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74 Seiten, Note: 5.0
Table of Contents
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of Problem
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1.5 Hypotheses of the Study
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Significance of the Study
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
2.1 Conceptual Review
2.1.1 Traditional and Digital Marketing
2.1.2 General Approach to Digital Marketing
2.1.3 Merits of Digital Marketing
2.1.4 Demerits of Digital Marketing
2.1.5 Small Businesses
2.1.6 Marketing Opportunities of Small Businesses
2.1.7 Marketing Challenges of Small Businesses
2.1.8 Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
2.1.9 Digital Marketing and Social Media Utilization in SMEs
188.8.131.52 Digital Marketing Utilization
2.1.11 Marketing Capabilities
2.1.12 Marketing Strategy
2.1.13 Factors Influencing the Use of Digital Marketing
2.1.14 Challenges of Digital Marketing
2.2 Theoretical Review
2.2.1 Segments of One Theory
2.2.2 Generational Theory
2.2.3 Network Theory
2.2.4 Customer-Led Positioning Theory
2.2.5 Collective Intelligence
2.3 Empirical Review
2.3.1 Studies from Developed Countries
2.3.2 Studies from Developing Countries
2.4 Summary and Gap in Literature
3.1 Area of Study
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Population, Sample Size and Sampling Techniques
3.4 Measurement of Variables
3.5 Research Instrument
3.6 Validation and Reliability of Research Instrument
3.7 Data Analysis Techniques
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.1 Data Presentation
4.1.1 Business Profile (Demographic Characteristics)
4.1.2 Objective 1: To determine the extent of use of Digital Marketing in firm.
4.1.3 Objective 2: To examine the challenges associated with of digital marketing and corresponding mitigating strategies.
4.1.4 Objective 3:To assess the effect digital marketing on firms financial performance.
4.2 Analysis and Interpretation
4.2.1 Hypothesis testing 1
4.2.4 Hypothesis testing 2
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION.
I dedicate this project work to God Almighty, who owns all the glory, my grandmother, who took care of me when I needed care, my parent for guiding and supporting me and my siblings.
My utmost gratitude goes to my creator, the all knowing, provider, master of the day of recompense, the one who has been with me even before I got conceived in my mother's womb, the creator of the womb itself, I thank you Lord for your blessings and mercies. I appreciate my parent Mr.and Mrs. Fasasi, you have proven to the world that you are the best. Your support, care and mentorship has made this piece a success, may God let you reap the fruit of your labour.
My sincere appreciation goes to my wonderful supervisor DR. H.O Aderemi, for the support throughout the successful production of this project work.
I appreciate my H.O.D. Prof. D.O Elumilade, Prof. Erlinda Adetayo, Prof. Grace Akionla, Dr. Serifat Adesunkanmi, Mr. Lawal and all the lecturers in the department who have in one way or the other imparted in me to become a fine accountant.
I appreciate my siblings Afeez, Hakeem, Zainab and Fatimah, for their support. You are indeed my backbones, I love you all.
My heartfelt gratitude to my mentors Mr. Ayeni Adekunle and Mr. Stephen Akintayo, who are inspiration behind the project topic. I thank my friends Faseun Daniel, Adesina Emmanuel, Babajide Ruth, Adebowale Olanrewaju, Popoola Shakirat, who has made studying fun for me.
This study determined the extent of the use of digital marketing in firms. It examinedthe challenges associated with the use of digital marketing and correspondding mitigating strategies. It also assess the effect of digital marketing on firms financial performance.
The study used primary data, which comprised 150 small business using digital marketing in Lagos state. A census sampling technique was used to select all the companies.
The study result showed that email marketing was the most used digital marketing tool, as (100%) respondent picked yes to this, followed by social media (96.7%), affiliate marketing (60%), content marketing and search engine optimization were (64.2%) respectively, pay per click marketing (62.5%) TV and Billboard (59.2%) and SMS and radio marketing (88.3%). The result also showed that challenges of digital marketing were lack of trained digital marketing personnel, inadequate digital marketing knowledge and poor application of digital marketing. Finally the result showed that digital marketing had a positive effect on financial performance, as 81.7% of respondents indicated that digital marketing improved their financial performance, while 18.3% showed digital marketing had no effect on their financial performance.
In conclusion, the study showed that digital marketing has a positive effect on financial performance.
In recent years, information and communication technology has immensely change consumer behavior, and this has greatly impacted on the way businesses communicate with their customers. The speedy advancement in technology has necessitated business organizations to embrace the changing trends by incorporating information technology in their activities. Based Hull (2004) ideas, the innovations on the Internet have transformed the way people communicate, search information and carryout business operation. As a result, business organizations have been left with no option other than embracing the new trends by integrating new information technologies in their systems (Tehrani 2008; Baines,phil and page 2011). In this regard, digital marketing has not only become an effective marketing strategy, but also necessary in the light of the changing consumer behaviour towards digitization and online experiences.
According to Ryan and Jones (2009), digital marketing is the promotion of products or services through one or more electronic media like the Internet, e-banners and the social media among others. Among the consumer segment, which is rapidly becoming digitally oriented is the youths with much of their online experiences being on the social media (Kotler 2011).
Today Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important in most sectors of economic activity. Following the high levels of interconnectivity, the Internet has been likened to the wheel and the airplane in terms of its ability to affect the future development of business and society. Consequently, the Internet has provided the impetus for many companies to rethink the role of technology, and evidence already indicates the extent of its global impact.
Moreso, the advent of electronic and digital marketing which is primarily driven through the Internet and technology has contributed to the technical transformation affecting businesses in Nigeria. The internet which is essentially a worldwide community of people coming together to share information, data, communicate and trade has made it possible for more business regardless of their size to reach the global market, From merely being an un-utilized marketing concept or area, it appears that "digital marketing” is now deeply rooted and has come to stay in the business scene.
On the global scale, digital marketing opens up a new world of possibilities where businesses can reach their target audience anywhere in the world without having a physical presence in their areas and regardless of the size of the firm. With businesses utilizing digital marketing been able to connect to billions of people at the same time, more businesses are joining the digital marketing train hoping to get their own share of the world market.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them. The key objective is to promote brands, build preference, engage with customers and increase sales through various digital marketing techniques. It is embodied by an extensive selection of service, product, and brand marketing tactics, which mainly use the Internet as a core promotional medium, in addition to small mobile TV and radio. So many companies and businesses are jumping on the digital marketing train that the world business environment is now being transformed into a huge network of firms running on digital technology and this in turn is increasingly leading to more financial growth for businesses.
Digitization has become part of our daily routines. It is shaping the traditional ways in which consumers and businesses interact with each other. Digitization, and especially social media, have been claimed to transform consumer behaviour (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010), with important consequences for firms, products and brands (Muntinga, 2011). However, it seems that many small businesses do not use the full potential of and have not been able to effectively utilize these new digital tools (see e.g. Gilmore, 2016).
Muntinga, claimed in the study, which was carried out China, as a basis for digital marketing achievement throughout the world. In China, the use of Virtual reality, smart watches and other modern technology advertisements can be the cause of the achievement of digital marketing in China, but in the developing countries like Nigeria new modern technology adverts are not yet in force.
At least 97% of the businesses in the Nigeria are small businesses (CBN, 2013). Parrott, Muhammad, and Holliman (2010) stated that the sustainability for small and medium-sized enterprises relies on the understanding of competitive pressures and volatile market conditions.
The general business problem is that small business executives face profitability and growth challenges based on execution of marketing strategies. The specific business problem is that small businesses lack marketing strategies and platforms to generate profit and achieve financial growth
During the past few years, the affordability and accessibility of Digital Marketing tools, coupled with the awareness of Digital Marketing in general, have opened up digital marketing to smaller businesses as a viable channel to find and engage with their customers. Businesses leaders of small businesses may need to use new marketing tools to attract and retain customers, increase revenue, optimize products, and develop a comprehensive understanding of customer needs in order to grow and sustain their business. Small business owners should strengthen their competitive position to seek effective marketing strategies to improve profitability and exceed competitors’ strategies and performance (Desai, 2013).
Even though digital marketing is available to small business, most small business still find it difficult to utilize digital marketing to effectively market their product in other to achieve profitability and financial growth and that is major problem this study seeks to address
In this study, we must note that most companies have realized that any company that wants to stay relevant in the market, remain profitable and grow financially must look for new and cutting edge ways to increase their market share and retain customers hence the utilization of digital marketing to reach more people on a global scale instead of using the normal traditional marketing techniques. The following research questions have been formulated about contributions of Digital marketing on the financial growth of small businesses in Nigeria:
a) What are the most common forms of digital marketing used by small businesses?
b) What is the impact of digital marketing on the financial growth of small businesses?
c) To what extent does benefit of digital marketing outweigh the cost?
The broad objective of this study was to critically assess the impact of digital marketing on financial growth of businesses in Nigeria. The specific objectives of this study were:
a) =.Determine the extent of use of digital marketing in firms.
b) Examine the challenges associated with the use of digital marketing and corresponding mitigating strategies
c) Assess the effect of digital marketing on firms financial performance.
In order to draw reasonable conclusion, two hypotheses were structured for this study. These are:
H0: There is no significant relationship between application of digital marketing and the financial growth of small businesses in Nigeria
H1: There is significant relationship between the application of digital marketing and the financial growth of small businesses in Nigeria
H0: The benefit of digital marketing does not outweighs the cost
H1: The benefit of digital marketing outweighs the cost
The study focused on examining various digital marketing techniques, benefits, uses and impacts. This study is an empirical analysis that lays more emphasis on financial performance in small businesses as a result of the application of digital marketing. The study does the evaluation of the relationship between digital marketing and financial performance of firms. The respondent are business firms, who utilize digital marketing.
This outcomeof the study serves as a secondary data to future researchers who intend to delve into digital marketing. It will also aid the layman in the understanding and using marketing techniques and it will help students from other field in understanding and using digital marketing techniques. Companies can experience the execution and maintenance of a sound digital marketing plan. Also it helps the companies to effectively utilize digital marketing to achieve their business goals like profitability and financial growth which is the reason for their establishment.
Finally it will broaden the mind and knowledge of people and entities like Manager, stakeholders, Researchers and others who are interested the importance of Digital marketing and its uses.
According to “business dictionary” The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards, as well as via digital and television and radio channels.
Internet: According to Chaffey, it refers so the physical network that links computers across the globe. Internet is the publicly available internationally interconnected system of computers (plus the information and services they provide to their users) that uses the TCP/IP suite of packet switching communications protocol.
Management: These are individuals or groups responsible for formulating policies, making decision and initiating appropriate actions for the benefit of an organization.
Cost-Per-Acquisition: Cost per Acquisition is a pricing model where companies are charged by advertising platforms only when leads, sales or conversions are generated. It has been around for a while but has been generating much more traffic as a common pricing model in late 2013 and early 2013. Best part about CPA is you are only charged for the results that you want.
Cost Per Click: Cost per Click is a pricing model where companies are charged by publishers for every click people make on a displayed/test ad which leads people to your company’s website (hopefully to a landing page!)..
Conversion: When a visitor takes the desired action while visiting your site, it is called conversion. This can be a purchase, membership signup, download or registration for newsletter.
Paid Traffic: Paid search is when a company bids on keywords and makes advertisements around those keywords to be displayed on search engines. These results appear separately, either on the top, bottom or right side of a search results page. Paid traffic also encompasses any form of paid advertisement that directly points to your website.
Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing is a way companies can get higher placement on search engines by bidding on search terms
Social media: The social media is defined by Winterberg (2013) as the means of interactions among individuals or groups through a common platform which they create, share and exchange information in virtual environments. As a result, a social media platform creates virtual communities in which people interact and engage each other sharing ideas remotely.
Subscriber: A subscriber is a person who allows a company to send him/her messages through email or other personal communication means. These subscribers are high value to publishers and businesses alike.
Social Networking: Social networking is the practice of using web-based platforms (or mobile) to build online communities where people share common interests or activities. The most common social networks are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest.
Traditional marketing is the most noticeable form of marketing. Traditional marketing is non-digital way used to promote the goods or services of an entity. Meanwhile, digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital tools and platforms to reach consumers.
Advertising mediums that might be used as part of digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via Internet, social media, mobile phones, electronic billboards, as well as via digital television and radio channels. Digital marketing is a sub branch of traditional marketing and uses modern digital channels for the placement of products e.g. downloadable music, primarily for communicating with stakeholders e.g. customers and investors about brand, products and business progress
Table 2.1 Traditional marketing and digital marketing comparison
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: Afrina Yasmin, Sadia Tasneem, Kaniz Fatema, (2015)
Marketing is an essential quest for the survival and success of an entity. Today businesses have more marketing opportunities than ever (Bresciani & Eppler, 2010). Marketing serves as means to help the a business achieve their short and long term goals, balance their operations, fulfill their obligations to various relevant parties and also ultimately stay ahead in the business environment. Marketing is the most primary element with which a business uses to reach its target customers.
Digital marketing is a new approach to marketing, not just traditional marketing boosted by digital elements (Järvinen, 2012; Liu, Karahanna and Watson, 2011; Rowley, 2008). It has its own characteristics and dynamics, which should be understood in order to be able to select effective marketing tactics and strategies. Digital channels can be classified in various ways.
Digital marketing is quite effective since it helps the marketers to measure and know the amount of the customer’s perceived and experienced brand equity (Madhavaram, 2005). The ultimate aim of adopting digital marketing is to continuously recruit new customers, while retaining the existing ones (Dewhirst & Davis 2005).
In a medium and small scale businesses, traditional marketing relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations for customer acquisition (Stokes & Lomax, 2002). Global contemporary economy is distinguished by relationships, technology, and networks, favors and has necessitated the movement of marketing to fit the global age by SMEs (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009).
Marketing has been defined by many as the soul of any business organization. It is this outright importance of marketing in modern organisation that has led to business seeking cutting edge ways to gain more market share and this is what led to the development and utilization of digital marketing to help the business organization to achieve more through marketing.
Digital marketing is a contemporary form of marketing and it includes those marketing efforts that send a message from a source (Business Entity) to a receiver (Potential customer) through digital tools, platforms and the internet. Online marketing and retailing are swiftly evolving as more and more shoppers no longer simply go to the nearest store, but rather, grab the nearest digital device to purchase goods and services. Technology is opening up a world of possibilities previously unavailable to both marketers and consumers. Also, options and reach are hugely enhanced by international e-commerce. Today, brands are utilizing digital touch points as channels in the marketing communications process, and shoppers are using them to their advantage along the entire pathway to purchase. Furthermore, “Omni-channel shoppers are using online and offline channels seamlessly
Digital marketing has added a lot of advantages such as increased targeting i.e. organizations are able to properly target their customers based on the profiles, like, dislikes and interest of target audience available to organizations through digital marketing, global reach making it possible for businesses to reach customers around the globe, speed of reach which means marketing messages and promotions can get to target audience in a matter of minutes and seconds precision of market targeting and completeness.
Digital marketing is now deep rooted in today’s global economy that any business that wants to increase market share and profitability must find a way to utilize digital marketing to achieve their goals.
Technology has transformed the world into a virtual community where everybody around the world can stay connected regardless of the territory or location they are, the world business economy is now a virtual global network of businesses. Digital marketing by utilizing advanced technology in marketing has therefore transformed business operations and ways of marketing around the world allowing business organizations to use this virtual world market to promote their products to customers anywhere in the world through the use of the internet, social media, social networking sites, websites, billboards, radio. This digitalized way of promoting product to a wide base of audience on a global scale is what digital marketing entails.
According to Hoffman and Novak (1997); digital marketing is the application of digital technologies that form channels to market and to achieve corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition.
Traditional results are easily measure, as basis of evaluation is number of audience. Digital marketing results are rigid to get, as understanding of various tools is inevitable.
Digital marketing activities are search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, and e--commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, optical disks and games, and any other form of digital media. It also extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback and on-hold mobile ring tones. The fundamental concept in digital marketing is based on the inbound marketing approach or generally it's called customer centric approach.
The world we live in today has become increasingly digital focused and is developing at a significantly fast rate. It is common now to have automatic access to digital devises and the internet due to the digital capabilities available which have completely changed the way in which society communicates and interacts. The way in which digital marketing has developed since the 1990’s and 2000’s has dramatically changed the way brands and businesses can utilize technology and digital marketing to add value to their marketing efforts, The need to market a brand over the wide variety of technology devices available has become a challenge for brands however allows for more means to reach and influence customers and their engagement with a brand.
According to (Halligan, Shah, & Scott, 2009) Digital media enables companies to network with customers in order to build relationships and achieve a better understanding of customer needs. Businesses want their message to reach as many people as possible. To maximize this reach, a business must have a presence where customers are hanging out. Increasingly, they are hanging out on digital media platforms and social networking sites. Digital marketing provides multiple opportunities for small businesses to market to consumers and build closer and more profitable relationships. However, small businesses still struggle to reach customers.
Much of the existing literature on small business and SMEs includes studies of organizations with the number of employees ranging from one to five hundred people. The research presented in this paper focuses on the typical problems of small businesses. The literature review first defines small business and identifies why the success of small businesses is important to the Nigerian economy. Second, it provides insights into marketing opportunities and challenges for small businesses to engage customers. Third, it examines integrated marketing communications which small businesses use to overcome the challenges they face. Fourth, it discusses digital marketing, its importance, advantages, and applications, as a means of reaching and engaging customers. Lastly, it investigates digital marketing for small business, its impact, strategy, process, empirical studies, and applications.
Generally there is no universally agreed-on definition of small business or SME. Many efforts have tried to define the term small business, using criteria such as number of employees, sales volume, and value of assets. Much academic literature adopts the European Commission definition of SME. According to this definition, SMEs employ fewer than 250 people (Gilmore, 1999). In the United States, small business is defined as having fewer than 500 employees (SBA, 2011). The literature reviewed for this study adopts either of the definitions and often uses small business and SME interchangeably. For the purposes of this study, the definition of small business will be used; however, small business will be identified with its original source where appropriate. Small firms represent 97% of all the business in Nigeria and they constitute 50% of employers in Nigeria, making small businesses extremely important to the Nigerian economy (Debbie Ariyo AEA 2008). Small businesses are the backbone of the Nigerian economy. They create employment opportunities and it is important for them to survive to sustain or increase their contributions to the economy.
Marketing from a small business point of view is a way to inform the customer about the firm, its products, and services; and to create and maintain customer relationships (Reijonen, 2010). With the amount of resources available today, small businesses have numerous marketing opportunities available to them.
Numerous marketing opportunities exist for small businesses, namely networking and word of mouth marketing. Not only do owner-managers of small businesses rely on their personal contact network, but they rely on the networks of their customers as well. Small businesses often rely on word of mouth recommendations for new customers. Word of mouth marketing provides small businesses with an opportunity to give customers a reason to talk about products, making it easier for word of mouth to take place. Networking is a widely cited marketing activity for small businesses and is important during their establishment, development, and growth (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009). Siu (as cited in Walsh & Lipinski, 2009) found that in marketing their firms, SMEs rely heavily on their personal contact network.
Traditionally, economic structures favor larger firms. However, today’s economy is distinguished by relationships, network, and information, favoring some of the characteristics of SMEs (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009). Rather than relying solely on their personal contact network, small businesses rely on the networks of customers as well.
Today, these customers can be reached through electronic word of mouth, or eWOM.
Marketing in small businesses relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations for customer acquisition. Stokes and Lomax (2002) claim that “a number of studies have indicated that the most important source of new customers for small firms is recommendations from existing customers” (p. 351). For many owner-managers, reliance on customer recommendations is more suited to the resources available to their business (Stokes & Lomax, 2002). Word of mouth marketing involves monitoring what is being said for marketing purposes, engaging in brand related discussions, involving people and their social networks for marketing purposes, and more (WOMMA, 2011). The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (2011) recognizes all word of mouth marketing techniques as being based on the concepts of customer satisfaction, two-way conversation, and transparency. The association describes the basic elements of word of mouth marketing as: “Educating people about your products and services; Identifying people most likely to share their opinions; Providing tools that make it easier to share information; Studying how, where, and when opinions are being shared; and Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals” (WOMMA, 2011).
Small firms are generally at an advantage because their small size makes it easier to get close to customers and obtain valuable feedback (Gilmore, 1999). Such an advantage enables small businesses to take advantages of the marketing opportunities networking and word of mouth marketing provide. But small business owners face many challenges when it comes to marketing as well because in spite of the traditional advertising opportunities available to them most of them are still not able to reach their desire goals hence the need for them to utilize Digital marketing.
Researchers widely agree that marketing practiced in small firms is different from that of large organizations (Coviello, 2000; Gilmore, 2001; Hill, 2001; Reijonen, 2010). Small firm marketing has been described as informal, unstructured, spontaneous, and reactive (Gilmore, 2001; Reijonen, 2010). According to Stokes (2000), in small firms, marketing is used for immediate needs and little attention is paid to plans and strategies. SMEs direct their attention to sales in order to survive (Stokes, 2000). For all issues outside of advertising, such as customer satisfaction measurement and improvement and design of customer service and support, the sales function has a slightly greater influence (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009; Harris, 2008).
One of the most prevalent areas in which a small business has problems is marketing (Huang & Brown, 1999). This is due to the inability to employ a marketer to carry out marketing activities for the business (Berthon, Ewing, & Napoli, 2008; Moss, Ashford, &Shani, 2003; Gilmore et al., 2001).
Moss, Ashford, and Shani (2003) state that “Relatively little is known about SME marketing activities…” There exists a lack of knowledge about marketing activity in small businesses, suggesting that “such functional specialization may rarely exist” (Moss, Ashford, &Shani, 2003).
According to Walsh and Lipinski (2009), marketing in SMEs is not as well developed or influential as it is in large firms. Large organizations are often large enough to have a marketing department that permits the delineation of functions and activities. This difference can be attributed to certain limitations that small firms face including limited resources in terms of finance, time, and marketing knowledge (Gilmore, 2001; Reijonen, 2010). Complex theories may be considered inappropriate in small enterprises (Hogarth-Scott, Watson, & Wilson, 1996).
One solution to the marketing challenges faced by small businesses is digital media. Digital marketing enables small businesses to overcome the challenges of limited budget, lack of expertise, and positioning against larger competitors. Small businesses are not the same as big businesses and therefore cannot be expected to have the same marketing resources. Competitive advantage often has to be sought from other sources and by other means (Gilmore, 1999). Several models of marketing exist that provide guidelines for businesses to survive and grow. However, marketing theory that a large organization uses cannot be generalized to a small business which has different characteristics and requirements. As a consequence, small firms are moving from conventional marketing practices towards more affordable, interactive, and integrated marketing like digital marketing.
Marketing practices have traditionally centered on the marketing mix model (product, price, promotion, and place) termed the 4Ps of marketing. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) emerged in the past few decades as a response to the changes in the domains of marketing and marketing communications, changes brought about by the impact of information technology. Various interpretations and values of IMC exist, making it nearly impossible to agree upon a universal IMC definition (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Caywood, Schultz, and Wang define IMC (as cited in Grunig & Grunig, 2001) as a concept that combines the disciplines of general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.
In the traditional promotional mix, the elements of the marketing mix (advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing) are designed by businesses in coordination with paid advertising agencies and marketing firms (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). More recently, the arrival of digital marketing has added a new dimension to the promotion mix. In a traditional sense social media enables businesses to engage their customers. In a nontraditional sense it enables customers to interact directly with other customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). The tools and strategies for interacting with customers have changed with the advent of consumer-generated media. Managers’ control over the content, timing, and frequency of information is diminishing in the era of social media (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).
Several scholars suggest that, despite the constraint of resources, SMEs are likely to be more entrepreneurial, flexible, and innovative than their large organization counterparts. This enables them to be more responsive to customer needs and they have more of an opportunity to get close to customers and obtain valuable feedback (Gilmore, 1999). Such opportunities can be exploited through the use of digital marketing, but it is also important to know how small Businesses use digital media to engage customers.
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