1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, information and communication technology has significantly brought about changes in consumer behavior, and this has greatly impacted on the way businesses communicate with their customers. The sudden advancement in technology has enabled business organizations to embrace the changing trends by adding to information technology in their activities. According to Hull (2004) the innovations on the internet have brought about another the way people communicate, search for information and carryout business activities. 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, e-marketing has not only become an effective and efficient marketing technique, but also essential for the changing of consumer behaviour towards 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 have a rethink on the role of technology, and evidences have clearly shown the extent of its global effect.
More so, the advent of electronic marketing which is otherwise known as e-marketing which is primarily driven through the internet and technology has contributed to the technical transformation affecting businesses in Nigeria. The internet which is practically a global 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 e-marketing train hoping to get their own share of the world market.
E-marketing is an umbrella idea for the focused on, quantifiable, and intuitive advertising of products or services utilizing digital technologies to reach and convert leads into clients and retain them. The main goal is the promotion of brands, building of preference, engaging with customers and increase in sales through various electronic marketing strategies. It is exemplified by a broad choice of service, products, and brand advertising strategies, which predominantly utilize the web as a core promotion medium, in addition to small mobile TV and radio. So many companies and businesses are jumping on the e-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.
In spite of the several benefits derived since the advent of f the e-Marketing, Barwise and Farley (2005), explained that further research is required to explain the impact of e-Marketing on performance in broader ways. Many studies have examined at e-Marketing from different point of views, among them is the penetration of e-Marketing and firm performance by Brodie, Winklhofer, Coviello, & Johnston (2007), marketing metrics and organizational performance by Hacioglu & Gök (2013), correlation between market orientation, e-Marketing and tourism services performance by Tsiotsou & Vlachopoulou (2011).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
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).
Parrott, Muhammad, and Holliman (2010) stated that the sustainability for business enterprises relies on the understanding of competitive pressures and volatile market conditions. The general business problem is that business executives face profitability and growth challenges based on execution of marketing strategies. The specific business problem is that most businesses lack marketing strategies and platforms to generate profit and achieve financial growth
During the past few years, the affordability and accessibility of e-marketing tools, coupled with the awareness of e-marketing in general, have opened up digital marketing to smaller businesses as a viable channel to find and engage with their customers. Business leaders 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 e-marketing is available to business organizations, most o them still find it difficult to utilize e-marketing to effectively market their product in other to achieve profitability and financial growth and that is major problem this study seeks to address by using MTN Nigeria as a case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to assess the role of e-marketing and financial performance of an organization by using MTN Nigeria as a case study. The specific objectives are:
- i. To examine the extent to which digital marketing has been adopted by MTN Nigeria
- ii. To determine the influence of digital marketing on the financial and non-financial performance of MTN Nigeria
- iii. To find out whether e-marketing help in reducing marketing costs as against traditional marketing.
1.4 Research Questions
- i. What is the extent to which e-marketing has been adopted by MTN Nigeria?
- ii. To determine the influence of digital marketing on the financial and non-financial performance of MTN Nigeria?
- iii. Does e-marketing help in reducing marketing costs as against traditional marketing?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses shall be tested for this study:
- There is a significant correlation between e-marketing and financial performance
- There is no significant relationship between e-marketing and cost reduction
1.6 Significance of the Study
Significance of e-marketing of financial performance in the telecommunication sector cannot be overemphasized especially in the areas of this study to the MTN Nigeria and other industries which lower growth to the use of computer of on-line in their marketing duties. It will help ascertain some of the problem lingering or hampering the effective functioning of e-marketing in the banking industry. It will create room for mental alertness to the society technological advancement and consciousness in technology. It will enhance the productivity and performance of the business expectations.
The study will give managers of similar industries insight into successful operations through effective e-marketing in its products and services. Finally, it is an avenue for further research where necessary to other scholars.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study will be limited to the concept, geographical, time and industrial scope of the study.
The conceptual scope of the study focuses on the role of e-marketing and financial performance of MTN Nigeria. The geographical scope of the study is within Lagos metropolis where MTN Nigeria is situated.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
In the course of writing this project, the researcher encountered some problems among which include time, financial and attitude of respondents.
Firstly, this research is limited to one academic semester, hence the problem of time is even more amplified when the fact that the researcher had to attend to other aspect of their study other than the research work since both research work and academic studies are run concurrently.
Secondly, finance problem was seriously experienced during the execution of the project which limits the scope of research. This was due to high cost of transportation that was incurred in visiting various places under study.
Finally, the attitude of respondents is another problem encountered because many Nigerians are sometimes very reluctant in providing information by completing questionnaire and as such they do not react whole heartedly to filling of the questionnaires which as a result hindered the collection of adequate data for the research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Customers: Are the immediate client to the telecommunication sector.
E-marketing: An aspect of e-commerce and marketing is a systematic way of discovering the demands of the consumers and preferring solution to it with satisfaction to the firm itself. E-marketing is then the electronic device in the internet through which marketing activities streak across nations at the speed of light.
E-mail: the telecommunication equivalent of the ordinary posted services which delivers letters houses and offices.
Internet: A medium through which the globe is research with one message at a time and with ease and low cost.
On-line business: The means of reaching the word as to business unit in the internet.
Electronic: This is concerned with or using devices that operate on principles governing the behavior of electrons.
Traditional marketing: Finding a media outlet whose demographic best desired customers base.