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An investigation of marketing capabilities of informal microenterprises: A study of street food vending in Thailand

Eijaz Ahmed Khan (Business Administration Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 11 April 2017




Marketing capabilities of large- and medium-sized enterprise is well understood and focused, but little research has been done on microenterprise, especially in informal sector microenterprise. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what are the marketing capabilities of informal microenterprises (IMs) that could be sources of competitive performance.


At first, a literature review and pilot study was used to develop a list of marketing capabilities of IM street food vending. Then a quantitative approach was undertaken where questionnaire was developed and distributed to 42 street food vendors and 52 customers in Bangkok, Thailand. The collected data were analyzed using a descriptive statistic, principle component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and k-mean clustering technique.


Analysis revealed that IM street food vending has some unique marketing capabilities compared to formal restaurant. From the vendors’ point of view, it was found that cheaper pricing and quicker food delivery were the major contributors. On the other hand, from the customer point of view, convenient location, flexible business hours, fulfill customer food requirements, and cooking demonstration were noted significant.

Social implications

Policy makers and development agencies could be developed using various policy strategies such as business development support services as a tool to support IM operators.


This study provides a first step toward marketing capabilities of IM and makes several contributions to the literature.



The author would like to thank Professor Beise-Zee Marian and Professor Mohammed Quaddus and four anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments on the paper.


Khan, E.A. (2017), "An investigation of marketing capabilities of informal microenterprises: A study of street food vending in Thailand", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 37 No. 3/4, pp. 186-202.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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