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THE ROLE OF E-MARKETING IN THE GROWTH OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN NIGERIA 2

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E-marketing largely entails the use of the internet to sell, promote and brand businesses. It entails the use of emails and non-wireless media to disseminate promotional content about products and services.

Small and medium-sized enterprises can easily be understood from their names. SMEs – as they are always called by the world bank and other prominent regional or international organizations like the United Nations – are the backbone of the Nigerian economy. SMEs are businesses that have numerical staff strength of a certain level. They are not as big as large businesses. However, SMEs account for over 70% of employment in Nigeria. The SMEs in Nigeria serve as nursery for the bigger firms. The income distribution in the middle and lower classes rest largely on SMEs. They are the future of industrialization in the country. SMEs are known to give room for faster decision making, dynamism, and innovation. Their importance cannot be overemphasized. The advent of the internet has provided leverage for SMEs to market their businesses. We would now consider the impact of internet marketing on SMEs in Nigeria.

Now, there are a lot of things to note when doing business in the West African nation of Nigeria.

The first positive impact of E-marketing on SMEs is a drastic reduction in the operational cost. When you compare internet marketing to the other traditional means of marketing like radio and TV, you will see that it is cost-effective. The internet is almost at everyone’s reach and that means information can be disseminated at the click of a button. Closely related to the cost is speed. The worldwide web connects every corner of the globe and it works at electric speed. Its invention gave rise to social media which is like a subset of the internet.The implication of this is that a lot of businesses use social media to market their products and services.

Similarly, using E-marketing offers the business owners the opportunity to access data and information about their consumers. This has immensely aided the growth of numerous SMEs in Nigeria. For instance, it is very common to see highly targeted adverts on Facebook. SMEs in Nigeria use consumer information harnessed on their online platforms to get feedback on their products and services. It helps them to know the areas where improvements are needed and to follow trends as well as decipher what consumer preferences are.

E-marketing gives room for accountability. It is easy to track your online activities and measure your return on investment (ROI). A lot of Nigerian SMEs have been able to use this feature to keep track of the profitability of their E-marketing initiatives.

The global reach of the internet affords SMEs in Nigeria the opportunity to create viral contents. Such contents can have a massive impact on the perception of the product and services.

In spite of its numerous advantages, there are a couple of downsides to E-marketing in Nigeria. It is susceptible to cyber-attacks. Poor reviews on social media can go viral and do a lot of damage to your business. The biggest challenge it possesses to owners of small and medium businesses is that its worldwide reach offers consumers unlimited options. Potential costumers and existing ones have access to competitive prices and other businesses that offer such products or services all over the globe.

In conclusion, the advantages of E-marketing to SMEs in Nigeria far outweigh their disadvantages. It suffices to say that we are merely scratching the surface of the potentials that E-marketing portends. With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., rolling out a lot of user-friendly and consumer integration features only the future will tell where we are headed.

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