The use of digital marketing for sales growth in women-owned small, medium and micro-enterprises in South Africa

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Women are an important part of the entrepreneurial economy. In the 4th industrial revolution, incorporating the latest available tools was an important part of growth and business sustainability. The purpose of this study is to understand the digital marketing usage by women-owned SMMEs in South Africa. The research method utilised was interviews using a convenience sample from 15 participants. The participants were drawn from women-owned businesses and comprised of business owners and employees responsible for marketing within the organisation. The findings show that women-owned SMMEs are aware of and do use some of the available digital platforms. However, their knowledge of how to fully leverage these platforms and take advantage of them is limited. The study highlighted that there are challenges faced by the WO businesses in leveraging digital marketing in their businesses this can be attributed to a deeply entrenched inequality in society or from the fact that women entrepreneurs start off from a worse of position versus men. Interestingly the digital world reflects what happens in the real world. Recommendations include an establishment of a woman representation body that will represent women-owned SMMEs in the public and private sectors, training that will provide easy to implement measures and quantifiable outcomes for SMMEs to use in their strategies or in cases of outsourcing digital marketing implementation to a third party
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Management (in the field of Digital Business) to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022
Digital marketing, Social media marketing, Women-owned business, Small business, UCTD