bring these two concepts together as entrepreneurial marketing was first was introduced into the academic literature by the American Marketing Association (AMA). A “Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship'' was held in 1987, and has become an annual event as the AMA's “Research at the Marketing-Entrepreneurship Interface Conference''. According to the website the interest groups exists to
• Generate interest on the part of marketing educators in the relationship between marketing and entrepreneurship.
• Support the development of marketing theory and the performance of empirical research which reflect the role of marketing in entrepreneurial ventures as well as the role of entrepreneurship in marketing practice.
• Identify ways to improve the application of marketing principles and concepts to entrepreneurial ventures in companies of all sizes and types.
• Disseminate knowledge regarding the marketing entrepreneurship interface.
• Foster entrepreneurial thinking within the marketing discipline.

In the UK, a ``Special Interest Group'' was established within the Academy of Marketing as a focus for research in this area in 1994 The main focus of entrepreneurial marketing emerging from the symposium was on adapting marketing to forms that are appropriate to small and medium sized enterprises and acknowledging the role of entrepreneurs. The initial research into the marketing and entrepreneurship interface has now been extended into various other topical areas namely, creativity networking and educational issues. Research studies in the twenty first century are focusing on applying entrepreneurial techniques in industry whilst also investigating academic practices which will allow the student to be skilled in an entrepreneurial marketing (Shaw and Collinson 2001).
There has been a debate on how distinct the topic areas actually are. For example, Collinson (2002) suggests: “the marketing/entrepreneurship interface emerged from the two very distinct disciplines of marketing and entrepreneurship respectively”. Collinson proceeds to point out that "scientists working in these two fields perceived that there were numerous ranges of shared characteristic and joining between the two branches of knowledge". Shaw and Collinson (2001) identified that marketing and entrepreneurship have three areas of the interface.
1. They are changed focused
2. Opportunistic in nature
3. Innovative in their approach too management
This debate is important given that depending on the definitions of marketing and entrepreneurship authors choose to adopt, some would argue that the differences are rather insignificant. Taking the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s ( definition promoting is "the administration process in charge of recognizing, reckoning and fulfilling client prerequisites, profitably”. Arguably, this overlaps with the view of Shane and Venkataraman (2000), who argue "enterprise is concerned with the disclosure and misuse of productive open doors". Certain researchers believe that both disciplines are concerned with key issues that include a proactive and innovative stance, identification of customers’ needs (opportunities) and satisfying them at a profit (exploiting the identified opportunities), plus a level of risk taking. Therefore, the difference between the disciplines may not be that great in reality (Hills and La Forge, 1992).
Omura et al (1993) observed that traditional marketing evolved from a constant environment, with firms that satisfied clearly perceived customer needs. Entrepreneurship in essence thrives in an uncertain environment in discontinuous market conditions and the needs of the market in these cases are often unclear.
The two concepts predominantly overlapped in two areas
1. Where market conditions are continuous, entrepreneurship aids in the process of identifying as yet unperceived opportunities.
2. Discontinuous market environment, here entrepreneurship guides marketing strategy to developing existing needs in new environments.

The consistent theme of the academic literature on entrepreneurship is change (Carson et al 1995). The entrepreneurship personality and the way the entrepreneur functions have a direct influence on the management of the firm. Entrepreneurs are very motivated by identifying and exploiting opportunities and are less convinced by sequential information disproving what they deem to be an opportunity.
The main focus of entrepreneurial marketing is adapting marketing to forms that are appropriate to small and medium sized enterprises. This quantitative analysis focuses on adding to the research of Stokes who conceptualised marketing for smaller organisations. Stokes concluded that successful entrepreneurs undertake marketing in ways which often seem at odds with conventional models. They monitor the marketplace by gathering ad hoc information through informal networks, rather than formalised market research.
Stokes’ research was aimed at conceptualising entrepreneurial marketing based on the behavioural approaches and investigating the processes and activities of these entrepreneurs. (Ennew and Binks, 1998)
Stokes (2000) research consisted of the following elements of a qualitative study:
Depth Interviews
Following initial pilot interviews, 40 entrepreneurs were interviewed face to face. The depth interviews made use of an interview guide allowing a broad conceptualisation of marketing uninhibited by conventional definitions and approaches. The researcher made use of open ended questions to provide a greater depth of data than structured interviews.
Critical Incident Technique
As the pilot interviews had made clear that the entrepreneurs had a narrow conceptualisation of marketing, stokes made use of the critical incident technique to build a more complete picture of the marketing processes developed by Flanagan (1954). This is a line of questioning which elicits narratives from respondents about particularly observable activities or incidents, such as motivations for actions, specific activities and the outcomes.
Focus Groups
These were used as an additional source of data collection to provide to provide methodological triangulation of data. The focus groups were useful in identifying particular phenomena and the language entrepreneurs use to describe them.
Elements of Marketing
Customary advertising ideas can be separated into four unmistakable components (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990; Webster., 1992):
(1) Promoting as an authoritative rationality or society obliges that a comprehension of the client needs ought to go before and advise the advancement and advertising of items and administrations.
(2) Marketing as a strategy defines how an organisation is too competing and survives in the market place using segmentation, targeting and positioning.
(3) Marketing blend alludes to the particular exercises and methods, for example, item improvement, valuing, publicizing and determination of dispersion channels which execute the procedure referred to as the 4P’s or 7ps in services marketing).
(4) Marketing intelligence underpins each of these marketing principles.

Stokes conceptualised entrepreneurial marketing according to the above four main elements as follows in figure 1.
Stokes (2000) noted that entrepreneurs tend to focus first on innovations to products and services and only second to customer needs. They rely on interactive marketing methods, making use of a personal network of friends and colleagues as a form of information gathering are reliant on word of mouth marketing rather than a more reliable and controllable marketing mix.
The research undertaken in this study has been based on the qualitative procedures applied by Stokes. The centre of the examination will be on the Critical Incident Technique (Flanagan 1956) used in depth interviews with eight tech entrepreneurs. The research will take into account different technology entrepreneurs and the methods and processes they implement in building the technology products and services for their markets. This research explores the phenomenon that within technology environments products and services are build and designed with the input and the feedback from the market and its customers which help to radically evolve and improve the product and service offering which leads to a more rapid growth of the firm and a development of new technology product and services. This is explored further in the research scope and its aims in the following sections.
Research Scope
The proposed research will be a qualitative study of six technology entrepreneurs of different background in smaller firms. The research takes into account Stokes’ conceptualisation into consideration and carefully investigating any new concepts in technology oriented firms that may add to the conceptualisation of Stokes’ work .The emergent themes will be the outcomes from the in depth interviews, the analysis will also apply a critical incident technique to elicit responses from entrepreneurs.
The research aims to analyse, identify and discuss new emergent definitions of the entrepreneurial marketing construct, which has been further grown by different researchers in the field such Kraus et al. (2009) who proposed a different concept of entrepreneurial marketing as an organisational function:
Entrepreneurial marketing is an organisational capacity and an arrangement of techniques for making, imparting and conveying quality to clients and for overseeing client connections in ways that advantage the association and its partners, and that is portrayed by inventiveness, danger taking, ace liveliness, and may be performed without assets at present controlled.
Tech entrepreneurs in essence do not practise marketing within their businesses based on the management marketing practices of large firms who look at the traditional marketing mix and build strategies around segmentation, targeting and positioning with market research preceding any new product or service development before it is deployed in the market place (Stokes, 2000). This does not actually refer to say that they don’t apply marketing principles at all; in fact adopting rather unusual marketing processes tends to be a common practice by which technology entrepreneurs create new products for their chosen markets. Therefore attempting to gain clarity from these entrepreneurs as to what their market orientation may be and how they go about defining their target market, how they test and develop new products or service offerings through depth interviews may provide greater insight into the behaviours, characteristics and thought patterns of entrepreneurs in the technology realm, which is constantly evolving and leaving competitors for dead due to the increased pace of innovation and the likelihood of customers switching to new and more powerful products and services .
What is evident in the majority of the academic literature is two perspectives. One perspective considers the entrepreneurial firm through the lenses of a traditional marketer and tries to deconstruct the entrepreneurial firm according to traditional marketing academic constructs; the second perspective is marketing through the lenses of an entrepreneurial world view. Give examples of each? Which will you take?
The entrepreneurial view, most importantly in the technology space of marketing is geared towards a future state of the world and imagining a world of technology as it could possibly be by building technology solutions now which seems to be able to solve tomorrow’s problems(?). The purpose of this research will be to capturing these ideas and entrepreneurial behaviours through depth interviews. You keep coming up with different objectives. Put them all together
The Need for Qualitative Research
It is now recognised that small firm research is at too “young” a stage in its development to benefit from a positivist research approach that encourages the use of quantitative methods of scientific inquiry (Shaw, 1999).
Stokes (2000) describes Gibb’s statement on the issue of qualitative research over quantitative research into small firms. Gibb (1990) reasoned that the quest for representativeness through expansive specimen survey overviews was oftentimes lost in inquiring about the little firm part, and he required the utilization of more inductive thinking in view of grounded hypothesis with more prominent accentuation on nature of information.
A qualitative analysis with in depth interviews affords the opportunity and time for entrepreneurs to provide insights in a trusted setting, with an element of anonymity where in other contexts they may feel uncomfortable sharing critical knowledge of their inner workings and perceptions of how their marketing practices should be deployed.
Identifying Entrepreneurs

So as to finish the quantitative examination of the unique group of tech entrepreneurs we firstly have to identify the correct type of entrepreneurs that fit the definition Hi-tech entrepreneurs. In order to identify these accessing resources through the following options
• An anonymous start up tech hub that successfully launched in excess of one hundred and fifty tech start-ups.
• Personal Network of tech entrepreneurs

(Change tense in this and the next section). The aim of these resources would be to identify willing and able respondents that have sufficient understanding of their businesses and markets in relation to their technology. The entrepreneurs each would have to experience a reasonable amount of businesses success and failure and have been operational for a sufficient amount of time, operational for approximately five years, to have established what are the marketing behaviours and processes that have led to success as entrepreneurs. The respondents will have to have had developed a key innovative technology product or service offering that has had an innovative impact on their target audience.
The Literature review is now followed by the design and methods used in this qualitative analysis.
Design and Methods
To amplify extravagance and precision of information, and also transferability of the discoveries the researcher will conduct interviews of a face to face nature in order to gain quality insights into the mindsets of the tech entrepreneurs and the manner in which the conduct their business practices and most notably how the conduct their marketing practices. The nature of the questions asked will be of opened ended nature using abroad conceptualisation of marketing to negate any pre-conceived notions of marketing (Stokes, 2000), it is important for the purposes of the study to pick up a comprehension of the entrepreneurs constructs and definitions so as not to impose marketing definitions as they currently exist as a management practise in larger firms. Although the nature of the research will both iterative and exploratory it was important for the sake of time efficiency to stick to a structured topic guide that will consist of no more than fifteen main questions with sub questions.
As the study consisted of technology oriented entrepreneurs, it was explorative and descriptive allowing the subjects to provide as much data about their entrepreneurial processes within their business. In order to be effective in avoiding confusion in definitions of marketing the critical incident technique originally used by Flanagan (1954) and applied by Hussy and Hussey (1998). This is a line of questioning used to elicit responses that will avoid confusion in terminology and focus on discussion outcomes. Basic episode strategy may be utilized as a part of meetings as a method of acquiring itemized portrayals from respondents of events in defined situations. This is a specific line of questioning which is used to illicit responses that highlight details such as motivations for action, specific activities and the outcomes. This was used with the aim of building a complete understanding of the entrepreneurs’ construct of marketing and to avoid false understandings or limitation of what they perceive marketing to be.
Due to time constraints only eight technology oriented entrepreneurs were interviewed with all interviews being recorded, and analysed. The framework method of quantitative data analysis was applied as it allows for effective transparency of the data collection process.
Research Aim
Exploring how do tech entrepreneurs see what they do in terms of marketing as a philosophy, as a strategy, the marketing mix and how important do they see marketing intelligence.
To understand what are entrepreneur’s traditional understandings of marketing practices and what do they do differently as entrepreneurs
Data Collection
Data was collected using depth interviews with eight technology entrepreneurs each founding team members or co-founders of their respective organisations. The interviews were led by the research analyst who made use of the critical Incident technique (Fleming, 1953). This allowed the researcher the opportunity to use specific examples or situations relevant to the respondent to gain better understandings of their definitions of marketing as a philosophy, marketing as a strategy, marketing intelligence and how they define marketing. There are criticisms of CIT which you need to acknowledge
A qualitative research interview is viewed as; 'a meeting, whose object is to accumulate portrayals of the life-universe of the interviewee concerning understanding of the importance of the portrayed phenomena' (Kvale,1983). The objective of any subjective exploration meeting is hence to see the examination theme from the viewpoint of the interviewee, and to see how and why they think of this specific point of view. To meet this objective, subjective exploration meetings will by and large have the accompanying qualities: a low level of structure forced by the questioner; a prevalence of open inquiries; and an emphasis on 'particular circumstances and activity arrangements in the realm of the interviewee.
To ensure the Critical Incident was used during the interview process. Questions of an open nature were asked using and topic guide which was of a low structure with a focus on open ended questions.
The below topic guide was used
And how did you ensure this?
The Framework Method of Analysis
Information was dissected utilizing the system strategy for qualitative data analysis (Ritchie, Spencer 1994). The Framework method has been refined and developed over the years and has been proven a versatile across a range of studies as stated by Ritchie and Spencer (1994) and similarly by Gale et al. (2013) who state that the Framework Method is a fabulous device for supporting topical (subjective substance) investigation in light of the fact that it gives a methodical model to overseeing and mapping the information. Yeung (1995) contends that subjective investigation ends up being basic to worldwide business research due to the changing connection of exploration and concern with business firms working at the same time in a few topographical areas. But was your research international? Qualitative analysis and applying the Framework approach prove a reliable analytical process being used in a range of disciplines and that is why the approach has been applied in the interview data gathered from the following qualitative study. The analyst is part of the process immersing them in the research and identifying key themes to gain meaningful insights. Identifying themes is a fundamental task in qualitative research (Ryan and? Bernard, 2003).
Qualitative data analysis is an iterative process where raw data from interviews is analysed to provide a coherent view of unstructured information gathered in the interview stages. In qualitative data analysis, following a specific methodology adds structure to the acquired data and in the data analysed. In this report we have applied the ‘Framework’ method. Framework has been developed to help these aims and outputs achieved. It is also designed to facilitate systematic analysis” (Ritchie, Spencer 2003). Some of the key features central to the framework development are summarized as follows:
Generative & Grounded: It is critically based in, driven by, the original accounts and observations of people it’s about.
Dynamic: It is interested in change, expansion and correction through the expository procedure

Systematic: It allows methodical treatment of all similar units of analysis

Comprehensive: It allows a full, and not partial or selective, review of the material collected.

Enables easy retrieval: It allows access to and retrieval of, the original textual material.

Allows between- and within-case analysis: It empowers examination between, and relationship inside, cases to be made.
Open to others: The diagnostic procedure, and the understanding got from it, can be seen and judged by individuals other than the essential expert.

This is a disciplined process that relies on the researcher to determine meaning ad connections. This requires that the researcher through abstraction and review constantly seeks to find connections in concepts and ensures that new emergent themes are explored as part of the process.
The five key stages in qualitative data analysis applied in this study were:
1. Familiarisation: This requires that researcher becomes familiar with collected data as well as becoming familiar with the terminology and differences in perceptions that the respondents will have.
2. Identifying a thematic framework: this stage involves conceptualising key constructs that the researcher as able to put in a codebook. Through this processes the researcher recording and monitoring recurrent themes and topics that emerge from the interviews. In the data collected in this study the researcher notes and codes emergent themes gaining an appreciation of each respondent’s different perspectives, perceptions, style and use of language.
3. Indexing: This refers to a systematic process where the index is applied to the data in textual form. This process was implemented on the interview scripts as is evidenced in Appendix 1. In the text that was analysed for this process, the researcher had to make judgements about meaning as this is an iterative processes open to interpretation.
4. Charting: this is the process by which data is lifted from its original context and build into a picture to make sense of data as a whole. In this stage charts are devised with the various themes and sub themes emerging from the A-priori and post priori.
5. Interpretations and finding associations: this stage of the process involves the systematic detection of concepts emerging from the data and in the depth interviews. The researcher will look to find associations from what the stated objectives in the topic guide and how respondents answer these questions.

Results of Depth Interviews
In depth Interviews with tech entrepreneurs reveal a different focus on creating products services and solutions and their methods and behaviours contrast quite significantly to owner managers in larger firms, although it can be argued that technology is now a key feature in all business the key difference here is that these entrepreneurs use technology as the central focus of their organisation, I predisposition towards innovation and technical expertise.
The interviews were used to gain a deeper understanding into the behaviours and processes of these tech entrepreneurs in order to gauge their understanding of marketing and what processes and behaviours they have put in place in their organisation.
The respondents were solicited to elucidate their comprehension from marketing as an organisational philosophy, marketing as a strategy and how they perceive marketing intelligence. The responses from the respondents illustrated that there were very subjective definitions and that these definitions were drawn upon from the own contextual experiences as tech entrepreneurs. The perspective from the tech entrepreneurs, illustrated that marketing was never at the forefront of their product/service development but the main focus was on solving a problem that adds real value to their customer base.

Marketing as a philosophy
The core marketing philosophies of the respondents gravitated around delivering technological value with their specialist expertise. By using each client’s successes and failures as market feedback, the entrepreneurs were effectively able to take their key learning’s and through innovation improve these offering from client to client by maintaining a philosophy of customer value and creation of value for the customer although this was something that emerged from the interviews and was not explicitly recognised by the entrepreneurs themselves.
Respondent S:
“Enterprise is shifting their spending away from PC’s onto mobile. We wanted to do something in mobile but it wasn’t entirely clear yet. So the first thing we did, we launched a mobile application it was a learning exercise. We learnt to compress the data because we thought it was quite interesting, people are spending money on their data plans, the cost is going up, and people are using more and more data. Why not introduce a platform that can compress the data in real time and reduce your data consumption.”
Respondent A:
“How do you appeal to consumers on behalf of business?”
Respondent J:
“We have a philosophy in our business of going on a date. So when we meet clients, they ask for quotes and how long this will take. We basically say we are not going to get into that, because at the end of the day what we have noticed is that it is very hard to understand what work will be about before you get into I the detail of it. You don’t understand their business, quality of their data, who their service providers are the extent of what they actually require.
So what we say at the end of the day, is we need a relationship, where you (the client) trust we are maximising the time you pay for us”
There is a constant focus on value creation in the rapidly changing technology environments that businesses are exposed to. It seems that tech entrepreneurs constantly have to learn to evolve with the new technologies that are presenting themselves in the market place. These tech entrepreneurs have to develop their products and services while staying abreast of new technologies entering the market place.
There is evidence of a process of co-creation and creating results for the customers that add more value or measured by return on investment so that their clients are satisfied with the technology. The entrepreneurs themselves are constantly focused on product innovation as well successful execution of their technology with marketing viewed as an afterthought even though they may unwittingly practice marketing as part of their product development and innovation in some way or another it is in the mind of the entrepreneurs very different to what perceive to be traditional marketing practice.
Respondent R:
“We didn’t focus on a philosophy and this was not clearly defined. We did focus on adding value and positioned ourselves as co-creators of value for our clients.”
Marketing as a strategy
The entrepreneurs all struggle to clearly define marketing as a strategy and they have subjective interpretations of what marketing is. Marketing is seen as the “natural” outcome of successful deployment of their technology solution. The focus is on solving problems for their clients that would rely on mutual benefits for the entrepreneurs and the customer.
“So it’s really being about thinking how do I appeal to consumers on behalf of the businesses that are going to be using my solution.
“Marketing is about the appeal the product has to the user directly”
“We paid for school fees from a client to client basis. The long term strategy is create a product that can give them long term support which has a licence. Clients assist in product development for the future”
Client success leads to positive word of mouth. We would use a free trial basis to build a relationship and this was focused on demonstrating value.

S: We positioned it as a Blackberry server from Android and IOS.
We delivered compression (for data) this was the first feature. Then we started introducing other feature.
“So cost savings (for enterprises) was a big driver” We can measure productivity and we can measure costs.
The Marketing Mix
The traditional marketing mix was and its role in the approach to marketing was not deemed as an influential aspectof the marketing decisions made by the entrepreneurs.
What emerged as a key feature out of the interviews was that the entrepreneurs were primarily focused on continuously evolving their technology and solution with concepts of pricing and position not being attributed much significance.
Respondent S:
“Traditional marketing is trying to figure out how much demand is there? How am I going to price products? How am I going to position it and use advertising, pricing to us for example is not important to us at all. It’s very focused on sales.
“It’s also a lot about education, we need to educate ourselves and we need to educate our customers”
A notable theme was that either consciously or as a natural part of the process of the product development the entrepreneurs were targeted in their approach to the markets they were willing to engage in. The entrepreneurs had noticed a specific problem or opportunity for a specific client in an industry they had specialist experience in. They then used their specialist technical experience in and found a way they could capitalise and developed a product or solution to solve this problem. In order to engage the right potential clients they applied a targeted client approach solving varies particular problems in a new innovative way.
Respondent A referred to this as a
“Sniper approach focusing on customers intelligibly with a solution for them”
This is vital for developing products and understanding their situational position in market place”
Respondent S also commenting in a similar vein:
“We targeted specific companies within our skill set”
The dependence on the customer to be part of the solution and to know the right customers to target and approach proved to be an underlying foundation. In essence the main thrust of all the entrepreneurs was to add value to a client was the ability to envision a way of create value for the client that could be capitalised on by creating a technology solution that the client had not the skills or the ability to do.
Respondent R touches on this notion:
“We didn’t have a marketing plan. We practised creating environments of co-creation to generate new products and new value for the client”
Respondent J:
“Traditional marketing would be that you want to package your offering and present it I in a certain way, my approach is too connect with people.”
Marketing Intelligence
Marketing intelligence was not explicitly thought of as vital processes. The focus is essentially on building innovative solution to fit the client’s needs and build value by maintaining strong interactions with their clients. This underscored by the guiding philosophy of providing real value to their clients through a process of co-creating value with their as opposed to spending much valuable time on analysing the competitive landscape.
The instinctive nature of their marketing behaviours was summed up the respondent J:
“I’m very instinctive person. So my approach is to connect with people”
When referring to competition in her market the respondent added:
“There is honestly nothing like us. Our competitors are probably unwilling competitors.
I mean it is a bit of easy revenue for them, but it’s not really their space and they don’t really understand it.
I have now by default integrated 90% of all the financial service providers in South Africa In one or other system I have done. So I know how their data looks. So that is quite a skill to have. We are luck we have got it.”
Respondent S:
“I think it’s important to look at competition, but then I think in our market we are trying to innovate something new that’s emerging, we won’t to focus on what customers are saying and our own products and not too much on competitive solutions”

The discussion needs to link your results to the literature review
Overview of the findings:
Marketing as a philosophy
Marketing as an organisational philosophy indicates that’s assessing market needs comes before product development. The marketing philosophies that can be observed from the interviews highlights opportunity recognition or a gap in a technology and develop a solution through the process of value creation or co-creation with a potential client. This can be further supported by the majority respondents who very specifically focused on creating additional value for the clients, which is an intentional part of the innovation. This is a continuous cycle of looking at problems and creating technology solutions that add value both to the client and the technology products and services that are created by the entrepreneur.
These innovations in themselves have much value and can be applied in similar client’s environments that experience similar problems. The entrepreneur in these technology environments go through stages of adjusting, testing, improving and correcting there technology solutions and systems. The major aspect that holds the key to product and service improvement is that of customer feedback. Each entrepreneur placed high value on the ability to find out the customers thoughts and that the experience of the end user was a critical component of the execution of their technology. The tech products and solutions were in themselves geared around including real time feedback from customers so as too constantly improve the technology.
Marketing as a strategy
In the interviews it emerged that marketing as a strategy follows more of an evolution. The nature of the beginnings of each of the business centralised around opportunity recognition an innovative problem solving with a technology solution applied. The evolutions of the marketing strategy is followed by success with the client or a successful beginning with a clients from which they are able to carry the key learning’s forward and build them into the success going forward and using the successes as insights into further innovations. They are then able to position these new technology solutions to similar profile clients and target and position them with a certain market group.
Marketing Intelligence
On the topic of competition in the market place and understanding what competitors are doing in the market place, the majority of the entrepreneurs displayed a tendency towards executing their own ideas and plans and maintaining a watchful eye on competitors without deploying deliberate strategies against their competitors. Focusing on executing their own execution of their unique products services and innovations was top priority. This
Marketing Mix
All respondents uncovered an absence of clarity on definition advertising for the organizations. Of the eight business visionaries just two gave definitions that were somehow steady with conventional parts of promoting including parts of value, advancements and situating predictable with the 4P model of customary advertising administrations schools. The general sense was that customary advertising definitions were not applicable to their business forms. The SME's have constrained assets accessible to them and thus must have the capacity to quickly adjust to the changing business sector circumstances and adjust to the changing client needs. The innovation situations they work in give themselves to testing there innovation I live market circumstances and reacting rapidly to client needs as they assemble key gaining's from their customer that they find themselves able to adjust into their item or administration advancement.
Consideration of Findings in the light of current academic literature
The findings indicate that current academic literature exploring and defining the concept of Entrepreneurial Marketing are consistent with the notion that Entrepreneurs are successful in marketing in unconventional methods (Hills et al. 2008) Entrepreneurs tend not to have formalised understanding of marketing as they are not marketing specialists. These entrepreneurs are specialists in their own fields (Martin, 2009).
The philosophical strategic orientation of these entrepreneurs was centralised around innovation (Schumpeter, Stokes). The technical expertise that these entrepreneurs had developed over time within certain specialist industries gave them unique insights into their markets and allowed more sophisticated understanding of the client’s needs due to the limited solutions that competitors have developed in the same market space (Lumpkin. Martin 2009).
The concept of Co-creation in product development was introduced by one of the respondents and draws attention to a phenomenon that may exist uniquely within technology oriented companies. Co-creation refers to the process of identifying a need in a market and then using the skills, expertise and technology as a feedback method between the firm and the client. This is somewhat different to traditional notions of product development where needs are assessed before a product is developed. In this instance the entrepreneurs are developing a service, product or solution for a client but use the feedback from the client in a close relational interaction between the firm and the client to further develop the product and service. This involves the client openly engaging with the firm in developing a product they are satisfied with. The co-creation process can therefore leading to the spawning of other products which encourage further innovation at product and service level for the firm.

Suggestions for Future Research
As a tech entrepreneurs aim to use technology as primary focus for solving problems and are so innovation focused, further research into the nature of co-creation of technology will shed light on the differences in behaviour’s and processes that technology entrepreneurs apply in the innovation and product development focus. Although entrepreneurs lead with innovation as a main focus the real time feedback and sense of co-creation most notably in B2B environments signifies a shift in the way that tech entrepreneurs deploy their products and services with their clients. Including clients and customers as part of the innovation process highlights a subtle shift in the thinking of technology oriented firms.

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