Proposes a conceptualisation of “entrepreneurial marketing” based on the practices of successful entrepreneurs. The methodology took account of specific issues in researching entrepreneurs such as lack of common understanding of management terms, and the influence of ego on participants’ responses. Depth interviews used critical incident technique to elicit accounts from entrepreneurs of their marketing practices. Focus groups supplemented individual interviews to test the candour of responses. The results indicated that successful entrepreneurs undertake marketing in unconventional ways. They tend to focus first on innovations, and only second on customer needs. They target customers through a bottom‐up process of elimination, rather than deliberate segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies. They rely on interactive marketing methods communicated through word‐of‐mouth, rather than a more conventional marketing mix. They monitor the marketplace through informal networks, rather than formalised market research.
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