Exploring the Types of SMEs Which Could use Blogs as a Marketing Tool: a Proposed Future Research Agenda
Keywords:blogs, Web 2.0, eBusiness, marketing, branding, reputation management, trust, Internet, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
AbstractBlogs appear to be gaining momentum as a marketing tool which can be used by organisations for such strategies and processes as branding, managing reputation, developing customer trust and loyalty, niche marketing, gathering marketing intelligence and promoting their online presence. There has been limited academic research in this area, and most significantly concerning the types of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for which blogs might have potential as a marketing tool. In an attempt to address the knowledge gap, this paper presents a future research agenda (in the form of research questions) which can guide the eBusiness research community in conducting much needed studies in this area. This paper is particularly novel in that it aims to demonstrate how the heterogeneity of SMEs and their specific business uses of eBusiness technology such as blogs can form the central plank of a future research agenda. This is important because the existing eBusiness literature tends to treat eBusiness collectively rather than focusing on the specific business uses of different eBusiness technologies, and to treat SMEs as a homogeneous group. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this research agenda can form the basis of studies which use a range of different research methods, and how this "big picture" agenda approach might help the eBusiness research community build theory which better explains SME adoption and use of eBusiness.
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