Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs

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This paper presents the outcomes of a research regarding the Internet marketing practices and strategy followed by a large sample of Greek SMEs. Specifically the paper examines the methods and the volume of the applied internet marketing techniques, the dedicated resources and the expertise of the people involved in it. The paper provides conclusions and managerial directions for the improvement of the internet marketing efforts of Greek SMEs.

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Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs

  1. 1. Presentation by: Mouratidis Ioannis Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs Mouratidis Ioannis, Garyfallos Fragidis, Dimitrios Pashaloudis
  2. 2. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Theoretical Framework I • “Companies managing and increasing their technological asset bases successfully will gain a major competitive advantage in the market” (Capon and Glazer,1987) • “The evolution from marketing on the averages to marketing on the differences is a very prominent theme and a major advantage of the Web market compared to real environments” (Reitman, 1994) • “Small business firms can survive in e-market only if they use their resources carefully and allocate them properly” (McCole and Ramsey, 2004) • “Internet marketing operations may reform the way a firm interacts with its customers, or even destroy its investments in existing marketing policy (Johnson and Bharadwaj, 2005) • “The obvious course for marketers is to engage the new social media in passive and active ways as part of the overall marketing strategy” (Constantinides and Fountain, 2008)
  3. 3. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Theoretical Framework II Internet marketing techniques are used more or less by SME companies worldwide against competition. What about STRATEGIC internet marketing development? but…
  4. 4. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Setting the background: Greek reality Is this true? The hypothesis Due to Greek economic depression of the last 4 years, SMEs have to be oriented to innovative activities and new practices, such as internet marketing, in order to expand their customer reach and cope with internal and external challenges.
  5. 5. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis The aim of the study is to investigate whether and to what extent Greek SMEs are implementing internet marketing practices and if this implementation is part of their overall strategy. Specific objectives: • to identify the applied internet marketing trends and techniques in Greek SMEs • to investigate the central determinants of internet marketing adoption and utilization within the Greek SME context • to measure the impact of internet marketing policy on strategic planning Research Aim and Objectives
  6. 6. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Planning Survey Development Data analysis Research Methodology Basic Parameters: • Type of survey: online research • Research tool: structured questionnaire • Time: 11-17 of July, Place: Greece • Analysis: statistical package SPSS 19.0 and Microsoft Excel
  7. 7. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis The Questionnaire Purpose: obtain information on the implementation of internet marketing techniques and strategy by Greek SMEs Number of questions: 18 (4 question groups) Type of questions: 5-point Likert scale, YES/NO questions and multiple choices Business elements examined: • background information such as activity, area of interest, age and size • extent of internet marketing techniques adoption and important determinants • resources dedicated to internet marketing policy • internet marketing strategy and its effectiveness
  8. 8. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Describing the sample I Sample size: a total of 202 Greek SMEs Sample key variables: sector, age, geographical distribution, size 38 manufacturing companies, 88 trading companies, 87 service and 29 tourism companies *multiple answers available Sector of economy Number of workers Geographical distribution Age 68.8% of the companies (139) employ less than 10 workers, while only 12.4% (25) employ more than 50 workers Companies from all regions are participating in the current survey. 81.7% is located in the regions of Attica (41.1%) and Central Macedonia (40.6%) 65.8% of the companies (133) operate for more than 10 years, while new companies (0 to 2 years old) represent only a 3.5% of the sample
  9. 9. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Describing the sample II Taking a closer look (graphically)…
  10. 10. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Research Results I •Over 60% of Greek companies make systematic use of internet marketing techniques, while the respective number for traditional marketing techniques is only 42.1%. •Only half of the respondents that make systematic use of internet marketing techniques, are including it as part of their strategy •Greek SMEs seem to prefer online (42.6%) over traditional advertising (28.7%). •18.3% of the companies considers internet sales to reduce / restrict the conventional/traditional sales
  11. 11. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Research Results II • Greek SMEs rely on internet marketing because of direct communication (75.7%), accurate targeting (75.2%), low cost (71.8%), efficiency and effectiveness (68.3%) and transactions (61.4%). • The vast majority (90%) of Greek companies agrees that internet marketing increases sales and improves business image. • 64% confirms that internet marketing is required due to competitors’ relevant policy. Internet marketing incentives
  12. 12. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Research Results III Internet marketing techniques applied by Greek SMEs, are mainly websites, newsletters and social media, while e- shop and affiliate / viral marketing are applied in a limited degree. Internet marketing results are monitored by Greek SMEs -that adopt systematically such techniques- mostly via visits of website, likes and notifications in social media and site's ranking in search engines. Internet marketing techniques Result measures
  13. 13. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Research Results IV • 51% of Greek SMEs have invested on internet marketing budget lower than 5000€ during the last 5 years. • 47% of Greek SMEs invests on internet advertisements budget lower than 500€ per year. • 28% of Greek SMEs employs staff capable of managing websites and e- shops and 41% has no employees with software programming capabilities. • 38% of Greek SMEs relies on internet marketing outsourcing
  14. 14. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Research Results V More in depth: •Apart from Promotion, all the other elements of marketing mix are equally affected by internet marketing policy in companies with less than 3 employees. •In medium sized companies Price is much less influenced by internet marketing policy. •In tourism industry figures are markedly higher than in other sectors. Marketing mix affected What about strategy? • Greek SMEs’ marketing mix seems to be affected by internet marketing policy. • Promotion and Place came in the first two places for all the different sectors.
  15. 15. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis Main Conclusions •Greek companies, regardless size, sector of economy, area or age, have many reasons, almost equally important, to turn to internet marketing techniques and practices. •Despite the fact that a large proportion of Greek SMEs are motivated towards internet marketing by the fear of falling back in competition, they also have experienced or expecting sales increase by these new practices. •Internet marketing in Greek business reality is by far more preferable than traditional marketing techniques. •Resources invested on internet marketing are considerable low. •Most Greek SMEs, doesn’t even measure the results of internet marketing in terms of sales and costs
  16. 16. Internet Marketing Strategies and Practices and the Performance of Greek SMEs by Mouratidis Ioannis

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