Internet marketing and performance of small and medium enterprises in Nairobi county
The growth and spread of internet with an extraordinary pace over the last few decades has resulted in its increased use for marketing purpose; this is internet marketing. Internet as a marketing tool provides significant opportunities for companies to seek and adopt innovative practices in order to address the increasing demands of consumers. This study focused on internet marketing and performance of small and medium enterprises in Nairobi County. The study objectives were to establish the extent of internet marketing application by SMEs in Nairobi County, to determine the challenges faced in implementation of internet marketing by SMEs in Nairobi County and to determine the impact of internet marketing use on the performance of SMEs in Nairobi County. The research was a descriptive survey and used a sample size of 90 SMEs. Primary data was collected using questionnaires from the top management of the SMEs. The collected data was analyzed using frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviation as well as factor and regression analysis. The study established that internet marketing was used at a moderate extent, and that certain challenges affected the SMEs ability to apply internet marketing. Most SMEs agreed that the greatest challenge in application of internet marketing was the fear of losing their current customers who were not able to access internet. The lack of finances to invest in internet marketing integration as well as lack of skilled IT personnel topped the challenges highlighted in the study. Internet marketing had a positive impact on the performance of SMEs. Social Media and websites were the most applied forms of internet marketing. There was increase in profitability, increased market share and an ability to expand their market growth. The firm’s image was enhanced, an increased competitive advantage as well as more loyalty and access to new markets as impacts of using internet marketing by these SMEs.