Studies have proven that the conventional marketing practices are not suitable for entrepreneurial firm, as they only work best for established companies. Therefore, entrepreneurs must find new ways of reaching out to existing and potential customers in order to compete fairly with established businesses that enjoy economies of scale. The main challenge facing entrepreneurs is how to compete against large and resourceful companies. Consequently, entrepreneurial marketing is a viable alternative that small companies can use to gain competitive advantage in the market, as it is different from the traditional marketing practices. It involves the use of new and unorthodox marketing strategies by small firms to gain foothold in a competitive business environment (Kangasmäki, 2014). Therefore, as a marketing consultant working for Lincoln Marketing Associates, I have come up with the dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing strategies that will be applied to Tesla Motors, one of the newest automobile companies that are challenging the dominance of established companies such as Toyota and BMW.
Dimensions of Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies
Focus on Customers
There is no single business that can survive without customers. As a result, entrepreneurs must focus on their customers. Meeting specific needs and wants of customers is the driving force behind the success of any entrepreneur across the globe. Therefore, entrepreneurs must come up with creative ways of creating and maintaining positive relationships with customers. In addition, a business can only come up with successful products or services if it fully understands the demographics characteristics of the target customers. Customer focus marketing strategies can also enable and entrepreneur to build trust and loyalty among the target customers.
Consequently, I believe that focus on customers is can enable entrepreneurs to can competitive advantage in a competitive and crowded business environment. Focusing on customers can enable small firms to identify customer needs that have not been identified by established companies. Customer needs and taste keeps on changing due to changing technologies. As a result, there is a possibility that there are some needs that established companies have not identified (Chechota, Shcherbak and Beal, 2015). Therefore, creativity in meeting the needs and wants of customers can give a small firm a competitive edge despite the dominance of established companies in the market. In addition, focus on the customer can enhance client satisfaction, leading to customer trust and loyalty.
Sustainable innovation involves the consideration of the environment, social, and the economic aspects of business environment or the target market. The modern consumers have increasingly become sensitive to environmental issues and they prefer to buy green products and services. At the same time, the emerging social and economic issues are changing consumer needs and wants, including their behaviors. Therefore, to succeed, entrepreneurs must be sensitive to the environmental, social, and economic concerns of entrepreneurs. In addition, it is important for business to ensure the sustainability of their innovations.
There are a number of ways in which entrepreneurs can come up with sustainable innovations to gain a competitive advantage and compete against established companies. First, they can come up with new approaches of marketing such as guerilla marketing strategies where they violate all the principle of marketing. Entrepreneurs can use new and sustainable marketing strategies such as word of mouth advertising, maintaining personal contacts with customers via the internet and social media, and advertising on cars, T-shits, and sales receipts. The new marketing approaches are cost-effective and can be afforded by small companies with limited resources. Entrepreneurs can also come up with new pricing strategies that have never been used before in order to attract more customers.
Packaging and branding are other areas that can be used to achieve sustainable innovation. Entrepreneurs should ensure that their packaging strategies are appealing to the current generation. The packaging materials should also be environmentally friendly to attract the environmentally conscious consumers. Besides, small firms can use new technology to come up with sustainable brands. Therefore, sustainable innovation is the second dimension of entrepreneurial marketing strategy that can enable a company to gain a competitive advantage and attract more customers in a competitive business environment. Sustainable innovation can also boost the reputation of a small business, as it can respond to changing needs in the market.
Risk is inevitable in any business because it can affect both small and large companies. Therefore, I think that effective risk management is another important dimension of entrepreneurial marketing strategies. Entrepreneurs should be able to identify all the potential risk that they are likely to face in a business environment (Hallbäck and Gabrielsson, 2013). At the same time, they should be able to come up with effective risk mitigation strategies that will ensure that they are not significantly affected by the risks in the case that they occur.
However, risks should not prevent entrepreneurs from exploiting the new and emerging opportunities. Small businesses should be able to take calculated, rational, and measured risks in order to exploit the opportunities. Entrepreneurs should be ready and willing to opportunities that have some levels of risks. Besides, they should tolerate risks that are moderate and calculated. Therefore, entrepreneurs should not be risk averse, as this may hinder them from utilizing opportunities that can enhance their growth in the market. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs should not engage in reckless decision making in the name of exploiting new opportunities because this can lead to business failure (Becherer, Helms and McDonald, 2012). As a result, there should be increased awareness of the risks involved and how they can affect the operations of a business. Consequently, small businesses should keep the profile of potential risks and come up with effective risk management strategies.
Entrepreneurs should also come up with effective ways reducing the potential risks. For instance, due to limited resources, small business can work with lead customers to effectively manage the potential risks. Entrepreneurs can also reduce the level of risks by collaborating or working together with their suppliers and distributors. The level of risks can also be reduced or eliminated by working with competitors in the market. Therefore, entrepreneurial markers should use effective risk management to proactively search for new opportunities. In addition, an entrepreneurial marketer should be a risk accepter who uses innovation and new strategies to overcome inherent uncertainties.
Leveraging of Resources
The main challenge facing entrepreneurial marketer is limited resources that constraints their marketing rage and intensity. Consequently, the marketing strategies of small companies are less effective compared to resourceful and established companies. However, a good entrepreneurial marker should be able to leverage their resources to gain a competitive advantage. Small businesses should be able to maximize the use of existing resources. Therefore, entrepreneurial marketer should not be limited by the resources that are available.
There are many strategies that entrepreneurial marketers can use to leverage their resources. First, they should be able to identify the resources that are being underutilized. It is possible that some resources in a firm are not being put into good use and markers should ensure that they are used to their potential (Morris, Schindehutte and LaForge, 2002). Secondly, entrepreneurial markers should use guerilla marketing tactics to use a few resources. Guerilla marketing strategies are cheaper compared to the conventional marketing strategies. Thirdly, small business should come up with ways of using resources in an unconventional way. Finally, small businesses should be able to complement one resource with another in order to achieve higher combined value. Therefore, maximizing the use of resources is the best way entrepreneurial marketers can use to solve the problem of resource scarcity. Alternatively, they can acquire additional resources from commercial banks. However, many entrepreneurs are not able to access bank loans due to lack of collateral or security.
Nevertheless, leveraging resource is not a simple thing to do. It is not a mechanical process that can be done by anybody, but rather it involves a lot of creativity. Therefore, marketers should be able to develop the capacity for resource leveraging. It is not easy to recognize the resources that are underutilized, while at the same it is difficult to come up with new ways of using resources. At the same time, entrepreneurial marketers must be able to develop a motivated marketing team that can help the business to achieve its marketing goals. Consequently, to effectively leverage the resources during marketing, entrepreneurial marketers must have relevant knowledge, skills and experience, since resource leveraging is a complex process that requires a lot of expertise.
Proactive to Business Environment
An entrepreneurial marketer should be sensitive to the business environment. At the same time, they should be proactive to business environment and not reactive. A good entrepreneurial marketer should be able to counter competition in the market by coming up with aggressive and proactive moves that gives the business a competitive advantage (Tantau, 2008). For instance, a business should be able to introduce new product in the market way before the competitors come up with new products or services. However, this is only possible if an entrepreneurial marketer is able to anticipate or foresee future demands or consumer needs. In addition, an entrepreneurial marketer should be able to identify the latent consumer needs that are not being met by competitors. Entrepreneurial marketing should not also be limited by external environments and uncertainties. Instead, entrepreneurial marketer should be able to influence or redefine an external environment to their own advantage. For instance, a business should find ways in which it can sell directly to end consumers without depending on the long chain of distribution. Therefore, proactive actions can enable a business to gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Entrepreneurs can benefit a lot from being proactive to business environment. First, they will be able to solve issues before they occur. Being proactive enable an entrepreneurial marketer to uncover or minimize potential problems. Secondly, proactiveness can enable an entrepreneur to save time and money. Thirdly, being proactive to business environment enhances creativity and innovation, as an entrepreneur will be willing to step out of his or her comfort zone and make complex things happen. Therefore, I believe proactiveness is an important dimension of entrepreneurial marketing that every small firm marketer should have.
Adaptability and Flexibility
The modern business environment is full of risks and instability. There are emerging factors such as globalization, technology, environmental protection, needs to produce healthy products, and greater transparency (Rezvani and Khazaei, 2013). The factors pose a lot of challenges to entrepreneurial marketing. However, the challenges can be overcome by ensuring that the business is adaptable and flexible. At the same time, marketers should be able to adapt to the emerging trends in the market.
First, in order to withstand the challenges, entrepreneurial markers should have the ability to read and act on signals. They should be able to take quick actions to redefine or reinvent its marketing strategies to be in line with the changing trends in the market. Entrepreneurial marketers should also have the ability to experiment. There are some issues that cannot be predicted and they can only be discovered through experimentation. The traditional ways of doing experiments to understand perception of consumers is expensive and can mostly be afforded by established companies. Therefore, entrepreneurial markets can use new approaches and technologies to understand consumer trends in the market. However, experimentation can also lead to failure and small businesses should be tolerant to failure. Finally, in order to adapt to changes, entrepreneurial marketers should be able to manage complex multicompany systems. Entrepreneurial marketers should think beyond their conventional boundaries because there are a number of activities taking place beyond corporate boundaries. Therefore, marketers should be able to push their activities beyond the boundaries of a company.
At the same time, entrepreneurial marketing should be flexible. Entrepreneurial markers should be up to date with emerging technologies, especially information technologies (Rezvani and Khazaei, 2014). The working environment should also be made flexible, particularly in the case where entrepreneurial marketing is involving a number of employees. Creating a flexible working environment boosts the performance and creativity of marketing employees. In addition, entrepreneurial marketers should come up with flexible marketing strategies that can easily be adjusted to be in line with the changing business environment. As a result, adaptability and flexibility are also important dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing strategy.
Therefore, as a marketing consultant, I believe that the above dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing are important and should be embraced by all entrepreneurial firms and marketers. Small businesses should pay close attention to customer needs and wants to enhance customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty. It is also important for small businesses to come up with cost-effective and sustainable innovations that can help in the development of new marketing practices. At the same time, small businesses have limited resources and they must learn about how they can leverage their resources to gain a competitive advantage. I also believe that entrepreneurial marketing should be proactive, flexible and adaptable to the changing business environment.
Application of these Dimensions to Tesla Motors
Tesla Motor is an automobile company that was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers, explorers, and seasonal entrepreneur Elon Musk in Silicon Valley (Reynolds, 2013). The main aim of the group was to prove that electric vehicle can be better that the conventional vehicles. The group was also motivated by the need to manufacture zero emission automobiles with high power engines. The company is now producing leading luxury vehicles that compete favorably with other luxury cars such as Mercedes E Class and BMW 5 Series. The company a unique marketing strategies because its showrooms are not located along main roads as many car manufacturers, but alongside popular brands such as Zara and Sees Candy. Consequently, it is able to attract potential customers, including people who no interest in cars. In addition, its showroom is only the size of a small shop. Therefore, the entrepreneurial firm has a unique entrepreneurial marketing strategy that enables it to gain a competitive advantage in the automotive industry.
The company can use customer focus dimension to attract new customers. Despite changing consumer needs, safety and price are some of the factors that car consumer consider before purchasing any vehicle. Therefore, the company should make its cars affordable and safe. At the same time, it should use the modern technology to manufacture its cars, as modern car consumers are techno savvy. In terms of sustainable innovation, the company can produce fuel efficient cars. Already the company is producing electric cars, which means that its products are ecologically friendly. As a result, it is able to attract environmentally conscious consumers who are determined to protect the environment.
The main risk facing the company is a limited purchase of electric vehicles. People are yet to fully embrace electric cars. Therefore, the company is limited by the number of cars that it can sell in years. However, Tesla Motors should not be constrained by the limited purchase of electric cars. But rather it should identify the reasons why people are not buying an electric car and find solution to the problem. For instance, high cost of electric cars discourages many car consumers. Therefore, the company should make its products affordable. In addition, the company can use proactivenes to reach out to many potential consumers. The number of people using electric car is increasing and the company can use that opportunity to manufacture many cars.
Tesla Motors should also be adaptable and flexible. It should not only focus on electric cars, but it should also manufacture hybrid cars that are fuel efficient. In order to expand its operations in different parts of the world, it should not concentrate on electric cars because there are some parts of the world where the use of electric cars is not viable, especially in developing countries. Therefore, to enhance its sustainability, the company should expand its product line to include electric and hybrid cars.
Tesla Motors is an entrepreneurial marketer because it sells its product directly to car consumers. Car manufacturer around the globe are using car dealers to sell to the final consumers. However, Tesla Motors defies this conventional practice in the automotive industry (Reynolds, 2013). Secondly, the company engages in guerilla marketing strategies because it locates its showrooms in strategic popular areas where consumers can easily see them. The marketing strategy is different from other car manufacturers who locate their showrooms near main roads (O’Hara, 2015). Therefore, the company qualifies to be an entrepreneurial marketer due to its unique marketing strategies.
Entrepreneurial marketing enable small businesses to gain competitive advantage in the competitive market that is dominated by large and resourceful companies. There are a number of dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing strategies such focus on customers, sustainable innovation, risk management, leveraging of resources, proactiveness, flexibility and adaptability. Emerging entrepreneurial firms such as Tesla Motors are able to use the dimensions to compete established companies that enjoy economies of scales. Therefore, entrepreneurial marketing can be used to solve competition challenges that are faced by small companies.
Becherer, R.C., Helms, M.M. and McDonald, J.P., 2012. The effect of entrepreneurial marketing on outcome goals in SMEs. New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, 15(1/2), p.7.
Chechota, T., Shcherbak, A. and Beal, N., 2015. Entrepreneurial marketing as a way for small enterprises to operate effectively.
Hallbäck, J. and Gabrielsson, P., 2013. Entrepreneurial marketing strategies during the growth of international new ventures originating in small and open economies. International Business Review, 22(6), pp.1008-1020.
Kangasmäki, M., 2014. Planning and implementation of entrepreneurial marketing processes in SMEs.
Morris, M.H., Schindehutte, M. and LaForge, R.W., 2002. Entrepreneurial marketing: a construct for integrating emerging entrepreneurship and marketing perspectives. Journal of marketing theory and practice, 10(4), pp.1-19.
O’Hara, M., 2015. Understanding Tesla Motors’ Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from http://marketrealist.com/2015/09/understanding-tesla-motors-marketing-strategy/
Reynolds, S., 2013. Why You Should Copy Tesla’s Way of Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/siimonreynolds/2013/09/01/why-you-should-copy-teslas- way-of-marketing/#6eb46bfb3c51
Rezvani, M. and Khazaei, M., 2013. Prioritization of entrepreneurial marketing dimensions a case of in higher education institutions by using entropy. International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 5(3), p.30.
Rezvani, M. and Khazaei, M., 2014. Evaluation of Entrepreneurial Marketing Dimensions According to Characteristics of Institutions: Institutions Age and Size.
Tantau, A., 2008. Common dimensions for entrepreneurship and strategy: the need for strategic entrepreneurship. Management & Marketing-Bucharest, (1), pp.73-80.
RELATED: Entrepreneurship Models