Internet’s influence on the marketing activities of South African companies
Bevan-Dye, Ayesha Lian
De Klerk, Natasha
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Although research studies regarding the Internet’s impact on marketing conducted in the past in different countries and at different times produced quite similar trends in responses, advances in Internet technologies and the increased Internet usage necessitated reinvestigating marketers’ perceptions as to the changes in marketing practices brought about by the Internet. This study sought to determine the South African marketing practitioners’ perceptions of the Internet’s influence on the practice of marketing in 2011 and compare these perceptions with those of marketers in Australia 2001 and Iran 2005. A cross industry survey of the marketing practitioners at the top 100 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa was conducted by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent via e-mail to those marketing practitioners from whom telephonic permission had been obtained. The findings indicate that South African marketers perceive the Internet to have changed the way companies conceptualise their marketing activities, define their markets, and create value. This study contributes to the practice of marketing by outlining the potential uses of the Internet in marketing and indicating trends across three countries and time periods.