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IMPACT OF DIGITAL MARKETING ON THE GROWTH OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE ENTERPRISE IN CAMEROON- A CASE STUDY OF JUMIA

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IMPACT OF DIGITAL MARKETING ON THE GROWTH OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE ENTERPRISE IN CAMEROON- A CASE STUDY OF JUMIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 Background of the study

Businesses across a variety of categories in almost every industrial sector have been utilizing digital tools to enhance their operations in the past several years (Bokša, Šaroch & Bokšová, 2020). It is widely believed that digitalization will have a significant impact on all facets of society, with particular attention paid to the political, economic, and social components it will affect (Isensee, Teuteberg, Griese & Topi, 2020). Additionally, digital marketing involves utilizing various online channels, including the internet, social media, search engines, mobile devices, and display advertising, to engage with consumers. However, the current trend suggests that "if an enterprise cannot be found in social media, then it does not exist" accurately reflects the prevailing sentiment. It is crucial for brands to recognize the indispensability of digital channels, a principle that should be extended to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) if they aspire to remain competitive and foster growth. However, despite this imperative, it appears that many SMEs are not fully harnessing the potential of these modern digital tools (Gilmore, 2019). 

SMEs constitute a significant segment of the global economy, with 99% of companies in Europe being SMEs (of which 92% are micro-enterprises), contributing to over 75% of private sector jobs (European Commission, 2022). Also, in the United States (US), SMEs account for 99.7% of all employer firms and employ half of the U.S. workforce (Small Business Administration, 2021). The undeniable importance of these companies should not be overlooked. Furthemore, businesses typically strive for growth in terms of market share, assets, and the ability to attract and retain customers, ultimately ensuring profitability and maintaining a durable competitive edge over competitors. Jobber and Ellis (2018) emphasize that marketing concepts are grounded in fundamental principles of implementation crucial for business development. They assert that marketing is not an abstract concept but rather a decisive factor influencing corporate indicators such as profitability and market share. For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), growth is essential for survival and competitiveness in the market. In the same view, Ayyagari et al. (2019) highlight that SMEs contribute approximately 75% of formal employment in the manufacturing sector in both developed and less developed countries. The growth of SMEs holds significant importance as it signifies economic expansion. Sales, identified as a major factor for SME growth, play a pivotal role in generating income. Achieving growth involves marketing products and services effectively to create awareness and position them as preferred choices compared to those of competitors. On the other hand, marketing has been a major challenge to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) around the world due to high cost. The classical marketing communication system such as television, radio, etc. seems to have a high cost for which it does not even reach the targeted customers and hence, not producing the expected result. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to examine the impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium size enterprise in Cameroon- a case study of Jumia

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

The significance of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) holds immense value in both developed and underdeveloped nations, primarily due to their role as major employment providers in the economy. However, the sustainability of these enterprises hinges on their ability to generate sales, achieve profits, secure new market shares, and recoup invested capital. Notably, the commercial dynamics of SMEs differ significantly from those of large corporations, posing a substantial challenge in embracing digital marketing strategies (Lipiainen & Karjaluoto, 2019). The adoption of digital marketing channels tends to encounter greater success in larger enterprises compared to their smaller counterparts, given the former's typically superior access to necessary resources and technology (Barnes, Slingo & Woollings, 2020). Numerous studies, such as Onyango's analysis (2018) on the impact of digital marketing strategies on the performance of flower-exporting firms in Kenya, and an investigation into the influence of digital marketing on customer services at Barclays Bank of Kenya utilizing content analysis, have been conducted in various countries, each offering a distinct perspective. Consequently, the conflicting viewpoints among different authors regarding the impact of digital marketing on SME growth further contribute to the complexity of this discourse. Thus,it is in the light of these that the study seeks to examine the impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium size enterprise in Cameroon- a case study of Jumia

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium size enterprise in Cameroon- a case study of Jumia. Specifically, the study will;

 1.Assess the level of awareness and adoption of digital marketing strategies among SMEs in Cameroon

2.Examine the challenges faced by SMEs in adopting digital marketing strategies 

3.Assess the impact of digital marketing on the growth of SMEs in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

To what extent are SMEs in Cameroon aware of and adopting digital marketing strategies?

What challenges do SMEs in Cameroon encounter when attempting to adopt digital marketing strategies?

How does digital marketing contribute to the growth of SMEs in Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypothesis

H0: There is no significant impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon

Ha: Digital marketing has a significant impact on the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon

1.6  Significance of the Study

Due to its significant impact on current companies, digital marketing has attracted the interest of government at various levels, managers, investors, and prospective financiers, making it one of the most important topics. In addition, a lot of companies worldwide depend on digital marketing channels for a variety of reasons, such as sales, advertising, and so on, to develop and publicize their brands, making them one of the most important. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium size enterprise in Cameroon- a case study of Jumia

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the impact of digital marketing on the growth of Small and Medium size enterprise in Cameroon- a case study of Jumia. Theoretically, this study will assess the level of awareness and adoption of digital marketing strategies among SMEs in Cameroon, examine the challenges faced by SMEs in adopting digital marketing strategies and assess the impact of digital marketing on the growth of SMEs in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to residents of Buea Municipality, Cameroon

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.8 Definition of Terms

Digital Marketing: is the use of electronic means, devices (computer) such as smartphones, cellphones, etc. to communicate with the customers.

SMEs: refer to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

Social media: refers to the means of interactions among people, in which they create, share, and/or ex-change information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Chan & Lawrence 2021). Some of the popular social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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