Purpose. The aim of the paper is to highlight the limits and opportunities linked to the use of tools such as interactive marketing and communication in small businesses comprising the Italian jewelry districts, in order to achieve greater competitiveness of local systems on global markets. Design/metodology/approach. From a series of secondary data and the analysis of district websites, the specificity of Italian jewelry districts is analysed in terms of the different types of relations and learning. Starting from a circumscribed experience of learning by doing (isolated experience) progress can be made to a collective system of learning by local systeming (virtuous and widespread knowledge of the district system) thanks to the use and to the share of internet based technologies (IBT). Findings. In the districts analysed, the delay in using or rather, the non-uniform use of IBT tools represent a factor of risk that could negatively affect competitive capacity both in terms of the district and of the individual businesses involved. The paper highlights how the productive and creative specificity of Italian jewelry district systems can gain impetus, in terms of greater competitiveness, from the use of IBT. Practical implications The analysis provides with indications, referring both to businesses belonging to the jewelry district and to outlet market, for reformulating strategies by means of IBT. Originality/value The paper despite eventual limits, consequently, offers interesting reflections for debate on the use of internet based technologies for future research in the context of planning marketing and communication strategies in district networks.
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