1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The last two decades have witnessed an
enormous and explosive growth in the use of internet technologies
especially the WWW for business purposes by huge number of small and
medium scale businesses. E-marketing has not only reshaped the existing
small and medium scale businesses but also created tremendous
opportunities for new businesses. Most of the small and medium scale
businesses in the developing countries are conducting business
conventionally, yet in the recent past the trend has been changed and
they are now doing business via Internet (Travica, 2002). Business
organizations, regardless of their size, have applied internet
technological tools in a wide range of their business activities
including advertising, online delivery of goods and services etc via
online business and e-marketing services (Ang et al., 2003). Both public
and private sector organizations are spending heavily on digitization
in the hope of getting a competitive edge in the market.
Developing a successful e-marketing has
become a major issue in the internet age, despite its benefits, there
are also threats; studies have indicated that the rate of adoption of
e-marketing is slow among the organizations round the globe (Mukti,
2002). The main reasons impeding the growth of e-marketing include the
lack of financial resources, lack of government support and lack of IT
know how on the part of management (Bakry and Bakry, 2001). There is a
scarcity of literature of this innovative technology in Nigeria, though a
few studies were conducted in Ghana, India, Iran and Mauritius (Sharma
and Gupta, 2003).
In the past, Seyal (2004) have conducted
studies on e-marketing but they were limited to large and industrial
business only, unfortunately very limited information is available about
the impediments and opportunities of e-marketing in Nigeria.
Nigeria is on its way to digital modes
of governance. E-marketing is a new concept to the Nigerian psyche and
market as compared to other regional countries like Asia; while in the
developed world like USA, 50% of the population is online (Singh et-al.,
2001). Despite these statistics, the online population of the world is
expected to increase dramatically in the near future; yet, this growth
will come primarily in developed countries. The global economy has
reached $70 trillion, but less than 2% of that is online. By 2017 the
figure may exceed $110 trillion, of which 8 to 10% will be online
(Hayden, 2015), likewise, 90% of the organizations in US are marketing,
buying and selling online (Bingi et-al., 2000). This represents a
significant shift not only in size, but also in the nature and magnitude
of e-marketing. The political and geographical borders will be less
significant to the mobility of capital and time differences for
businesses as IT are shrinking the borders and expanding the markets.
Researchers seem to agree that in the digital economy, successful
e-marketing will employ a more collaborative business model instead of
old mind set; and successful online marketing will likely be those that
have both physical stores and web sites “clicks and bricks” (McKinsey
small and medium 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
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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
E-marketing in Nigeria is facing many
challenges to grow as it is still an infant child in the country. The
people in Nigeria are economically poor and illiterate that is why the
number of users transacting online are limited. The number of
organizations offering online business that will necessitate e-marketing
is also limited and few of them are generating sufficient revenues.
Moreover, globalization is increasingly dominating the minds of
progressive business executives in the country to opt for e-marketing.
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 This study focuses on e-marketing and small and medium scale
businesses with reference to opportunities and threats.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the opportunities that e-marketing will bring for small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
- To examine the threats of e-marketing to small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
- To examine the level of awareness of e-marketing as a strategic marketing tool by small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the opportunities that e-marketing will bring for small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria?
- What are the threats of e-marketing to small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria?
- What is the level of awareness of e-marketing as a strategic marketing tool by small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- This study will educate business managers and the general public on
how e-marketing will affect small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria
with reference to threats and opportunities.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in
the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic
performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future
research in the subject area
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the threats and opportunities of e-marketing to small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in
sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in
the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The
researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic
work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the