Networking as a marketing tool in small companies: a random and informal approach

Mário Franco (CEFAGE-UBI Research Center, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Publication date: 16 April 2018



The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse the particularities of marketing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), to try to understand how networking can influence the marketing activities implemented in this firm segment.


For this purpose, the author decided on a qualitative approach and performed exploratory case studies of four SMEs in Portugal.


The results obtained show that the owners/managers of the SMEs studied here recognize the importance of marketing and networking, but have not yet implemented them in a structured way. In these SMEs, marketing is informal and reactive to market opportunities.

Practical implications

This study contributes to showing the importance of marketing in SMEs, providing more information and evidence about marketing in this firm sector, as well as about the owner/manager’s influence on the use of networking in marketing activities.


In spite of the opportunities associated with networking in SMEs, there is only limited empirical evidence of its importance in marketing activities. This holds particularly for the realm of SMEs.



Franco, M. (2018), "Networking as a marketing tool in small companies: a random and informal approach", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 47-55.

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