Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


James Glenn


Small businesses have an integral role in the U.S. economy and represent 99.7% of all employers in the United States; however, approximately 50% of small business start-ups fail within the first 5 years. Developing and implementing a well-formulated marketing strategy is critical to the success of business because a marketing strategy provides long-term benefits for a company's financial performance and increases the survival rate. The objective of this case study was to explore the marketing strategies that small retail business owners use to sustain their businesses for the first 5 years. The population was 5 successful retail-based small business owners in New York and New Jersey who had developed a well-formulated marketing strategy and sustained their start-ups for the first 5 years. The conceptual framework built upon Porter's competitive strategy theory. Data collection involved semistructured, face-to-face interviews and a review of company marketing documents. Data analysis involved coding and populating the data in software. Thematic analysis and methodological triangulation of the data revealed several themes: online marketing, marketing knowledge and planning, market research, and customer acquisition and retention. The findings of this study contribute to social change through the potential to improve economic activity, create stability in the local economy, and decrease small business failure rates by using marketing strategies effectively. Application of the findings could also lead to increased employment in communities where small businesses are located to improve the standard of living of local residents and contribute to effective positive social change