E MARKETING AND SMALL ENTERPRISE, THREATS AND OPPURTUNITES
In this research, an attempt was made to ascertain whether small scale businesses in Nigeria are aware of and use e-marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Also to ascertain whether they perceive it as a threat of opportunity or non, also the study was conducted through the use of questionnaire. However, findings showed that small scale business should begin to strategically plan their e-marketing strategy in alignment with the total marketing plan and if they are to benefit effectively from the use of e-marketing, they need to be up-to-date in its application.
Small scale businesses in Nigeria play a very vital role in the development of its economy. Over the years various policies both from the government and some of the private sector actors have been developed to create enabling environments for these small scale businesses to thrive. However the challenges linger. Some of these challenges have been highlighted by many authors to be, poor managerial skill, small capital, wasteful spending by small scale business owners, poor marketing strategies etc. the is not the negligence of the fact that those few SMEs that have thrived over the years have contributed immensely to the growth of Nigeria economy through the following significant ways, utilization of Nigeria’s resources, increase an employment etc. income generation and redistribution etc.
Noteworthy at this point in the fact the small scale business especially in the sub-Saharan region appear to be lagging behind in the global trends with respect to small scale businesses. In Japan for example, small scale businesses now engage an international business due to their ability to create product according the taste of the market and are able use available marketing to ensure they gain and retune a reasonable market share. This has been made possible despite the many obvious and general challenges that is inherent in small scale businesses.
The purpose of this study therefore is to ascertain the current relationship between small scale businesses in Nigeria and marketing. Also it is to ascertain how e-marketing could be used by small scale businesses in Nigeria to tackle its challenges, survive in the market, and thrive enjoying competitive advantage.
This study also seeks to significantly ascertain how e-marketing is perceived by small scale business and whether how it is perceived and indeed e-marketing is an opportunity or a thereat to the survival and thriving of small scale businesses in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Having briefly analyzed the state of Nigerian small scale businesses, its challenges and advantages. A question to be asked would be how can small scale businesses apply their resources efficiently and effectively towards business tools that will help produce competitive advantage, improve market share and other benefits. Considering the up growth in the use of technology in the marketing activities of all types of technology in the marketing activities of all types of organization, it is important to ascertain what effect and how e-marketing can be used by small scale business in Nigeria.
E-marketing as a marketing tool could help the small scale business in Nigeria reach a wider local market, make gain through competitive advantage while serving a better part of the market. Also E-marketing gives the small scale business an opportunity to access new export markets.
However, certain questions need to be asked concerning e-marketing with respect to small companies. They are;
i. What is the level of awareness of e-marketing to small scale business in Nigeria.
ii. Also to what extent do these small scale businesses in Nigeria apply e-marketing as a strategic marketing tool.
iii. How do these small scale business perceive e-marketing and does trend provide an opportunity or a threat.
iv. Also what are those possible ways through which e-marketing could be used as a modern business tool by small scale businesses in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study however, are as follows
1. To ascertain the level of awareness of e-marketing to small scale business in Nigeria.
2. To find out the extent to which small scale businesses in Nigeria are e-marketing.
3. To find out if e-marketing poses threat or creates opportunities for small scale businesses in Nigeria.
4. To ascertain possible was through which e-marketing could be used as a modern business tool by small scale businesses in Nigeria.
This study will attempt to significantly answer these questions.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will concentrate on the use of the e-marketing as a modern marketing tool. It’s level of awareness among small scale business managers.
Also, the general perception of small scale business manager of e-marketing; and also how small business owners have reacted to the emerging trend of e-marketing as a strategy business tool.
1.5 RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study is important or relevant in modern business practice in numerous ways. First if we consider the high level of competition in modern day businesses and threats of global economic crisis which have been noticed recently. It is however very crucial for firms to acquire business tools and apply such tools efficiently and effectively so as to create competitive advantage that will enable it make better profit, reduce cost and service more of the market size.
However, some benefits which the authors believes will be gained from the this study are briefly highlighted below.
1. It should help academic theoretician and practitioners especially small scale business owners on a better understand of e-marketing.
2. This better understanding should also be useful to small scale businesses for the efficient and effective application of e-marketing.
3. It is also relevant such that it should assist small scale businesses in creating opportunities that give marketing advantage to them.
1.6 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This study contains five chapters.
Chapter one contains, the background of the study, the statement of the research problems, the objectives of the study, the scope, relevance, organization of the study and its limitations.
Chapter two contains basically literature review on the meaning and definitions of e-marking, Literature on internet environment, internal marketing strategy and other practices on e-marketing strategies. Chapter three contains, a brief introduction, the population of the study, the sample and sampling techniques. The research design, the data gathering instruments, method of analysis, operationalization and measurement of variable. Chapter four basically contains the analysis of the data gathered, the test of hypothesis.
Chapter five also basically contains conclusion based on the analysis and some recommendations with respect to e-marketing and small scale businesses.
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