E-marketing powerful tool for entrepreneurs, SMEs to grow their business: Shankar

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Online promotion can give competitive edge to Egyptian products in US, professor says

E-marketing can bring about a “revolution and qualitative leap” in intertrade between Egypt and the United States, as well as between other countries, in the case of a good marketing base, said  Venkatesh “Venky” Shankar Coleman, chair professor of marketing and director of research at the Centre for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School of Texas A&M University.

During his meeting with a number of journalists at the US Embassy in Cairo on the sidelines of his visit to Egypt, he said that electronic marketing helps to provide information about the products available in Egypt and A competitive advantage in the American market. It also helps in selecting products that can compete.

“Electronic marketing can make a difference in the movement of trade in the sectors of cars and technology among countries in the next five years,” he added.

Shankar said that the advantages of electronic marketing will not stop at exports and imports between Egypt and the US, but could also introduce American consumers to some Egyptian products and services, next to enabling entrepreneurs to market their products electronically and exchange experiences with their counterparts in the US.

He added that electronic marketing will enable companies to continuously develop the quality of their products because the opportunity will be available for them to export to foreign markets.

He pointed out that Egypt has a great opportunity for the success of electronic marketing, as a large number of Egyptians use the internet and technology, as well as social networking platforms.

“There is a great interest from young people to use technology. About 37 million Egyptians use Facebook, 2 million use Instagram, and 1.1 million use Twitter,” he added.

He noted that Egypt’s infrastructure in the ICT sector is sophisticated and allows for increased investments in the e-commerce sector, especially following the use of 4G technology and the wider spread and circulation of mobile devices. Further investments in the sector will enhance the growth opportunities for e-marketing and e-commerce.

“The challenge here is that some communication technologies are not as powerful in rural areas. They have to focus on covering those regions,” he urged.

He called on companies to increase their investments in the development of the technology sector’s infrastructure, which helps to expand the establishment of electronic stores and facilitates the transport of electronic goods.

He said that e-marketing is a “powerful tool” for entrepreneurs because it can spread products at a low cost for companies while offering something new, such as Vezeeta, a doctor appointment scheduling platform.

He also ruled out that the crisis of information leakage from Facebook could impact e-marketing and e-commerce. “Social networking websites have been indispensable. They were, heavily, relied on during the recent US elections,” he stressed.

“There are controls being put in place to protect the confidentiality of data for users,” he added.

Moreover, he said that it is difficult for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs not to rely on Facebook because they have made a number of gains and profits through it.

He pointed out that all countries should accelerate the use of technology in the areas of marketing and trade. E-marketing should also be listed within marketing curricula in most schools. He explained that large companies rely on electronic marketing, including Coca-Cola and other major companies, which consider electronic marketing a powerful tool to promote their products.


Source :  Daily News Egypt

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