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Digital Marketing: An Influence towards Business Performance among Entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises

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Digital marketing is basically promoting the brand of business products using all forms of digital advertising mediums as a more interactive and informative alternative. This is in line with the availability of internet technology and enabling various marketing methods to be done digitally. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to use this mediums optimally to achieve more aggressive and inovastive business quality. Specifically, this study aims to look at the digital media phenomenon which is seen as increasingly powerful as information and marketing channel agent as well as to test the impact of its usage on entrepreneurial performance. This study will consider the aspect of powerful digital marketing in the development of business performance among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). A quantitative approach based on cross sectional design is iapplied in this study. The questionnaire form as a research instrument is based on the domains in the identified variables. The sample consists of 300 SME entrepreneurs aged between 18 to 55 years old who run businesses around Klang Valley. The data was analyzed using SPSS software (Satistical Package for Social Sciences) and Smart PLS. The results reveal that the business purpose, product advertising, marketing benefits and product reputation have significant relationship with the business performance of SME entrepreneurs. The results of the structural equation modeling analysis showed that the powerful of digital marketing significantly influenced business performance. This explains that the dimensions, which measure the digital marketing, affect the business performance positively and thus help the business development towards a more effective system. Keywords: Digital Marketing, Digital Media, Promotion, Business Performance, SME Entrepreneurs.
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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Vol. 10, No. 9, 2020, E-ISSN: 2222-6990 © 2020 HRMARS
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Digital Marketing: An Influence towards Business
Performance among Entrepreneurs of Small and Medium
Enterprises
Faradillah Iqmar Omar, Ummi Munirah Syuhada Mohamad Zan, Nor Azlili
Hassan, Izzurazlia Ibrahim
To Link this Article: http://dx.doi.org/10.6007/IJARBSS/v10-i9/7709 DOI:10.6007/IJARBSS/v10-i9/7709
Received: 12 June 2020, Revised: 16 July 2020, Accepted: 17 August 2020
Published Online: 13 September 2020
In-Text Citation: (Omar, Zan, Hassan, & Ibrahim, 2020)
To Cite this Article: Omar, F. I., Zan, U. M. S. M., Hassan, N. A., & Ibrahim, I. (2020). Digital Marketing: An
Influence towards Business Performance among Entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises.
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences. 10(9), 126-141.
Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)
Published by Human Resource Management Academic Research Society (www.hrmars.com)
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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Vol. 10, No. 9, 2020, E-ISSN: 2222-6990 © 2020 HRMARS
127
Digital Marketing: An Influence towards Business
Performance among Entrepreneurs of Small and
Medium Enterprises
Faradillah Iqmar Omar, Ummi Munirah Syuhada Mohamad Zan
Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor, International Islamic University College Selangor
Email: faradillah@kuis.edu.my
Nor Azlili Hassan
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
Izzurazlia Ibrahim
Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor, International Islamic University College Selangor
Abstract
Digital marketing is basically promoting the brand of business products using all forms of digital
advertising mediums as a more interactive and informative alternative. This is in line with the
availability of internet technology and enabling various marketing methods to be done digitally.
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to use this mediums optimally to achieve more aggressive and
inovastive business quality. Specifically, this study aims to look at the digital media phenomenon
which is seen as increasingly powerful as information and marketing channel agent as well as to test
the impact of its usage on entrepreneurial performance. This study will consider the aspect of
powerful digital marketing in the development of business performance among Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs). A quantitative approach based on cross sectional design is iapplied in this study.
The questionnaire form as a research instrument is based on the domains in the identified variables.
The sample consists of 300 SME entrepreneurs aged between 18 to 55 years old who run businesses
around Klang Valley. The data was analyzed using SPSS software (Satistical Package for Social
Sciences) and Smart PLS. The results reveal that the business purpose, product advertising, marketing
benefits and product reputation have significant relationship with the business performance of SME
entrepreneurs. The results of the structural equation modeling analysis showed that the powerful of
digital marketing significantly influenced business performance. This explains that the dimensions,
which measure the digital marketing, affect the business performance positively and thus help the
business development towards a more effective system.
Keywords: Digital Marketing, Digital Media, Promotion, Business Performance, SME Entrepreneurs.
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Vol. 10, No. 9, 2020, E-ISSN: 2222-6990 © 2020 HRMARS
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Introduction
Today, the development of technology reflects the changes in many aspects of life. In the past, the
traditional media including printed and broadcast media, were the main communication channels for
the information transmission. The similar situation happens in business field when the business
community or entrepreneurs rely entirely on this traditional media to advertise and promote their
products. However today, a new phenomenon has emerged, namely marketing through digital media
among the entreprenuers. In fact, the statistics released by Malaysian Communications and
Multimedia Commission (MCMC) (2015), more than half of the Malaysians use smartphone to access
the Internet (Ahadzadeh & Sharif, 2017; Darwish, Abdo, & AlShuwaiee, 2018). This could be a golden
opportunity to society, especially to those who are rely heavily on the Internet access to their daily
live routine. By having this facilities of the Internet access, many things have been transformed from
analog to digital or online basis. Therefore, entreprenuers currently moving towards digital platform
of marketing and operate their business by online. Digital marketing is basically promoting the brands
by using all forms of digital advertising to reach targeted segments such as radio, mobile phones,
internet, television and social media. An important argument is on the value and power of digital
media marketing for business purposes. For entrepreneurs and business owners, digital media can
be seen as a good alternative. As Chaffey et al. (2009) described the internet marketing that achieves
marketing objectives is through the usage of digital technology. Today's entrepreneurs should have
the creative and innovative entrepreneurial features as technology advances their business products
to reach the global market. Indirectly, the digital marketing can enhance the business performance
of entrepreneurs if they are inverted with digital knowledge and skills from the outset.
In fact, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is one of the main catalysts for Malaysia's
economic growth (Normah, 2007). Almost 99.2 percent of all entrepreneurs in Malaysia are the
registered SMEs and contribute about 32 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Ghani &
Darawi, 2012). The role and contribution of SMEs in terms of the number of business establishments,
employment opportunities and the contribution to GDP among developed and developing countries
is seen as enormous (SME Corp. Malaysia, 2009). In line with the 2012/2020 SMEs Master Plan, the
World Bank revealed that there are six factors that affect SME business performance. One of these
factors is the adoption of technologies such as the low level of ICT usage which is the reason on the
low performances among the majority of SMEs (SME Corp. Malaysia, 2012).
Thus, the study focuses on digital marketing and its influence on the business performance of small
and medium enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, the objective of the study is;
To examine the phenomenon of digital media being increasingly seen as an agent and
medium for information and marketing as well as to test the impact of its usage on the
business performance.
Literature Review
Digital Marketing in Business
Digital marketing factors play an important role in influencing business performance in this new
millennium. It is important to drive a more creative and global business with the involvement of
access, skills and motivation of using this digital marketing medium. Malaysia is a country that
strongly supports the efforts to integrate the usage of ICT in development. The provision of
technological infrastructure is one of the government's efforts to ensure that Malaysians are able to
compete globally. In fact, digital marketing has grown exponentially since the 1990s and 2000s thus
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has changed the way brands and businesses are run using digital communication technologies as well
as tools for marketing entrepreneurs and business owners. Digital marketing campaigns are
becoming more efficient, as digital platforms are incorporated into the marketing strategy and daily
life of consumers, and as the consumers use digital devices instead of going to physical stores.
Today, the most commonly used digital marketing tool is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Wienclaw (2017) defines SEO as the process of increasing the probability that a website will be listed
in online search results and clearly placed in search results. Some SEO strategies are observed by
Weinclaw (2017), including website content customization, keyword addition, proper website
indexing, and ensuring that website content is unique. The results of the study by Pineiro-Otero and
Martinez-Rolan (2016) show that 88 percent of access worldwide is through Google search engine
while Gaikwad and Kate (2016) argue that SEO is a must for online marketing.
In addition, the power of digital marketing in the form of social media can also determine the
marketing of goods and services. As can be seen in recent years, the popularity of social networking
sites and social media has increased globally (Kucuk & Krishnamurthy, 2007). Social media has opened
up a business opportunity to communicate with millions of people about products and services and
has opened new marketing opportunities in the market (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). For instance,
Facebook is said to have more than one billion users when it was first introduced in 2004. The social
network is expanding its power by showing the majority of user, including the entreprenuers, spent
their time online. The users also use different online formats for communicating such as Blog,
YouTube, Myspace, Instagram and Facebook to share information about products or services
(Kozinet, 2002).
In this regard, Zhang, Dubinsky and Tan (2013) state that blogging is a tool for digital marketing
that has created an impact on increasing sales revenue, especially for the products that the customers
can read reviews and comment on their personal experiences. Online surveys show that business
activity works just as well as overall marketing strategies. Online services show greater influence on
consumers than traditional communication methods (Helm, Moller, Mauroner & Conrad, 2013).
Thus, the digital marketing variables in this study will be measured by three dimensions, namely the
benefits, reputation and purpose of using digital media in business.
New Millennium Business Performance
According to Guijarro, Auken and Garcia (2007) in Ab Wahab and Shuhymee Ahmad (2017), business
performance is very important in a company or organization. Strong performance can generate
benefits such as resource management, wealth creation and job opportunities. In running a business,
an entrepreneur needs to have a strategy or approach to ensure that the business being run can
improve the sales performance of the business. A study by Talib et al., (2017) found that rural online
entrepreneurs can explore more market opportunities as online businesses is a new mechanism in
borderless transactions that use information technology as a means of communication more widely
and simultaneously opening up market opportunities that make it easier to have unlimited
customers.
In this regard, Indrupati and Henari (2012) found that the Facebook platform is one of the
digital marketing mediums which helped companies or organizations maximize the profits. These
platforms are the important channel for communicating with new prospects or regular customers.
Mahwish et al. (2017) found that the impact of internet usage on business performance shows that
entrepreneurs in Lahore who used social media platforms as a more popular business network and
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growing in their marketing compared to the entrepreneurs who do not use internet mediums for
advertising or marketing purposes. According to Nawal (2015), four factors that describe the impact
of social media usage in entrepreneurship are advertising and branding, information access,
customer service and social capital. As such, the usage of social media as a digital marketing medium
has also influenced entrepreneur marketing strategies and has increased the reputation of brands
and services in the business field. Moreover, Fruhling and Digman (2000) found that the internet
usage can help businesses to increase the numbers of customers and market share as well as have
contributed to their business growth strategy. The usage of the internet facilitates the business to
expand its scope and core business through market penetration and product development. This fact
is supported by Porter (2001) who found that relationships established through the internet would
increase sales and generate opportunities for new products and services.
Methodology
This study employs quantitative approaches through face-to-face survey methods. According to
Babbie (2013), survey is one of the best data collection methods in any social science study as it can
provide accurate information to represent a large population. In fact, many scholars emphasize the
importance of surveys in facilitating the researchers to infer their research findings from a particular
group to give an overview of a large population. A set of questionnaires was developed and used as
a research instrument to obtain data. The research design is in accordance with the research
requirement which is to enable the researcher to collect data from the respondents at a given time.
Through this method, a selected group of samples from the selected population will respond to the
questionnaires which are distributed by the appointed enumerator.
Research Area
The identified areas are around Klang Valley, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Bangi and Shah Alam.
In order to obtain a good population, the sample was selected based on common urban areas with
new modern metropolitan and socioeconomic features. In this regard, the selection of areas for this
study took into account the high-risk urban residents who are involved in the online business system.
Likewise, it coincides with the business carnival events that are usually held around the Klang Valley.
The selection of this area is also based on the modernity of the Federal Territory and around the
Klang Valley which is in line with the characteristics of ICT users and the location of the area which is
also near to the Multimedia Super Corridor which facilitates the usage of ICT. In addition, Kuala
Lumpur also serves as a center for business, commercial, social, socio-economic, ICT and education
activities. By selecting the sample in this research area, it will be possible to give an overview of the
entrepreneurial activities undertaken.
Data Collection
The data collection process was done face-to-face with the distribution of the questionnaires to the
respondents. A set of questionnaires was administered to obtain information in answering the
research question. The questionnaires will cover several aspects such as demographic profiles and
evaluation model of the structural study. Researchers have conducted data collection at several
major business hub premises. Respondents need to answer the questions stated in the
questionnaires by providing the answers that they feel are most appropriate and relevant. A total of
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300 respondents were selected based on cluster sampling techniques to obtain a random SME
entrepreneurs in Bangi, Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam.
Research Instrument
The construct of digital marketing power is measured in three dimensions, namely (1) purpose of e-
marketing; (2) business product reputation through digital marketing; and (3) benefits of using digital
marketing. All three dimensions were measured on a Likert scale from (1) 'strongly disagree' to (5)
'strongly agree'. All items for each dimensions are composited to convert each dimension into one
score. These score-based dimensions will be used as three items that represent the construct of
marketing power. Descriptive data analysis was performed by using Statistical Pakcage for Social
Sciences (SPSS) software whereas the structural model evaluation used Partial Least Squares
Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) analysis method in order to achieve the objectives of the
study.
Research Findings
Demographic Profile
This study was conducted on 300 SME entrepreneurs who met the sampling criteria. The data in Table
1 shows that the majority of respondents were female entrepreneurs (56.7%) and the rest were male
entrepreneurs (43.3%). A total of 57.4% of respondents were entrepreneurs aged between 21 - 30,
while only a small proportion of 1.7% were between the age of 18 - 20. Majority of the respondents
were Malay entrepreneurs (72.3%), followed by Chinese (16.3%), Indians (6.7%), Sarawakians (3.7%),
Sabahans and others (0.3%). The majority of respondents also run and own the business individually
or by themselves without sharing with any parties (59%). A total of 33.7% of respondents shared their
business with friends or family with a small numbers of sharing members. Meanwhile, 4.7% of the
respondents do business with the opening of the Syarikat Sendirian Berhad and only 1.7% do business
in other ways. Majority of the respondents run their business between 2 and 4 years (54.7%). In terms
of digital media management, 80.3% of the respondents manage their business related matters with
digital media by themselves, while 40.7% are managed by their qualified staffs, and 28.7% are
managed by their children and relatives, while 7.7% are managed by their secretary. Table 1 describes
the distribution of respondents' profiles.
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Table 1: Demographic Profile
Information
Percentage
Male
Female
43.3
56.7
18-20
21-30
31-40
41 years old and above
1.7
57.4
33.2
7.7
Master
Bachelor Degree
Certificate/STPM/Diploma
SPM
SRP/PMR
UPSR
2.7
22.0
42.3
30.7
2.0
0.3
Malay
Chinese
Indian
Sabahan
Sarawakian
Others
72.7
16.3
6.7
0.3
3.7
0.3
Sin gle
Sha r ed
Syarikat Sendirian
Berhad
Syarikat Awam Berhad
Syarikat Kerjasama
Others
59.0
33.7
4.7
0.3
0.7
1.7
Less than 1 year
2 to 4 years
5 to 7 yeras
8 to 10 years
More than 10 years
12.7
54.7
24.7
4.0
4.0
Ownself
Children/Other relatives
Qualified staffs
Secretary
Others
80.3
28.7
40.7
7.7
2.3
Descriptive Analysis of Marketing Power
This descriptive analysis is to show the degree of tendency to centralize each items that absorbed by
the entire respondents (based on the average value, ) and the level of dispersion or position of each
items in the overall data answered by the respondents in order to demonstrate the uniformity of the
observations to enable the further analysis.
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Marketing power is measured based on three dimensions, namely purpose of usage, benefit
and reputation. Table 2 shows the mean () and standard deviation (SD) values of the eight items for

use online activities as a 
agreement with uniform distribution ( = 4.46, SD = 0.63). While the item "My company competitors
use online marketing methods, that's why I also want to use it" is the least purpose of usage tendency
among the respondents (  =

of agreement ( 
 = 4.41, SD = 0.64) indicates the
han
 = 4.18, SD =
0.79). Table 2 shows the details of each item for the three dimensions of marketing power.
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Table 2: Descriptive Analysis Construct of Marketing Power (n=300)
Dimension/Item
Min.
Max.
x̅
SD
Purpose of Usage
Companies need to use online activities as their marketing
efforts.
1
5
4.46
0.63
I prefer online advertising as my medium in line with the
current technology developments.
1
5
4.38
0.61
Online marketing makes business easier.
1
5
4.36
0.71
Online marketing is an interactive medium.
1
5
4.37
0.74
Online marketing requires low cost.
1
5
4.44
0.65
I want to try something new.
1
5
4.45
0.60
I want to get IT-savvy customers to use my product.
1
5
4.24
0.78
My competitors use online marketing methods, which is why
I like to use them as well.
1
5
4.32
0.73
Benefit
Generate more profit.
1
5
4.47
0.60
Cheaper than traditional marketing.
1
5
4.36
0.65
Access to more customers at a larger scale.
1
5
4.42
0.69
The product will be easier to see and know.
1
5
4.40
0.73
Acquire customers from overseas.
1
5
4.16
0.85
Being in a better position to compete with other companies.
1
5
4.32
0.67
Reputation
Customers can identify my company's products well.
1
5
4.41
0.64
I am able to produce an interactive visual and convince the
customer.
1
5
4.35
0.63
Most of my customers buy online instead of physical (offline).
1
5
4.18
0.79
Based on customer testimonials, I believe that they are
satisfied with the product being purchased.
1
5
4.29
0.72
Advertised products have many likes and shares on digital
media platforms.
1
5
4.33
0.70
Note: Min.= minimum scale value, Max.=maximum scale value, =Min value, SD=standard deviation value.
Measurement Evaluation Model Reflection of Digital Marketing Power
Evaluation of the reflective measurement model needs to be carried out to ensure the validity and
reliability will be achieved. Then, the evaluation towards the structural model was performed before
testing for each hypothesis of the study.
Figure 1 shows the results of the bootstrapping analysis of the digital marketing power model.
All items were significant as an individual representative for each dimension of this construct based
on p values was less than 0.05 (p <0.05).
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Figure 1: Digital marketing power model
Convergence validity tests show that most construct items of digital marketing power have
good indicator validity in all dimensions based on power convergence (pc) values above 0.5. Some

because they did not affect the composite reliability (CR) above 0.7 and AVE values above 0.5.
All dimensions also support the validity of construct convergence based on AVE values above
0.5. The validity test of the internal consistency construct based on all the dimensions that make up
           
Composite reliability (CR) values for all dimensions reach the levels greater than 0.6, so all construct
dimensions are accepted as achieving good internal consistency reliability. Table 3 shows the results
of the convergence validity analysis and internal consistency of the digital marketing power.
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Table 3: Convergence Validity and Internal Consistency Reliability
of Digital Marketing Power Construct
Digital Marketing
Power Construct
Indicator
Convergence Validity
Internal Consistency
Reliability
λ (>0.7)
pc
(>0.5)
AVE
(>0.5)
α
(0.6-0.9)
CR
(0.6-0.9)
Purpose of Usage
D1
0.750
0.563
0.585
0.898
0.918
D2
0.656
0.430
D3
0.707
0.500
D4
0.721
0.520
D5
0.611
0.373
D6
0.682
0.465
D7
0.570
0.325
D8
0.666
0.444
Benefit
D12
0.770
0.593
0.638
0.885
0.913
D13
0.687
0.472
D14
0.751
0.564
D15
0.794
0.630
D16
0.639
0.408
D17
0.767
0.588
Reputation
D18
0.786
0.618
0.681
0.883
0.914
D19
0.769
0.591
D20
0.676
0.457
D21
0.734
0.539
D22
0.658
0.433
An analysis of the discriminant validity on the construct of digital marketing power shows that
these three construct dimensions have a good discriminant validity. Cross-load analysis shows that
all items of digital marketing power dimension which are downloaded into the dimension based on
the size of loading factor of those items are larger than the other dimensioned items downloaded
into that dimension. The same goes for the items of another dimensions when cross downloaded into
other dimensions.
Table 4 reveals the results of cross-load analysis of digital marketing power constructs.
Whereas Table 5 shows the results of the Fornell-Larcker Criterion analysis of the digital marketing
power constructs. The results show that the square value of the variance of the purpose of usage
dimensions ( AVE = 0.765) and the reputation dimension ( AVE = 0.825) have greater values than
the correlation value (r) of the related dimension to the other dimensions in this construct. However,
for the dimension of benefit ( AVE = 0.799) indicates that the value of the variance square has a
smaller value than the correlation value (r) of the related dimension to the other dimensions in this
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construct. The HTMT analysis in Table 6 shows that all dimensions in the digital marketing power
contructs differ from each other based on all values in the table smaller than 0.90 except for the
reputation dimension of benefit (0.913). Nevertheless, the discriminant validity is still achieved based
on the Fornell-Larcker Criterion analysis. Thus, all the dimensions of digital marketing power
constructs, namely purpose, benefits and reputation are different from one another and can explain
the meaning of each dimension separately even in the same construct.
Table 4: Cross-load Test between Digital Marketing Power Construct Dimensions
Item
Purpose of
Usage
Benefit
Reputation
D1
0.807
0.620
0.542
D2
0.726
0.519
0.473
D3
0.814
0.559
0.470
D4
0.819
0.588
0.471
D5
0.742
0.461
0.380
D6
0.783
0.491
0.513
D7
0.669
0.417
0.400
D8
0.744
0.505
0.499
D12
0.599
0.834
0.640
D13
0.510
0.765
0.581
D14
0.564
0.828
0.635
D15
0.595
0.862
0.688
D16
0.454
0.674
0.611
D17
0.548
0.817
0.723
D18
0.557
0.762
0.834
D19
0.552
0.712
0.845
D20
0.478
0.600
0.785
D21
0.523
0.645
0.855
D22
0.416
0.606
0.806
Table 5: Fornell-Larcker Criterion Test among the Digital Marketing Power Construct Dimensions
(1)
(2)
(3)
Benefit (1)
0.799
Reputation (2)
0.810
0.825
Purpose of Usage (3)
0.685
0.615
0.765
Note: Value AVE (weighted value ), Correlation Value (non-weighted value)
Table 6: Heterotrait-Monotrait Ratio Test (HTMT) between Digital Marketing Power Construct
Dimensions
(1)
(2)
(3)
Benefit (1)
Reputation (2)
0.913
Purpose of Usage (3)
0.764
0.685
Note: HTMT < 0.90
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Evaluation Structural Research Model
Structural model is the research hypotheses model (also known as research conceptual frameworks).
It is formulated based on all measurement models that have achieved good validity and reliability.
The structural model of this study is designed as the first stage model of all the second level
measurement models that have been obtained. This means that all dimensions will turn into items in
such constructs. Marketing power construct has three dimensions, namely benefit, reputation and
purpose of usage. Figure 2 shows the results of the bootstrapping analysis to determine the
significance of each construct items (first stage) and the significant relationship between all
constructs in this structural model at 0.05 (p <0.05). The analysis shows that all construct items are
significant for marketing power and business performance as well as the relationship between all
constructs is also significant.
Figure 2: Digital marketing bootstrapping analysis of business performance
As for the algorithm analysis, Figure 3 shows the results of the PLS algorithm that indicated
         
constructs. The large R2 value of social cohesion of 45.2% (R2 = 0.452) indicates that the preferance
of digital marketing power construct is appropriate in explaining the achievement of business
performance level among the business community. There was a significant positive effect of digital
marketing 
higher the power of digital marketing, the more business performance will be achieved.
Figure 3: PLS Analysis of digital marketing algorithm for business performance
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Conclusion
Entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need to take steps to become a creative and
innovative group of entrepreneurs. This is relevant in today's business world in facing with
transformation and paradigm shifts in the world of digital marketing. In line with this, the usage of
digital media has given a new medium for the entrepreneurs in doing business online creatively. The
business sector is becoming healthier and more competitive with the variety of options offered by
the entrepreneurs in digital media that also encourage customers to make smarter choices. This study
found that the power of digital marketing has a significant influence on business performance. This
includes the purpose of using digital marketing mediums, the benefits of using digital marketing and
the reputation of the product reputation after using a well-developed digital marketing. Ironically, as
the world of technology crosses the border, there is always opportunities for entrepreneurs to
market their products to a more global level. However, SME entrepreneurs need to have the
knowledge and skills to use this digital marketing medium such as SEO, and other e-commerce
platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, Zalora as well as other social media applications.
Therefore, the purpose, benefits and reputation of good products which are marketed
through the digital medium can positively influence the business performance of SME entrepreneurs.
Recommendations for future studies include an in-depth interview or focus group with SME
entrepreneurs to gain insights, perceptions and experiences of using digital media. This study
recommends that the ministries and the policy makers to arise up with favourable internet surfing
rates and e-business policies to boost the technological implementation that would grow the SME
industry and entrepreneurs. The SME entrepreneurs should pursue to learn and adopt digital media
tools that provide an opportunity for performance of the business through increased sales, profits
and providing employment for Malaysians. The SMEs therefore have no possibility but to ensure that
their workforces are computer literate or can use mobile internet technology and can engage
customers in digital media platforms for the benefit of the industries. Investors should effort on
serving SMEs with digital media through training and provision of entrepreneurship solutions that
bridge the current gap where some SME entrepreneurs are not using digital media due to various
limitations. The investors can offer funding and technological solutions such as mobile phones and
sponsored computers, and also rewarding SMEs that grow as a result of integrating digital media in
their operations. The SME entrepreneurs should note that the customers have become progressively
well-informed on digital media networks therefore they are more technologically up-to-date or
educated consumers. Further studies should seek to establish whether the impact of digital media
adoption by SMEs is the same or different across all entrepreneur sectors. In addition, it is also
important that research is carried out on the entrepreneurs in the rural areas to understand their
level of knowledge and usage of digital media. They are also a group of entrepreneurs who cannot
be ignored because they indirectly contribute to the nation's economic development eventhough in
a small scale. Therefore, with the power of digital marketing, the entrepreneurs can improve their
business performance across the globe.
This SME group that formed through online social networks is actually seen to connect and
bind the existing relationships with offline social networks. While it may be a weak relationship, there
are certain elements of offline social networking that are as common among users as the occurrence
of personal relationships after using this online digital media. Those who are regularly post things and
spend more time in this virtual environment are more likely to establish personal relationships using
other mediums such as email and telephone, and even meet offline. Therefore, it is clear that the
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trend towards communication in the form of networking can also be seen in Malaysia as more and
more people, including the SME entrepreneurs, use this digital media. With the relatively high
penetration rate of social networks in Malaysia, this shows that the community in Malaysia, including
SMEs are experiencing a transition in the form of their communication or social interaction which
reveal the establishment of a networked community with widespread use of online digital media
from the ever-evolving development of new media technologies.
Acknowledgement
This paper is part of a research grant funded under the KUIS / RMC.100-36 / R / 05-24 (056) project
of the 2018 Research and Innovation Grant.
Corresponding Author: Faradillah Iqmar Omar, Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS),
Bandar Seri Putra, 43000 Kajang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA Email: faradillah@kuis.edu.my.
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... Researchers have studied the topic of the influence of digital marketing on the business operations and success of small-and medium-sized enterprises. Authors have dealt with how digital marketing influences an enterprise's business performances and how it helps to develop a more effective business system [61]. Ritz et al. [62] examine the application of digital marketing in small enterprises and conclude that technological benefits are not the only drivers for the application of this form of marketing. ...
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