E-marketing  for SMEs

E-marketing for SMEs

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia and University of Pune, Pune, India) and Rosalia Fotolela (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMSE.2018010102

Abstract

This article describes that though there are few studies conducted on SMEs' life cycle, there are no studies specifically done around the globe with focus on electronic marketing approaches for SMEs. SMEs are flexible, so they can respond quickly to changing marketing requirements. Four approaches explain marketing role in small firms: the stages/growth model, the management style model, the management function model and the contingency model. SMEs face-marketing problems due to limited financial base, market knowledge, branding activities, expertise and over dependence on marketing ability of the owner/manager. They adopt reactive-marketing rather than planned marketing. Therefore, they face difficulties to exploit opportunities available in the market. Thus, the article aims to develop new ways of marketing approaches to every element of the-marketing mix (price, place, product and promotion). Further, as SMEs generally use a “conservative” approach to marketing, the study findings reflect that adopting electronic marketing approach can help them to offer new improved product or innovative use of existing product.
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Introduction

Though, there are few studies conducted on SMEs’ life cycle, but there are no studies specifically done on electronic marketing approaches in Namibia or any other country around the globe with focus. SMEs are flexible and can respond more quickly than large organisations to changing marketing requirements. According to Siu and Kirby (1998), four approaches try to explain the role of marketing in small firms. They are the stages/growth model, management style model, management function model and contingency model. SMEs face-marketing problems which are a resultant function of the small firms including: a limited base, limited marketing activity, expertise and impact; an over dependence on marketing ability of the owner/manager; reactive rather than planned marketing and difficulties to exploiting marketing opportunities as well as lack of knowledge about the market. Some decision made by SMEs on which approach to be used do not match with the customers one, because SMEs do not conduct marketing research most often. In addition, SMEs known to apply traditional marketing approaches rather than innovative-marketing . Hence, the study aims to develop new ways of marketing approaches to every element of the-marketing mix (price, place, product and promotion). Secondly, SMEs might have using a “conservative” approach to marketing an existing product, basically, as entrepreneurs marketing approach can offer new improved product or innovative use of existing product. Further, the level of e-marketing practice reflects the extent to which information technology plays either a reinforcing, enhancing or transforming role in SMEs (Coviello, Brodie, Brookes & Palmer, 2003). Using a mixed research methods the aim of this research is to identify various marketing approaches used to market SMEs marketing mix, assess the innovative-marketing practices currently used by several of SMEs entrepreneurs to determine best marketing option to follow. It also delves into how to strategize the best e-marketing that offer new ways of marketing, replace existing ones, and then provides recommendations on various decision which can be made for the enhancing the benefit for customers. Thus, the focus of the research is on what are the types of marketing approaches that SMEs can use and which are the e-marketing advertising media that can optimal to replace the traditional ones for maximization of customers benefit.

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