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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The use of internet technology, particularly the WWW, for commercial purposes by a large number of small and medium-sized firms has exploded in the previous two decades. E-marketing has not only changed current small and medium-sized enterprises, but it has also opened up huge prospects for new ventures. The majority of small and medium-sized firms in developing nations conduct business in the traditional manner; but, in recent years, the trend has shifted, and many are now conducting business via the Internet (Travica, 2002). Business companies of all sizes have used internet technical tools in a variety of business operations, such as advertising, online delivery of goods and services, and so on, through online business and e-marketing services (Ang et al., 2008). Both the public and commercial sectors are investing substantially in digitalization in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. In the internet age, developing a successful e-marketing strategy has become a key challenge; despite the benefits, there are also risks; studies have shown that the rate of acceptance of e-marketing is gradual among companies all over the world (Mukti, 2002). Lack of financial resources, lack of government support, and management’s lack of IT know-how are the key factors hindering the expansion of e-marketing (Bakry and Bakry, 2001). Although a few studies were undertaken in Ghana, India, Iran, and Mauritius, there is a paucity of research on this novel technique in Nigeria (Sharma and Gupta, 2003). Seyal (2004) conducted e-marketing research in the past, but they were limited to large and industrial businesses. Unfortunately, very little information concerning the barriers and prospects of e-marketing in Nigeria is accessible. Nigeria is on the verge of adopting digital governance. In comparison to other regional countries such as Asia, e-marketing is a new notion to the Nigerian mindset and market; nevertheless, in the developed world, such as the United States, 50 percent of the population is online (Singh et-al., 2001). Despite these figures, the global internet population is predicted to grow considerably in the near future; however, this expansion will be concentrated in industrialized countries. The global economy has grown to $70 trillion, but only 2% of that is spent online. By the year 2017, This is a tremendous shift not only in terms of size, but also in terms of the type and scope of e-marketing. Because IT is lowering boundaries and increasing markets, political and geographical borders will have less impact on capital mobility and time differences for businesses. Researchers appear to believe that in the digital economy, good e-marketing will use a more collaborative company model rather than the old mindset; that successful online marketing will most likely be those with both physical stores and web sites “clicks and bricks” (McKinsey 2001). In Nigeria, small and medium-sized enterprises are critical to the country’s economic success. Various policies, both from the government and from private sector actors, have been devised over time to create enabling settings for small scale firms to prosper. The difficulties, on the other hand, persist. Many authors have identified inadequate managerial skills, a lack of money, inefficient spending by small business owners, and bad marketing methods as some of these issues. It is not lost on anyone that the few SMEs that have prospered over the years have made major contributions to the expansion of the Nigerian economy in the following ways: exploitation of Nigeria’s resources, increased employment, income generation and redistribution, and so on. It’s worth noting at this point that small businesses, particularly in the Sub-Saharan region, look to be struggling.

 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Because e-marketing is still a baby in Nigeria, it faces numerous hurdles in its development. Because the people of Nigeria are impoverished and illiterate, the number of persons dealing online is restricted. The number of companies that provide online services that require e-marketing is equally limited, and only a few of them are profitable. Furthermore, globalization is rapidly influencing the decisions of forward-thinking business executives in the country to use e-marketing. E-marketing as a marketing technique has the potential to help small businesses in Nigeria reach a larger local market, acquire a competitive advantage, and serve a larger segment of the market. E-marketing also allows small businesses to gain access to new export markets.

  OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The following are the study’s objectives:

1. To investigate the benefits of e-marketing for small and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria.

2. To investigate the dangers of e-marketing to Nigerian small and medium-sized businesses.

 

3. Determine whether small and medium-sized firms in Nigeria are aware of e-marketing as a strategic marketing tool.

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