Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present by means of thorough analysis of the selected market the perception of innovative approaches in marketing communication, both from the perspective of the companies on the supply side and from the perspective of their potential customers on the demand side. As regards the companies, it is in particular about their perception of relative benefits the use of electronic marketing instruments has given the degree of effort and resources spent on the establishment and maintenance of e-marketing infrastructure. As regards the customers, it is, in turn, about their perception of the particular aspects of use of virtual social networks by the companies for branding purposes or directly for promotion.
Methodology/Approach: Object of the research were real companies active on the analysed market. The subject of the research were their actual and potential customers represented by the users of one of the local Internet portals long active on the analysed market. Both these groups were presented with questions by means of electronic questionnaires. The data were subsequently processed and interpreted through cluster analyses.
Findings: Based on the confirmed aspects we came to the conclusion that perceived benefit of the Internet on business is closely related to on-line activity of the companies and to the number of instruments the company uses to promote its business. Last but not least, we have investigated whether economic status of the users (real or potential customers) has an impact on their perception of the companies' use of social networks for promotional purposes. The similarity of behaviour of particular groups allows for more accurate targeting of on-line activity with respect to selected target markets.
Research Limitation/implication: The biggest limitation is the territorial nature of the research. Research was targeted primarily at the Central European market.
Originality/Value of paper: Presented partial results of the comprehensive research are based on empirical data collected from important samples of both sides of the analysed market, thus this paper as such may significantly contribute to the clarification of the issue of innovations in promotional mix in order to increase competitiveness or prosperity of SMEs active on the central European market.
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