ANALYSIS OF E-MARKETING STRATEGIES AND IT’S USEFULNESS IN BUSINESS: CASE OF ZENITHE INSURANCE COMPANY BUEA
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This study is aimed at analysing e-marketing strategies and it’s usefulness in business: case of zenith insurance company Buea. The objectives of the study are to determine how different marketing techniques available in e-marketing help Zenithe Company, to evaluate how widely Zenithe Company use social media marketing in relation to traditional method and to examine the difficulties and future plans zenithe company have in relation to e-marketing strategy.
The study will adopt a descriptive survey design. The study will target 40 respondents which will be made up of managers, owners, supervisors and operating employees of international marketers in Buea municipality. The study collected primary data using a questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using mean, standard deviation, frequencies and percentages. Regression analysis was used to test for the relationship between the independent variable (e- marketing strategies) and the dependent variable (performance). The study concludes that there are different marketing strategy techniques available in e-marketing strategy to help Zenithe Company. The study further concludes that Zenithe Company uses social media marketing strategy in relation to traditional strategy.
Background of the Study
Electronic marketing is a new concept used by modern businesses. The firms are increasingly using this newborn medium to market their product and services and sharing new products ideas and information. Firms and businesses are adopting information technology and internet to market their products and adoption has gained the attention of researchers, practitioners and policy makers (Gohary, 2012).Businesses are using internet and electronic media as support to their marketing efforts and as a result e-marketing is growing at very rapid pace. In other way we can say that IT revolution has changed the way of doing businesses altogether. Different authors have defined e-marketing differently. Smith & Chaffey (2005) defined it as “Achieving marketing objectives trough applying digital technologies”As we enter into 21St century, we can see that way of doing businesses has been changed completely and internet is responsible for such change (Ainin and Ismawati, 2003).It has provided numerous opportunities to both individuals and companies, like now consumers can purchase from a wide variety of goods and services and they can compare the prices offered by different suppliers for same product or service. So, now consumers can choose and buy more easily and readily. On the other hand, firms are having opportunity to expand their current markets and enter into new ones, introduce new product & services and compete even in global environments. Success stories of those companies who have gained a big market share through internet presence emphasized over the fact that companies should have online presence. We cannot ignore success story of Amazon com. The company gained a lion’s share of market through internet presence(Ya-Ping, 2012).Nowadays, internet and other related computer devices like smart phones, mobile phones and emails are in the reach of most of the people and even people log on to social networking sites on daily basis ( Raad et al., 2010). The phenomenon has unfolded an important fact that Internet presence is essential for firm’s progress and even for its survival (Ya-Ping, 2012).Against traditional marketing channels, e-marketing gives economy of businesses resources. Mostly firms which are smaller in size have budget limitations specified for marketing, moreover they are also facing human resource and time constrains. So e-marketing is dramatically cheaper as compared to T.V marketing (Makesh, 2013).Makesh (2013) described the following advantages of electronic marketing:-
- It provides unique segmentation opportunities.
- Easy & cheap segmentation of customers on the basis of geographical areas, preferences and purchase behaviors etc.
- It allows the firms to directly contact with its customers.
- Last but not the least, its global as companies can reach globally.
Information technology has affected almost every sphere of man’s life. Internet provided the companies and individuals with useful means that help in decision making process. Now through internet consumers can get information regarding desired product from different vendors. Similarly, companies can get information regarding consumer’s purchase patterns and habits that ultimately help them to form their marketing strategies (Lin and Hong, 2008). If we talk about consumer’s behaviors on internet , it has been observed that the most preferred activities on internet are to purchase some goods or services and gather information ( Joon moon, 2004) and look for services like investing, online banking and e-payment ( Lain & Lin, 2007).The modern businesses are increasingly applying technology in its marketing activities. Its essential to understand that to what extent e-marketing is moderating the effect of market orientation on marketing competencies which ultimately correlated with firm’s performance ( Raoofi, 2012).As e-marketing has become an important part of marketing planning, so topic has gained special attention among researchers.
Since the last decade, internet has captured special status in our lives. It has become an essential daily routine for most of the people and they cannot imagine life without internet. It has presented companies and marketers with opportunity to explore new ways of advertising their products or services to consumers. With the technology revolution and advent of internet, electronic marketing is considered an important marketing tool. Companies cannot ignore e-marketing while designing its marketing plan as it’s a double edged sword which can create or destroy
Zenithe is an insurances company which started with one insurance office in Douala which is today the operational head office of the company. In the year 2006, the company opened doors to branches in Bamenda, Yaoundé and some within Douala around the areas of Ndokoti, Bonamousadi, Village, just to name a view. In the year 2009, ,Zenithe insurance opened up many other branch offices in all around the country. Today, the company has branch offices in all regions of Cameroon, with some regions hosting more than one branch office. The South West Region for example has three Zenithe branch offices in Kumba, Limbe and Buea. Zenithe insurance company also affiliates with some individuals who operate as General Agents in the country. These include; Agent General les Meilleurs, Progress Assurance, Royal Agency, Agent General Noutong, Agent General Madone and Agent General Glorium Dei.
Zenithe insurance obtained the ISO certification 9001-2008 in October 2011, as proof of its commitment to excellence, aimed at the permanent mastery and continued improvement of their products through respect and strict implementation of management procedures for quality service. BueaZenithe branch office was operational in the year 2007. It was the first Zenithe branch office in the South West region this company is gradually started using electronic marketing strategy for it members through advertise in the area to enchance the promotion and awareness of it customers since it have always said that the customer is the king of your business as in this study we will focus on the analysis of e-marketing strategy and its usefulness to the business of zenithe insurances company Buea