Internet Marketing & SMEs

Internet Marketing & SMEs

Daniel John Doiron (University of New Brunswick Saint John, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/jea.2009100102
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Abstract

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been adopting the internet at a feverish pace. Recent studies have shown that up to 85% of SMEs in industrialized countries have web sites, yet less than half are utilizing these web sites to securely transact with their customers. Consumer media consumption is moving away from traditional media, like newspapers, to the internet. These revelations coupled with the growth of tools and techniques available to support online marketing, make it a perfect time for SMEs to market their web sites and ultimately succeed online. In this chapter we will present and support the hypothesis that SMEs should stop investing in their web site’s design and functionality and start investing in efforts to market their web sites online, no matter how lousy their web site may be in comparison to today’s standards. With the support of two case studies, illustrating the successful utilization of internet marketing by two very different SMEs, we will relate how a SME can effectively market their web site online. We will also discuss the tools and techniques available to help an SME successfully begin a journey of internet marketing.
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Background

Davis et al (2004, 2005) in their studies of Atlantic Canadian SMEs in both 20041 & 20052 showed, among other things, that SMEs are adopting the internet at a record pace. However, they identified a large gap in the number of SMEs who have web sites and the number of SMEs who are actually securely transacting on those web sites. Other recent studies of SMEs and internet adoption would support these findings and also suggest that facilitators play a primary role in moving SMEs to the internet or to use advanced internet technology. This seems to be true with internet marketing as well. It could even be suggested that Google, in fact, sees their role as the facilitator of internet marketing. Google, while profit motivated, has, nonetheless, been primarily responsible for enabling the SME market to engage in internet marketing through the introduction of tools and services like Google Analytics™ and Google Adwords™.

There is no better time than the present for SMEs to close this gap. Media consumption is moving to the internet at a rapid pace, while at the same time the tools and techniques available to help a small business market their web site online are relatively inexpensive to use and increasingly accessible and abundant online.

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