The use of the Internet and Internet services in practical marketing activities (for example, enterprises in Syktyvkar)
Almost all aspects of the marketing activities of so many enterprises today are associated with the use of the Internet, and its role is constantly growing. Traditional marketing tools that are used on the Web are becoming more effective, and the Internet provides enterprises with new opportunities for establishing and maintaining relationships with partners, finding the necessary information, and electronic commerce. An interesting fact is that today, even in a small city, such as Syktyvkar, its own website has ceased to be perceived by enterprises as something that is the prerogative of large companies. Any enterprise, regardless of its industry affiliation, form of ownership, size and other characteristics, is quite capable of not only accessing the Internet, but also succeed there. In our opinion, this is why studies devoted to the analysis of the capabilities of the Web and the main areas of application of the Internet and Internet services in marketing could be useful:
manufacturing enterprises – to increase the effectiveness of involving Internet technologies in marketing management,
as well as to all participants of the Internet services market:
a) service providers – to study the demand for Internet services, attract potential and retain real customers and improve the quality of services provided;
b) customers of services – for a more complete use of Internet services in the implementation of marketing strategies at the enterprise.
Obviously, some manufacturing enterprises are buyers of Internet services, but there are enterprises that do not use these services, so here it is necessary to emphasize the importance of Internet services and the benefits of their use in the marketing activities of specific enterprises – buyers of services.
So, the aim of the study is to determine the main directions in the use of the means and capabilities of the Internet as a marketing tool for enterprises in various industries of the city of Syktyvkar. This goal necessitated the solution of the following tasks:
to develop a methodology for researching the attitude of enterprises to the use of the Internet and Internet services in marketing activities;
determine the main directions and means of using the Internet in the marketing activities of enterprises, as well as the benefits that are derived by users in the process of using the capabilities of the Network;
identify and investigate the possible reasons why enterprises do not use the Internet, and their intentions to use the Network in the future;
to investigate what Internet services companies use when implementing marketing tasks, and how they evaluate these services;
identify potential buyers of Internet services, their needs, opportunities and intentions regarding future purchases of services;
to give a comparative description of the use of the Internet and Internet services by industry, to identify common and specific features of the use of Internet technologies in the marketing activities of enterprises in various industries.
1. Methods of researching the attitude of enterprises to the use of the Internet and Internet services
The research methodology of the enterprises of the city of Syktyvkar from the perspective of the goals and objectives set includes:
substantiation of the method of obtaining a sample from the general population of city enterprises;
determination of the method of collecting information;
data collection and initial processing;
determination of the specifics of problems and calculations.
When developing the questionnaire, the results of a previous study of the specifics of the use of the Internet in marketing were taken into account, including the following:
the main areas of application of the Internet in marketing are network communications; market information; buying and selling over the Internet, advertising products on the Web, service and after-sales service;
Internet facilities – e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, email registers in e-mail, voice communication, multi-user dialogue, video conferencing, relaying conversations on the Internet, WWW, information retrieval and its software, own website, etc .;
2. General characteristics of the main directions and means of using the Internet by the enterprises of Syktyvkar in marketing activities
It was revealed that among the studied firms 40 (49%) use the Internet, and 42 (51%) do not.
However, in this case, it was important not only to determine the proportion of enterprises using the Internet, but also the qualitative composition of companies working online. We assumed that the attitude to the Internet among young, newly created enterprises and enterprises created back in Soviet times is different. In addition, it is possible that the size of the enterprise may also influence the use of the Network in the enterprise.
Of the 40 enterprises using the Network, the majority (57.5%) are young enterprises, relatively recently established (less than 5 years ago). The fact that these firms were already created in a competitive environment could not but affect their desire to use modern information technology to improve business efficiency. Most enterprises founded less than 2 years ago (55%) and 2 to 5 years ago (57%) use the Internet, while older enterprises have not yet introduced the Internet to their business – only 39% of enterprises use the Network created from 5 to 10 years ago, and 43% formed over 10 years ago.
We also found that 70% of large firms use the Internet, 47.5% of medium-sized enterprises use the Internet, and about 44% of small firms.
It must be emphasized here that 40% of large enterprises were created in Soviet times, the rest from 2 to 10 years ago; Unfortunately, we did not find large enterprises created in the last two years. At this time, mainly small enterprises related to trading, financial and advertising firms were created. Therefore, we were not able to analyze the difference in the use of Internet resources between large, medium and small enterprises created in different periods of time.
3. Reasons why enterprises do not use the Internet, and their intentions to use the Network in the future
Why, then, half of the enterprises do not use the Internet to achieve their marketing goals? The most common reason is the lack of funds at enterprises (64.3%), the next reason is the lack of the need to use the Internet (31%). Due to the fact that there are no necessary specialists, 19% of firms do not use the Internet. 12% of enterprises referred to the lack of necessary equipment and the lack of time. One organization replied that it did not use the Internet for security purposes.
More than half of the enterprises that do not currently use the Internet may in the future use it in the following areas: maintaining business relations, market research and advertising of goods on the Web – 37.5% of firms. 8.3% of organizations intend to use the Internet to buy, sell, service and after-sales services, to obtain information.
4. The use of Internet services in marketing activities by enterprises in Syktyvkar
36 companies out of 82 studied use Internet services, which is 44% of the total. They use the following Internet services:
A) In liaising with partners:
server newsletters (50%);
mailing lists and specialized discussion lists (44%);
advertising services on bulletin boards (16.6%);
international communications organizations (8.3%).
B) When searching for information:
commercial web pages (58%);
services for the acquisition of press materials (38.8%);
web pages of state institutions (33.3%);
search engines (8.3%).
C) In e-commerce:
financial services (19.4%);
services of companies aimed at electronic commerce (16.6%).
D) When advertising products on the Web:
contextual advertising display (30.6%);
services of specialized advertising agencies (5.6%).
E) When creating and updating the site:
site participation in the ranking (38.9%);
website creation services (33.3%);
registration of a place (30.6%).
So, more than half of enterprises using the Internet turn to Internet services. Naturally, the question arises about the quality of the services provided. 4 firms are not satisfied with the proposed web pages of government agencies, 3 are with site creation services, 3 are services for contextual advertising display, 2 are financial services, 2 are web pages of periodicals; other services – commercial web pages, services of specialized Internet advertising agencies, site participation services, site registration services and advertising services on bulletin boards – were also once marked as unsatisfactory. In order to develop recommendations for specific Internet service providers, you need to know the companies that provide them. Therefore, in the course of further research, we asked the organization to indicate in the questionnaire which firms they are applying for Internet services. Unfortunately, most organizations did not answer this question. The companies that answered this question indicated Komitex, Parma Inform and Teleros Komi as the companies they turn to for Internet services. In fact, these firms are Internet providers in Syktyvkar. The firms Rambler and Yandex, which are usually referred to when searching for information, were also indicated. From this we can conclude that the dissatisfaction of enterprises is most likely connected either with a misunderstanding of the essence of Internet services, or with a lack of information about the companies that provide them, or with an unwillingness to answer precisely this question (which is unlikely, since all other questions of the enterprise were answered )
5. Potential Buyers of Internet Services
In the study, we found that 37% of enterprises do not use Internet services due to lack of funds; 22% – due to the lack of need for such services.
In the future, the organizations studied would like to use Internet services. The most often called advertising services on bulletin boards (7 organizations); financial services (6 organizations); services of companies aimed at electronic commerce (6 organizations); website creation and maintenance services (4 organizations).
6. The specifics of the use of the Internet and Internet services in certain industries
The purpose of industry analysis was to find out the degree of difference in the use of the Internet by enterprises of different industries. The fact that differences do exist is clearly shown in Figure 3.
Fig. 3. Use of the Internet by enterprises of various industries
The figure shows that the Internet is used by all advertising agencies and the media, the percentage of use of the Internet by communication enterprises is high, and agricultural enterprises and consumer services enterprises are mostly not Internet users.
In the framework of one article, it is impossible to describe in detail the results of industry analysis according to the same scheme that was used to generalize the use of the Internet by city enterprises. A similar analysis was carried out in the context of individual industries. Here we present the most significant results and conclusions.