Marketing alliances in digital firms: an analysis of benefits and risks

  • Cecilia Grieco
  • Gennaro Iasevoli
  • Laura Michelini
Keywords: marketing alliances; co-marketing; digital firms; business models; case study


Purpose of the paper: The evolution of technologies and the impact they are having on business lead to the development of the so-called digital firms. For these firms marketing alliances can have an important value, as digital technologies have the potential to further increase the benefits of these initiatives. Despite the topicality of this theme a gap emerges concerning the development of co-marketing initiatives in digital firms. The purpose of the paper is to develop a pilot study to explore the topic, focusing on the main benefits and risks that could emerge.

Methodology: To fill the emerged gap, a case study analysis has been performed on a sample of four Italian digital firms. The analysis is intended as a pilot study that can allow a better comprehension of the topic and prepare the field for a deeper quantitative analysis.

Findings: The developed analysis led to the identification of three main areas of specificities concerning marketing alliances in digital firms: the vehicle, the (un)boundaries and the relation. Each of these areas include both benefits and risks.

Research limits: The adopted methodology and the sample number hinder the possibility to reach general consideration on the addressed topic.

Practical implications: Understanding the specificities of marketing alliances in digital firms could allow managers to better define these strategies, both in digital and non-digital sectors.

Originality of the paper: The research fills a gap emerged in the existing literature on marketing alliances and digital firms, proposing some insights from case study.


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