Outcomes of a marketing knowledge intervention using a metaphoric story-line approach: a mixed-methods study of 5 Israeli SMEs.
AbstractThe purpose of this mixed-methods research is to determine the effectiveness of the Kingdom Marketing (KM) intervention for improving Israeli SME marketing knowledge among managers and employees of Israeli small and medium-sized business. The secondary objective of the study was to portray the process of change in participating organisations. The newly developed KM intervention programme was designed to enhance Israeli SMEs’ marketing knowledge and marketing strategy, imparting new marketing skills and allowing SMEs to operate with better marketing knowledge. The intervention uses a metaphoric story-line approach to teach participants in mediator-led sessions to understand and use important marketing concepts, such as the difference between sales and marketing. Although the intervention has been used in business settings, it has not yet been empirically validated using rigorous methods. This study was conducted using a mixed methods paradigm with an embedded experimental design. Five Israeli based SMEs were recruited to take part in the training programme. The research consisted of three phases. In Phase 1, I administered a preintervention evaluation to measure five variables: awareness of marketing processes, mistaken marketing attitudes, incorrect marketing process beliefs, organisational marketing skills, and marketing need awareness. Participants were also interviewed during Phase 1. In Phase 2, I administered the KM intervention and collected qualitative data in the form of daily open-ended feedback and a researcher diary. In Phase 3, I administered a postintervention evaluation to assess change in the five quantitative variables, and I conducted a second round of interviews. The findings indicated that the KM intervention programme (a) increased awareness of marketing processes, (b) reduced mistaken marketing attitudes, (c) reduced incorrect marketing process believes, and (d) increased marketing need awareness. However, the intervention had no significant effect on organisational marketing skills. Qualitative analysis confirmed that, although the KM intervention empowered participants with marketing knowledge and skills, it did not result in broad organisational changes. I conclude that the KM intervention programme is valid and worthy of wider use for promoting the survival of SME businesses through marketing knowledge and skill improvement. However, the intervention should be used in conjunction with internal efforts to translate increased knowledge into lasting organisational change.
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