PENETRATING THE GROWING IT-BASED MARKETING SERVICES IN AFRICAN MARKETS

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this thesis was to analyze the various market entry strategies applicable to the African markets and similarly to analyze the Nigerian market readiness and growth level concerning email marketing. The initial idea for this thesis emanated from the management of Emailfactory Oy. The reason for the company’s interest in the thesis topic is fundamentally because it has an intention to extend the firms’ services to Africa, and hence the company wants a qualitative research carried out to that effect. The thesis therefore was confined to study and present the relevant new-markets penetrating strategies and the analysis/discussion of data derived from answers provided by the potential customers.

Information was collected from various verifiable academic sources. Online materials were used as part of resources for the successful implementation of the thesis. Other sources of information used in the course of this research also included text books and academic articles contained in marketing and management related journals and reports. Furthermore, vital information was also directly obtained from prospective business customers in Nigeria. Therefore, the data collected was analyzed using the qualitative method in arriving at the result, recommendations and conclusions that Emailfactory Oy can employ in its strategic decision making.

The thesis findings revealed that the necessary market conditions for the successful penetration of email marketing services exist in Nigeria. Also, the research showed that Nigeria market is mature enough for email marketing services to flourish, make positive business impacts and achieve organizational goals. In addition, results from the research indicated that the employment of e-mail marketing tools is gradually gaining momentum and appreciation within the business community in Nigeria.


The thesis fulfilled its purpose but not without a few limitations. Future studies on specific feature priorities of customers concerning the services will still need to be embarked upon. Also, intensive quantitative and/or qualitative research would need to be executed in order to determine the market conditions and profitability of other African markets of interests to Emailfactory Oy.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction

2. Email Factory Oy
            2.1. Nature of the Business
            2.2. Research Objectives

3. Global Marketing and Services
            3.1. Principles of Marketing- Its Essence
            3.2. Services Marketing Concept

4. E-commerce
            4.1. Demand analysis for e-business
            4.2. E-pricing

5. Market Entry Strategies
            5.1. Internationalization/Transaction Cost Approach
            5.2. Intermediary Opportunistic Behavioural Approach
            5.3. Market Entry Modes
            5.3.1. Exporting
            5.3.2. Licencing
            5.3.3. Joint Venture
            5.3.4. Foreign Direct Investment

6. B2B Promotion Strategies
            5.1. Advertising
            5.2. Sales Promotion
            5.3. Direct Marketing
            5.4. Personal Selling
            5.5. Public Relations
            5.6. User-Generated Content

6. Research Methodologies
            6.1. Secondary Data Analysis
            6.1.1.    Market Size and the Growth of Internet/E-Commerce in Africa
            6.1.2.    The Political and Economic Environment
            6.2. Survey Method
            6.2.1. Questionnaire Design
            6.2.2. Questionnaire Style
            6.3. Sample Design
            6.4. Questionnaire Distribution

7. Results and Analysis
            7.1. Background Information of Surveyed Companies
            7.2. Potential Customers’ Interest in Employing the Service and Usage Frequency
            7.3. Features and Attributes Considered Imperative for the Service
            7.4. The Worth of the Service i.e. Price and Method of Payment
            7.5. Effectiveness of E-Marketing over Traditional Tools and Nigeria Maturity Level
            7.6. Potential Customers’ Needs for the Service
            7.7. The Level of Competition

8. Discussion
9. Recommendations and Conclusion

10. References
Appendices


1. Introduction
The African market in general has been proving, over the past decade, to be a fertile ground for all sorts of investments. And one of the new areas where opportunities are beckoning is the information technological-based businesses. While there are undoubtedly many areas where technology business can penetrate profitably in Africa, the concern of this research however, will be restricted to the segment of E-marketing which is a form of direct marketing.

The global trend in the marketing arena is that the conventional method of mass marketing is slowly but gradually losing ground to direct marketing which optimizes effectiveness and returns through the aid of technology. As the use of technology and internet expands exponentially throughout the globe; smart companies and businesses can now disseminate customized information to their customers via technological medium such as e-mail amongst other methods.

The use of internet in Africa has received a substantial surge since the beginning of the 21th century. Consequently, it is creating increasing opportunities for proactive and strategic thinking businesses and organizations in Africa to reach customers and clients alike with accurate and tailored information. Therefore, it is my belief that venturing into African markets is not only right but expediently a business imperative and a bottom-line factor for Emailfactory Oy. This is because of the enormous opportunities which are calling for business attention.


The essence of this thesis was to help the client company, email factory Oy, answer the question as to whether venturing into the African markets, Nigeria precisely, will serve her any economic and business good or not. Therefore, in order to afford accurate answer, consultations have been made with professionals and experts in the field of marketing and international business and their views and submissions have been duly presented in the academic review section. Also, the potential customers in the aforesaid market of interest have been duly interviewed. Consequently, the thesis has been divided into two major parts; the first being literature review and the second part is research methodology and discussion.


2. Email Factory Oy

Email factory Oy is a Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing Service Company with focus on email advertising niche; specifically, email marketing. The company was founded by two Finnish entrepreneurs. The head office is located in Kuopio, Finland and a branch office is situated in the southern city of Nimes, France. The company is newly established by two young and agile entrepreneurs. According to information available on the company’s Webpages, the founder, Sakari Kyrö, started to work in the marketing, advertisement and sales department of a publishing company. He later moved on to the international marketing and PR department so as to use more creative and channel independent tools for clients. Having for a long time been enticed by the online environment, once the opportunity presented itself to become a tech startup entrepreneur, the decision really was not that difficult. Sakari is the Managing Director and the one to contact in non-sales related issues. On the other hand however, the co-founder and Finland representative, Otto Turunen had started to build his career in a local branch of a big bank, but chose to join Email factory Oy, attracted by the possibility of building something new and exciting (Email Factory 2011.)


2.1.     Nature of the Business

The major concern of the company is to constantly work to create intuitive and efficient massive newsletter tools for its customers. Traditionally, marketers and entrepreneurs alike have usually employed the use Microsoft Style (MS) editors or ready templates, among other tools in sending newsletters and campaigns to customers. And these methods have been proved to be time consuming, resource wasting and energy dissipating. This is because people spend needless time editing, re-editing text to fit templates, trimming margins, resizing images etc. before they can send their newsletters (Email Factory 2011.)


The company creates tools whereby it is conveniently possible to create and send emails and campaigns to customers in less than two minutes. And this is their biggest goal; to build a simple, efficient, minimalist interface. In other words, it means making...

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