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The Analysis of the Importance of Online and Offline Marketing Communication Tools when Searching for Business Entities from the Point of View of Consumers

Proceeding: 5th International Conference on Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (IMES)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 210-219

Keywords : marketing communication; online environment; offline environment; consumer behavior;

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Abstract

The aim of the article is to find out how customers perceive online and offline communication channels SME’s use to communicate with their target audience in online and offline environments alike and how such communication affects behaviour of their consumers. Design/methodology/approach: The aim was to identify attitudes and preferences of the respondents in relation to the traditional (offline) forms of marketing communication and internet (online) forms of marketing communication focusing on SME’s. The primary source was data collected from questionnaires filled out by inhabitants of eastern region of Slovakia. We have reached out to 1,055 respondents of which 987 subsequently featured in our analysis. Data collection was conducted through simple random sampling in October and November 2016. To verify the hypotheses, we used the software STATISTICA. Due to the nature of the analyzed variables we used two-tailed Wilcoxon test.Findings: The results of the research showed that the difference between offline and online sources of information with regard to the influence of the information carrier, the usefulness of information carriers when searching for service providers and the usefulness of information carriers when obtaining information about service providers is purely accidental in nature and not statistically significant. Generally, it can be stated that a total of 72.44% of the respondents prefer getting information about products and services on the Internet or using online marketing tools.Research/practical implications: The results of our research are relevant to SME's who are skeptical towards the online environment of the Internet and marketing communication conducted within it. The research results should help SME's to decide on the strategic direction of their marketing communication. Moreover, the results show that online marketing tools are easily accessible and more efficient in terms of time and finances than conventional marketing tools.Originality/value: The aim of this paper is to help clarify the impact the selected promotion tools have when reaching target audiences of SME’s. The analysis was conducted based on the research gap in the studies related to SME’s online and offline marketing communication.

Last modified: 2017-09-02 23:13:50