The use of internet marketing by firms in the motor industry in Kenya
Kenya's Motor Industry is regaining its impetus after a slump in the 1990's. Studies on Internet Marketing have been conducted by Muthuri (2001), Musembi (2001), Odiko (2003), Nyingi (2003) and covered fields such as Export Marketing in the Internet. From these studies, it is evident that the extent of using Internet Marketing varies with the industry and the product( s) of interest. Therefore, this study had three objectives. The first objective was to determine the extent to which companies in the Motor Industry in Kenya are using Internet Marketing. The second one was to establish the benefits gained in the use of internet marketing by firms in the motor vehicle industry in Kenya. The third objective was to establish the challenges faced in the use of Internet marketing by firms in the motor vehicle industry in Kenya. In undertaking the study, all the motor vehicle companies operating in Kenya and are members of Kenya Motor Industry Association are considered. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire, which was dropped to all the fourteen firms of interest in the industry. All the fourteen questionnaires were filled and returned. This being a descriptive study, frequencies, mean scores tabulations and standard deviations are used to analyze the data, The research findings revealed that motor vehicle companies use Internet marketing to a small extent. It also revealed that of the four key elements of the marketing mix, variables of product were more commonly conducted on the internet than those of Price, Promotion and Place. According to this research, companies derived benefits such as increased awareness, availability and better management of information in using the Internet as a marketing tool. The companies face various challenges in adopting Internet as a marketing tool. The key challenges in adopting Internet marketing are broadly classified as technology, cost, and internet security. It was suggested that a similar study could be carried out on the second hand car dealers to establish the extent to which they use online marketing. This study would also provide findings that could be used to generalize the extent of use of internet marketing in the overall Motor Industry. The study is limited to 14 firms which are members of the Kenya Motor Industry and are dealing in automobiles, comprising of all vehicles including 2-3 wheelers, passenger cars and multi-utility vehicles, light and heavy commercials vehicles.