Maritime Shipping Industry in Mozambique Digital Marketing
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Marketing|
|✅ Wordcount: 3027 words||✅ Published: 7th Sep 2017|
Research question: how does digital marketing can attract and retain customer for the maritime shipping industry in Mozambique?
This era of digitalization have been proven to bring more opportunities to companies, especially nowadays where companies are running to a race to the data and the information and in the same time new ways to attract customers and retain them. One might think that Shipping companies are not able to get those opportunities since the area seems close to this technology. However, our data revealed that Even Mozambican shipping companies can indeed profit of the digital marketing in order to attract and retain customer this is in line with the finding reported by (Efthimios Poulisaâˆ-, Konstantinos Poulisb and Lawrence Dooleyc 2013) they stated that Information communication technology (ICT) and Internet technologies not only have the potential to facilitate inter-organisational collaboration and communication but also offer organisations the potential to disrupt how their industry delivers value across its supply chain.
Despite the lack of infrastructure and the decision maker reported by Mr Issa Baluch who stated that “Evangelista, P., & Sweeney, E. (2006). Technology usage in the supply chain”
Shipping companies in Mozambique has the possibilities to gain profit from digital marketing because a company should challenge itself to be creative and stay more competitive especially in the shipping industry , being innovative lead a company to face competition and gain from any economic growth , this is in line with the finding reported by (Jenssen & Randoy, 2006) who stated ” Theory suggests that the ability to innovate is one of the most important factors for survival, competitiveness, economic growth and profit in individual shipping companies”.
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With the impact of digital marketing, now companies can perform well with the use of selected social media, indeed platforms such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, are well known for their freedom to accessing and engaging with customers, because there is not intermediaries between the customers and the company, this is also in the line with the findings reported by Zsolt, K, Miklos, S (2014) claiming that “Maersk Line garnered over 1 million fans on Facebook, 40,000 followers on Twitter, and 22,000 on Instagram. They also launched and became active on other social media networks such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ and created a social media home base for Maersk Line called Maersk Line Social that published articles and stories about the company in a less formal manner”
The example about Maersk can lead shipping companies in mozambique that any kind of companies has his chance when it comes to digital marketing, and the abilities of reaching ,engaging with customer and make profits of it depends on the faculty of a company to invest themselves in the digital marketing and get to master in order to get more profits and stay competitive in a higly competitive sector.
- the benefit of the use of digital marketing for the maritime shipping companies
The data and information we have gathered from our interviewed and the respondents of our survey questionnaires all agreed about the fact that shipping companies can really benefit from the digital because firstly because it’s a company in the first place and secondly digital marketing is a tool that can allow companies to get more attention from customers. This coincide with the findings of loredana (2015) , he stated that ‘many companies are interested to increase the use of the content marketing tool in their marketing policy, as they notice the limitations of the traditional marketing communication strategy, as well as the huge opportunities brought by digital marketing”
Many companies are indeed interested by the digital marketing as a an alternative tool from the traditional marketing but in order to run perfectly in the shipping industry, digital marketing must be used in a certain environment, Mr Issa Baluch stated that “In a holistic environment, when I say holistic, I am incorporating the part of digital marketing in all the scheme of digitalization then it’s very important to attract and retain customer in the industry. In isolation, just doing this without digitalizing the rest of the supply chain in the company, I think it’s a problem and the problem is they must be a link between marketing, operations, finance.”
In our research we’ve discovered that most companies are afraid of digital marketing, this fear comes from two reasons, the first one is a generation , most shipping companies , the biggest one are in the area for a long time and for those who managed to survive without digital marketing, is hard to think that tool can bring so much opportunities.
The second reason is some companies have a passive attitude toward digital media and they do the least effort just to be in the trend of digitalization and not actually invest themselves more in the process, companies are either not aware of what happens in the digital world or they just don’t want to influence or redirect their current strategy, this is in line with the finding from (Jenssen, J.I., & Randoy 2006) it stated that companies know that they can enhance their performance with the digital marketing but don’t want to and don’t wish to.
In the same time, it can show that companies are afraid of the competition when it comes to digital marketing, they prefer adopting a passive attitude toward technology and also make less profit , because they don’t want the competition to benchmark their strategy and do the same thing.
There is a conflict here between being innovative technologically and attracts more customer and in the same being productive and competitive , and don’t allows another companies to grasp their way to communicate and make profit , the best way is to say at a minimum level and keep his objectives too at the minimum.
However regarding this matter, Mr Issa Baluch stated that “as the history as taught us, those who have embarked on digitalization in other countries, they have been able to particularly retain customers because you have customer data bank, you have them hook at you, you can service them and it’s easy to gage the plus and the minus because they are with you”
We can say that digital marketing should be considered as a mean to gain visibility and attraction, it allows companies to be more efficient in his desire to attract more people in his whole vision and retain them with his philosophy and service.
So we can say that the tool itself digital marketing can be beneficial to shipping companies in order to reach customers, after that step companies should capitalize on that attraction by using promotion of his services and advertising , in order to those opportunities to be well managed especially in the maritime area , digital marketing must be used into all the departments of a company in order to create a whole ecosystem, allowing customers to be followed on each step they pursued while reaching a company for his services, we are talking here from the marketing perspective, the finance perspective and the actual service.
Now regarding the Mozambique, Digital marketing can be beneficial for the maritime shipping companies in Mozambique however before managing to capitalize on this attraction and retention, Mozambican companies must know how to use it, in order to get full advantages of what he can offer as opportunities.
When we talk about opportunities, we refer to adjective, such as competitiveness, brand awareness etc. that allow companies to be on the edge of the technology and be more competitive with others companies.
Regarding Africa and especially Mozambique, digital marketing can indeed be beneficial for the maritime shipping companies especially for the main reason that it can be handled online don’t fully required a premium infrastructure at least in the beginning to perform, especially for platform such as ecommerce which is well spread around the country adding to that features related to online application such as online payment.
However the limits can come quite rapid and the need of a required infrastructure in order to perform in a higher level. This kind of issue could be fixed by the willing of the Mozambique on the edge of technology and stay competitive. Mr Issa Baluch stated that “Ecommerce in general is taking off, and it’s very big in other countries but in Africa it is wanted, it is still crippling, the reasons are the laws are not yet in part of the development “
We can considered that factor as a lack of taking advantage of an actual online potential for maritime companies and for the country as well. Shipping companies can benefit from the digital marketing in Mozambique, since digital is still considered a new tool, it requires investment, learning and mastering in order to perform well and get results wanted by companies.
We’ve discovered through our research that social media is one of the features of digital marketing that are the most used , communication through platform such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram
Digital marketing profit of the technological advantage on being able to use data to specify and targeted a customer need thanks to the data collection provided by those platform using complicated algorithm in order to be specific on what a customer really want to be satisfy in terms of product and services.
- The digital marketing can enhance and be profitable for the shipping company and industry if it’s implemented
Through our research , we’ve discovered that companies have some reluctance to implement digital marketing in their marketing strategy , we’ve also discovered that these factors are from two origins : a generational issue, long time companies are afraid to reveal information’s of their company because of the competition or simply because of the easy access of the information nowadays, sensible information can be leaked or competitors can take advantages of a flaw discovered online , finally they don’t think it’s worthy. The second origin is due to a passive way to not get fully advantage of the digital marketing and in the same time , they don’t have the requirements in order to master the knowhow, indeed digital marketing even though it seems to have simple features, it requires learning and mastering to perform well.
Our main finding is that customers are the backbones of maritime companies, because it allowed them to be more creative and renew themselves regularly this is in line with the finding stating “To understand a company and its products, consumers need to know what type of company they have to do with, as well as what values are associated with it and how its employees come to meet the customers’ needs” (Denning 2011, 47)”
The customer orientation is a highly a discussed issue in the logic that shipping companies are not different from others companies from others sectors in the fact that they need customers to survive and their efforts should be directed customers of the maritime shipping companies.
Customer orientation for the shipping company is an important matter because it defines their strategy and in term of digital marketing that can be also seen as a limit due to the fact that some companies are so eager to please their customer that it can influence their strategy in the end.
However since customer orientation is different from the complexity of each customer, betting on please customers that way, can jeopardize the image of a company and sometimes there is no turning back to this kind of situation.
Our finding reveal that companies that have a digital marketing face tend to attract more customers than the others companies which don’t. Internet technologies are indeed an effective tool to engage with customers and in the same time to reduce cost, it shows that companies with a functional and regularly updated website attracts more customers and also provide more customer service, this is in line with the finding stated by Mr Issa Baluch saying that “companies that are succeeding must have their hand on their website because this is the face of the company and then build on it”
This suggest that shipping companies which takes the step of digital have better responses to his customer , if they have an updated website in order to answer in the best way the need of the customer.
Through our research, we’ve noticed that regarding the shipping maritime industry in Mozambique or in general, we have two types of company
The one with an open minded philosophy and vision that embraces new technology such as digital marketing, learn how to use, and mastering it in order to perform well and make the most from it, make profits, have more visibility and brand awareness
The second type which is a shipping company that think that invest in such strategies is worthless for the reasons quoted earlier ( fear, passive attitude etc) and would still survive the year despite the technological loss and potential that they can use in order to be so much more efficient and face the competition with more accuracy and efficiency.
Companies can benefit from digital marketing in general however our research is focused on the shipping industry , and that complicates thing because according to our finding companies can survive without having to use and implement digital marketing in their strategy. The environment of the maritime industry allows companies with a portfolio of customer to be able to succeed without relying on other technology that’s the reason why maritime industry is considered as a low technology sector compared to other sectors such as automotive. That’s why the subject was interesting to pursue, as reported by Efthimios P, Konstantinos P & Lawrence D (2011) “they stated that they explore the impact that the digital networked environment is having on the traditional service-based industry of freight shipping within global supply chains”
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Although our data seems to fit to this particular subject however we have some propositions regarding the matter , we think that digital marketing would be beneficial for maritime shipping companies, especially to small one that need visibility in this volatile environment dominated by the big firms. I would be profitable for a company to implement digital marketing in his strategy, in order to profit to the digital tools that lead companies to communicate at all levels, because of the nature of his environment, shipping industry is highly competitive so digital marketing could be an alternative to grasp some markets parts especially in Mozambique where the big firms have the most of the market share and the small one have to share the remaining left.
Social media should be better considered by maritime companies in Mozambique because when it’s mastered as the example of Maersk, it can bring several opportunities, however when misused or when a company doesn’t know to used it, it could jeopardize the image of a brand or a company, that could fatal for a sector so competitive; that’s why it should not be taken for granted otherwise the consequences could be bad and in the same time, a company could miss several opportunities to be more competitive.
Countries such as Mozambique shows an increase level of technology use, via the spreading of smartphones and the development of online structure such as ecommerce and online payment, digital marketing would be a huge help to capitalize on those factors and could open the road to the use of other tools of the digital marketing such as the search engine media.
According to our findings It would advantageous for maritime shipping industry to considered the use of email marketing as a way to communicate and engage with customer , they could add this tool to the social media to reach a bigger audience while staying professional.
To give out a robust work on this domain, it would be useful to carry out a large study scale with more Mozambican companies, the real issue was since everything (survey and questionnaires) was made online , people tend to not answer to surveys , we could use more of people answering directly of survey questionnaire allowing us to gather more data
We could also added to that, a case study related to the subject in order to compare between two different time, the time where the case study was published against a new recollection of data for the same area and the same subject
We could also regret the lack of studies or essays regarding the digital marketing for the maritime shipping in Mozambique or Africa in general, most Africans countries can encounters the same issue and face the same challenges, so it could be an interesting way to improve thing for future generations.
Given the importance of maritime shipping industry and also as the backbone of the commerce of some countries especially in Africa, the main implication from a research point of view is that further and more advanced investigations could be done in this field for Africa or a specific country in order to show that shipping companies can benefit from the use of digital marketing and can improve his visibility , and also can attract and retain customer even for this field , those facts can be applied to other fields as well.
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