E-Marketing Strategies for Islamic Banking: A Case Based Study

E-Marketing Strategies for Islamic Banking: A Case Based Study

Ahmad Roumieh (University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK), Lalit Garg (Department of Computer Information Systems, University of Malta, Msida, Malta), Vipul Gupta (Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala, India) and Gurparkash Singh (Thapar University, Paiala, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.2018100105

Abstract

This article describes how e-marketing is increasingly gaining interest within Islamic businesses. It is important to consider the extent to which it fits comfortably within principle notions of Islam and Sharia law. An Islamic business should ensure that its e-marketing strategy must be devoid of any contentious or exaggerated claims and there must be no excessive risk. As marketing practices include accentuating the benefits and features of products and services, and downplaying the negative attributes which potentially could lead to a consumer making an informed decision based on this unbalanced presentation. Arguably, this presents a form of risk that may be at odds with the fundamental tenets of Islam. This article presents a case-study of a large bank in Kuwait to identify how e-Marketing can be implemented more effectively to attract new customers and retain the existing ones by critically evaluating the viability of e-marketing strategies for promoting Islamic banking. A set of recommendations are also provided to support all Islamic Banks in the development of an e-marketing strategy.
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1. Introduction

According to Hafiz (2013), Islamic marketing is an emerging academic and research domain that integrates marketing theory with the beliefs and practices of Islam. It has given rise to the emergence of Islamic marketing which strives to help bridge the gap between the two bodies of knowledge. This generates a number of interesting issues, not least of which because marketing as an industry sector has a reputation for exaggeration (Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman, & Hansen, 2012), as well as an increasing desire to shock a target market through contentious marketing practices and communications (Keller, Paramesanwaran & Jacobb, 2011). However, exaggeration and contentious marketing practices are not consistent with Islamic beliefs. It implies that organizations and marketing practitioners who intend to explore and engage within Islamic cultural context need to carefully plan and design marketing practices that balance marketing best practices and the social and cultural requirements of Islam. This has been achieved with some degree of success and has been a major step towards reaching an appropriate compromise (Amin, Isa & Fontaine, 2013). However, it is important to note that further research is still needed to not only understanding marketing practices and Islamic context, but at the same time building best practices for this emerging area of research. The cultural setting of this particular study, therefore, demands inclusion of Islamic marketing principles, which, it is anticipated, will form the foundation of any future marketing strategy.

This paper presents an empirical case-study undertaken at a large bank in Kuwait in order to identify how they can utilize social media more effectively to attract new customers and retain the existing ones by critically evaluating the viability of e-marketing strategies that exploiting social media as a tool for promoting Islamic banking. An internal research within the Bank has determined that a more cohesive approach to e-marketing is required to support both local and international expansion of the bank while considering the cultural context of Kuwait, and the need to observe adherence to Islamic practice.

Both a quantitative and qualitative studies were carried-out as part of the case-study. The participants for the quantitative study comprised of 100 customers of the Bank. For the qualitative interviews, five employees of the Bank were selected to participate to ensure a sufficient number of alternative perspectives. As the theoretical contribution of the research, in this paper a set of recommendations are provided to support the Bank in particular and all Islamic Banks in general in the development and introduction of an e-marketing strategy, which utilizes social media in order to broaden the appeal of the bank and attract a new generation of customers. There are no such recommendations were already available focusing on the Islamic marketing.

This paper first presents an extensive literature review in the domain of Islamic banking followed by the systematic research design. Third section describes an empirical case study for data collection from a large bank in Kuwait in order to identify how they can utilize social media more effectively to attract new customers and retain the existing ones by critically evaluating the viability of e-marketing strategies that exploiting social media as a tool for promoting Islamic banking. An internal research within the Bank has determined that a more cohesive approach to e-marketing is required to support both local and international expansion of the bank while considering the cultural context of Kuwait, and the need to observe adherence to Islamic practices. Section four and five deals with descriptive analysis of the data collected and comprehend upon important findings of the study. Last section suggests a set of recommendations to support the Bank in particular and all Islamic Banks in general in the development and introduction of an e-marketing strategy, which utilizes social media in order to broaden the appeal of the bank and attract a new generation of customers.

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