Emerging technologies, notably, have redefined business by erasing the traditional boundaries of time and geography and by creating new virtual communities of customers, distributors and suppliers, with new demands for products and services. Are there any differences between the marketing practices of the Internet-based and traditional small firms? This paper analyses published, undisguised stories of 112 traditional and 26 Internet-based small firms in Taiwan. The research results suggest that the owner-managers of both traditional and Internet-based small firms concentrate on sales, product planning and customer relationships. However, the owner-managers of traditional small firms in Taiwan place emphasis on quality control, whereas their Internet-based counterparts concentrate more on product schedules, sales forecasts, sales control and marketing research. These results indicate that cyber entrepreneurs have higher levels of marketing education and backgrounds, conduct marketing planning periodically and frequently and perform professional marketing activities. The research findings tend to suggest that though traditional marketing tenets are still suitable in the cyber environment of Taiwan, the Internet-based small firms have to utilise innovative marketing techniques to suit and compete in the ever-changing Internet business environment.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Small firms