Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Irene Williams


Small businesses play a significant role in the health of the U.S. economy, but 50% of small businesses close before reaching 5 years of operation. Some small business owners do not utilize effective marketing strategies to guide them towards sustainability in business. Grounded in hybrid typology, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore marketing strategies small business owners use for sustainability. The participants comprised three small business owners located in the Midwest Region of the United States, with a business in operation for at least 5 years. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews, public company documents, company websites, and social media. Data were analyzed using Yin’s five-phase cycle of compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and concluding. Four themes emerged: social media, collaborations, incentive marketing, and word-of-mouth. A key recommendation includes small business owners identifying effective marketing strategies that remain in line with their objectives while also remaining open, creative, and honest with their target market. The implications for positive social change include the potential to further the longevity of small businesses in various communities throughout the United States and to create and implement programs for individual businesses and group members within a community to promote positive relationships and conditions.