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Marketing in SMEs: a “4Ps” self-branding model

Sheilagh Mary Resnick (Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
Ranis Cheng (Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Mike Simpson (Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Fernando Lourenço (Institute for Tourism Studies, Macau, Macao)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 7 March 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which traditional marketing theory and practice can be applied in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and consider how owner-managers perceive their own role in marketing within a small business setting.


–A qualitative exploratory approach using semi-structured in-depth interviews amongst owner-managers of SMEs in the UK.


SME marketing is effective in that it embraces some relevant concepts of traditional marketing, tailors activities to match its customers and adds its own unique attribute of self-branding as bestowed by the SME owner-manager.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to the UK and to a small sample of SMEs and as such the findings are not necessarily generalisable.


A “4Ps” model for SME self-branding is proposed, which encompasses the attributes of personal branding, (co)production, perseverance and practice.



Resnick, S.M., Cheng, R., Simpson, M. and Lourenço, F. (2016), "Marketing in SMEs: a “4Ps” self-branding model", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 155-174.



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