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Digital marketing adoption and success for small businesses: The application of the do-it-yourself and technology acceptance models

Wendy Ritz (Department of Business Administration, Florida State University – Panama City, Panama City, Florida, USA)
Marco Wolf (Department of Marketing, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA)
Shaun McQuitty (Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Information Systems, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Canada)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 1 March 2019

Issue publication date: 6 June 2019




This paper aims to examine small business’ participation in digital marketing and to integrate the do-it-yourself (DIY) behavior model and technology acceptance model (TAM) so as to explore the motivations and expected outcomes of such participation.


Data from 250 small business owners/managers who do their own digital promotion are collected through an online survey. Structural equation modeling is used to analyze the relationships between the models.


The results contribute to the understanding of small business’ digital marketing behavior by finding support for the idea that the technological benefits may not be the only motivators for small business owner/managers who undertake digital marketing. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, the authors find that the DIY behavior model applies to small business owner/managers who must perform tasks that require specialized knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research are that the motivations to undertake digital marketing are limited to those contained in the DIY and TAM models, and the sample may not be representative of all owners and managers who perform digital marketing for their small businesses. Therefore, future research is needed to determine if further motivations to conduct digital marketing exist and whether other samples produce the same interpretations.


This study presents empirical evidence supporting the application of the DIY model to a context outside of home-repair and extends the understanding of digital footprint differences between large and small businesses.



Ritz, W., Wolf, M. and McQuitty, S. (2019), "Digital marketing adoption and success for small businesses: The application of the do-it-yourself and technology acceptance models", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 179-203.



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