This paper is based on the premise that marketing communications should be based on quality information or customer insight. This is no different for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who struggle to perform the marketing strategies and communications prescribed theoretically for large organisations. This paper helps us understand the impact of technology on the CRM activities (i.e. e-CRM) of SMEs in Ireland. The study adopts a focus on the role of e-CRM in facilitating the customer information management capability of SMEs. An online questionnaire received 286 usable responses from a sample of 1445 SMEs. Exploratory factor analysis uncovered eight factors underpinning e-CRM in SMEs. To varying extents, SMEs are adopting relatively simple technologies to improve their customer information management capability and thus to create competitive advantage through e-CRM in their own strategic way. It is concluded that SMEs are ‘doing’ e-CRM, using technologies to enhance their marketing communications and customer relationships. The role of e-CRM in managing customer information, while facilitative, is rather primitive, where SMEs struggle to integrate it with existing relationship management processes. SMEs should use relatively simple website, e-mail and database tools to build on closeness to customers and develop insight into customers that directs marketing strategy.
- Information management,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/patrick_ibbotson/10/