Digital Marketing Adoption by Start-Ups and SMEs

Jump To References Section


  • Final Year MBA Student, School of the Management Studies and Research, KLE Technological University, Hubli ? 580031, Karnataka ,IN
  • School of the Management Studies and Research, KLE Technological University, Hubli ? 580031, Karnataka ,IN
  • School of the Management Studies and Research, KLE Technological University, Hubli ? 580031, Karnataka ,IN



Digital Marketing, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Start-ups


In numerous aspects of digital marketing usage, India is among the top two countries in the world. Almost all businesses currently use digital marketing. Thousands of start-up businesses with new ideas strive to break into the corporate sector every year. Unless they have a good marketing plan, start-ups and SMEs will be unable to compete with established and lucrative organisations. One of the leading causes of business failure is a lack of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. However, not all of the tools available to a digital marketer are equally productive. The barrier between the “haves” and the “have nots” is narrowing as technology interventions become more widely available. Some digital marketing methods succeed, while others fail. In view of the importance of digital marketing usage in India, this paper provides a framework based on Diffusion of Innovation (DOI). It also makes use of Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) theory for obtaining conceptual framework. Two constructs are used by the researcher to frame the conceptual framework: technical and environmental. The current study employs an exploratory research design in which the study attempts to investigate the level of awareness of digital marketing tools as well as the factors influencing the adoption of digital marketing by start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) using a positivist research philosophical stand. For statistical interpretation, the study used the SPSS tool and Smart PLS. The current study’s population consists of owners and managers of manufacturing and service-based start-ups and SMEs operating in Karnataka’s North Karnataka area. To collect answers from the audience, this study employs a mixed methodological technique. Smart PLS - Structural Equational Modelling (SEM) is used to validate relevant hypotheses. For factor grouping and identification, the SPSS programme was employed. To obtain the SEM model, the discovered components were iterated using Smart PLS software.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Patil, A. S., Navalgund, N. R., & Mahantshetti, S. (2022). Digital Marketing Adoption by Start-Ups and SMEs. SDMIMD Journal of Management, 13, 47–61.



Research Papers



Adikesavan, T. (2014). Management Information Systems. 2nd ed.

Aiken, L. S., West, S. G. and Reno, R. R. (1991). Multiple Regression: Testing and Interpreting Interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Akeel, A. and Gubhaju, M. (2020). Digital Marketing and its effects on Start-up business.

Al-Lami, G. T. and Alnoor, A. (2021). E-Commerce: Advantages and Limitations. IJARAFMS/v11-i1/8987

Bala, M. and Verma, D. (2018). A critical review of digital marketing. International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering, 8(10). ISSN: 2249-0558 Impact Factor: 7.119.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015). Business Research Methods. 4th edition.

Chong, A. Y. L., Ooi, K. B., Lin, B. S. and Raman, M. (2009). Factors affecting the adoption level of C-commerce: An empirical study. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 50(2):13-22.

Cukier, D. and Kon, F. (2018). A maturity model for software start-up ecosystems. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Dahnil, M., Marzuki, K., Langgat, J. and Fabeil, N. (2014). Factors influencing SMEs adoption of social media marketing. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148:119-126. DOI:


Davis, F. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 13(3):319-340.

Dlodlo, N. and Dhurup, M. (2013). Drivers of e-marketing adoption among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and variations with age of business owners. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(14):53-66.

Fornell, C. and Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1):39-50.

Ghobakhloo, M., Arias-Aranda, D. and Benitez-Amado, J. (2011). Adoption of e- commerce applications in SMEs. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 111(8):12381269.

Gilmore, A., McAuley, A., Gallagher, D., Massiera, P. and Gamble, J. (2013). Researching SME/entrepreneurial research. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 15(2):87-100.

Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T. M., Ringle, C. M. and Sarstedt, M. A. (2014). Primer on Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. SAGE Publications; ISBN: 9781483377445.

Hameed, M. A., Counsell, S. and Swift, S. (2012). A conceptual model for the process of IT innovation adoption in organizations. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 29(3):358-390.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M. and Sarstedt, M. (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variancebased structural equation modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1):115-135.

Hu, L. and Bentler, P. M. (1998). Fit Indices in covariance structure modeling: sensitivity to under parameterized model misspecification. Psychological Methods, 3(4):424-453.

Huy, L. V., Rowe, F., Truex, D. and Huynh, M. Q. (2012). An empirical study of determinants of e-commerce adoption in SMEs in Vietnam: An economy in transition. Journal of Global Information Management, 20(3):2354.

IBEF (2021a). Manufacturing sector in India.

IBEF (2021b). Services sector in India.

Iddris, F. and Ibrahim, M. (2015). Examining the relationships between e-Marketing adoption and marketing performance of small and medium enterprises in Ghana. Journal of Marketing and Consumer Research, 10:160170.

Ifinedo, P. (2011). Internet/e-business technologies acceptance in Canada’s SMEs: An exploratory investigation. Internet Research, 21(3):255-281.

Kapoor, S. and Singh, S. (2019). Exploring Start-up Ecosystem and its Structural Impact: A Review, https://

Kolesar, M. and Wayne-Galbraith, R. (2000). A servicesmarketing perspective on e? retailing: implications for e?retailers and directions for further research. Internet Research, 10(5):424-438.

Ladokun, I. O., Osunwole, O. O., and Olaoye, B. O. (2013). Information and communication technology in small and medium enterprises: Factors affecting the adoption and use of ICT in Nigeria. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 2(6):74-84. IJAREMS/v2-i6/443.

Lohmoller, J. B. (1989). Latent Variable Path Modeling with Partial Least Squares, Physica: Heidelberg.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry GOI (2019). The Gazette of India. dam/invest-india/Templates/public/198117.pdf.

Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises GOI (2020). The Gazette of India. default/files/MSME_gazette_of_india.pdf.

Mndzebele, N. (2013). The Effects of relative advantage, compatibility and complexity in the adoption of EC in the hotel industry. International Journal of Computer and Communication Engineering, 2(4):473-476.

Muhammad, S. and Kabir, S. (2018). Methods of data collection. 325846997.

Oliveira, T., and Martins, M. F. (2011). Literature review of information technology adoption models at firm level. The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, 14(1):110-121.

Qashou, A. and Saleh, Y. (2018). E-marketing implementation in small and medium-sized restaurants in Palestine. Arab Economic and Business Journal, 13(2):93-110.

Rahayu, R. and Day, J. (2015). Determinant factors of e-commerce adoption by SMEs in developing country: evidence from Indonesia. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195:142-150.

Ramdani, B., Kawalek, P. and Lorenzo, O. (2009). Predicting SMEs’ adoption of enterprise systems. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 22(1):10-24.

Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of Innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press.

Sánchez-Franco, M. J., Martínez-Lopez, F. J. and Martín-Velicia, F. A. (2009). Exploring the impact of

individualism and uncertainty avoidance in Web-based electronic learning: An empirical analysis in European higher education. Computers and Education, 52(3):588-598.

Sharma, U. and Thakur, K.S. (2020). A Study on digital marketing and its impact on consumers purchase.

International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(3):13096-13110.

Taber, K. S. (2017). The Use of Cronbach’s Alpha When Developing and Reporting Research Instruments in

Science Education. Research in Science Education, 48:1273–1296.

Teixeira, S., Martins, J., Branco, F., Gonçalves, R., Au-Yong-Oliveira, M. and Moreira, F. (2018). A Theoretical Analysis of Digital Marketing Adoption by Startups. Trends and Applications in Software Engineering, 94-105.

Tornatzky, L. G. and Fleischer, M. (1990). The Processes of Technological Innovation. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Yamini, G. and Chand, N. (2020). Online marketing influence on startups and small businesses. International Journal of Scientific Research and Engineering Development, 3(6).