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Do-it-yourself Marketing and Digital Marketing Adoption: Evidence from a Developing Country

Do-it-yourself Marketing and Digital Marketing Adoption: Evidence from a Developing Country Background: Digital marketing is a new form of business management and promotion, namely promoting services and products of (SMEs)small and medium enterprises. Despite the importance of digital marketing, SMEs in developing and post-transition countries still do not fully utilize the benefits of digital marketing. Objectives: This study aims to analyse the DIY (do-it-yourself) model and the impact that this model has on digital marketing adoption. Methods/Approach: The online survey research was conducted among 194 SME managers in Kosovo. The proposed research model was analysed by partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). Results: Findings show that the degree of perception of ease of use impacts the process of digital marketing adoption. Moreover, the degree of control seems to be the most important factor impacting process of the digital marketing in SMEs. Conclusions: SMEs use DIY marketing and adopt digital marketing because this form of practicing marketing activities offers more control for companies in their marketing activities. In addition, perceived ease of use of technology facilitates the process of digital marketing adoption among SMEs. Finally, the study provides insights for managers and businesses using DIY marketing and adopting the process of the digital marketing in SMEs. Keywords: DIY; do-it-yourself; digital marketing; impact; SMEs JEL classification: M30; M31 Paper type: Research article Received: 28 Jul 2021 Accepted: 9 Oct 2021 Citation: Emini, A., Merovci, S. (2021), “Do-it-yourself Marketing and Digital Marketing Adoption: Evidence from a Developing Country”, Business Systems Research, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.1-16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bsrj-2021-0016 Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Introduction Today, businesses face numerous technological changes that significantly impact the way marketing is applied. Businesses must adapt and build their strategies to be competitive in the market. One of the technological breakthroughs transforming marketing adoption into businesses is the internet. The internet and other digital technologies have changed the marketing environment and its adoption (Peter et al., 2021). Applying digital marketing involves different strategies on how the business aims to reach the customer through digital marketing channels. Digital marketing strategy is a marketing channel strategy, and it needs to be embedded and used with other channels of multichannel marketing. This paper aims to explore the factors influencing businesses in Kosovo to adopt digital marketing, which will be realized by examining the motives and attitudes that push these businesses to participate in this activity. According to Kane et al. (2015), a lot of time has passed since digital marketing was first applied commercially and subsequently created a global network. According to them, the panorama of businesses and doing business has changed substantially. Large corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay, which were unknown a few years ago, are now significant players in the world economy. Moe et al. (2011) show that corporations present the great importance of building digital relationships with customers using different devices. Literature also suggests that enterprises' central area of activity is marketing. Digital marketing is considered the marketing of company marketing offers that will allow the digitalization of screens, mainly via the internet. Digital marketing can be used for advanced data analysis, thus enabling building relationships with customers and improving results (Elgendy et al., 2014). Wolf et al. (2013) describe DIY as to how ipeople behave while processing various materials they transform or reconstruct. The term 'do-it-yourself' has broader applications, including performing various business tasks such as arts, crafts, fashion, software engineering, or even film production, but is not defined only by these. Digital marketing, since its first appearance in the 1990s, has undergone many changes, beginning with the way companies use it to promote their brands and the way it has emerged by incorporating marketing plans into consumers' daily lives. Despite its importance in many developing and post-transition countries, digital marketing is not utilized to the degree comparable to developed economies. Most businesses in Kosovo believe that digital marketing can positively impact their business activity. For example, in their study of 423 businesses, Mullatahiri et al. (2019) confirm that communication through digital marketing contributes to improving the brand image, customer satisfaction, and loyalty in the telecommunication industry in Kosovo. Also, in their study of businesses, Jashari et al. (2017) find that about 59% of respondents reported making unplanned purchasing decisions based on information obtained online, and 61.5% of them stated that they were motivated to buy based on their friends' reviews on social media. However, despite these benefits in Kosovo, firms seem hesitant to practice social media as an appropriate media of communication because they have not realized opportunities versus its costs (Ejupi, 2017) yet. Besides, the social media topic has not been investigated among Kosovar businesses with proper consideration (Ejupi, 2017). This is also confirmed by the analysis of the Independent Media Commission (2013), which states that 70% of marketing spending is focused on conventional marketing communications such as TV and radio, while on the other hand, only 3% of advertising spending are dedicated to the online channels, which is an unsatisfactory percentage, albeit in an increasing trend. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 This points to the gap between the potential for digital marketing utilization and how much businesses use it. Therefore, this study aims to explore the factors that impact adoption of digital marketing in businesses in Kosovo. This research focuses mainly on the conceptual meaning of digital marketing by applying the DIY (do-it-yourself) model and the impact on the quality of digital marketing in Kosovo. In addition, this reserach provide concrete recommendations for the SME owner-managers about the increase of use of digital marketing by Kosovo businesses, which would increase their performance. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. First, the literature review is discussed and research propositions are developede; then sample data and methodology is introduced. Last, the paper discusses results and provides managerial implications for SME managers and future literature directions. Literature review Digital marketing describes activities linked with marketing activities of promoting products and services through some digital platforms. The term digital marketing describes the process of digital technologies used by companies in order to retain customers, engage customers, promote products and services and increase sales. This term can also be seen as an activity, institution, or communication between businesses and customers (Wolf et al., 2013). Therefore, digital marketing is defined as any activity taken by companies while posting content about their products and services using various digital devices (Cole et al., 2017). The digital adoption process enabled by digital technologies delivers more value in this digitalization process. Thus, digital technology empowers companies to use digital marketing in order to create such value for the company and their porspects (Gnanasambandam et al., 2012.) Digital marketing would reshape strategies deployed by companies to enhance customer relationship marketing (CRM) and value co-creation. Hewett et al. (2016) revealed that digital technologies significantly influence customer value. Company websites enable brand communication where customers express their feelings about their preferred brands and at the same time provide feedback to both companies and customer groups (Hewett et al., 2016). Therefore, new internet technologies provide companies with extra opportunities to reach segments they could not reach. Digital marketing devices facilitate marketing communication with the prospects to promote their marketing offer and gain their attention (Tiago et al., 2014). In addition, this new form of communication has made companies change their communication strategies and adapt to the new momentum by reacting and coping with the new demanding marketing activities (Järvinen et al., 2012; Baltes, 2015). Digital marketing devices can also influence positioning strategies for branding by search engine optimization (SEO) since SEO can be adapted and applied in many devices, enabling customers to use more search adoption from different devices. Brand awareness facilitated by digital marketing helps consumers differentiate brands in the market (Keller, 2001). Thus, helping companies position their brands in their minds (Aaker, 1991). Hanssens et al. (2016) discussed how digital technologies help companies analyze the firm's marketing value. Digitalization provides more opportunities to measure company performance by measuring different implementation. Smarts companies know how to deploy such digital marketing devices and technologies to help com[amies create competitive advantages, increase their market share presence, and build brand equity. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Digital marketing promotes two-way communication, where consumers can post their comments and reviews. In a study, Chevalier et al. (2006) found that online reviews impact a book's sales ranking. In this line, Moe et al. (2011) revealed that online reviews affect sales. Research propositions development The DIY behavior model and the TAM model describe business owners' and managers' perceptions concerning the factors and the outcomes that might impact small and medium-sized enterprises using digital marketing in their marketing activities. Therefore, the study uses two existing models: DIY model of behavior (Wolf et al., 2013) and the TAM model (Davis, 1989), to develop research propositions for investigating perceptions of managers and business owners concerning the use of digital marketing communication in SMEs in Kosovo. DIY is a behavior in which individuals process various materials they transform or reconstruct (Wolf et al., 2013). The term 'do-it- yourself' has broader applications, including performing various business tasks such as arts, crafts, fashion, software engineering, or even film production. Still, it is not defined only by these (Wolf et al., 2013). According to the DIY model, managers may follow digital marketing activities because of some antecedents’ factors (motivation factors), such as perceived economic benefit, availability of products and the lack of product quality, and the outcome results such as degree of control, degree of fun and control, and self- improvement (Wolf et al., 2013). Both motivators and outcomes of the DIY model describe consumer processes and experiences (Wolf et al., 2011). Therefore, these two models are combined to analyze motivation factors and outcomes for performing DIY activities and technology adoption because of the limited financial resources of SMEs, especially business owners and managers in small companies resulting in digital marketing activities for their marketing offers. The use of the internet for marketing purposes provides companies with advantages. In this context, companies are motivated to use online marketing communications since this form of communication provides companies using the internet a technology that facilitates the two-way communication of companies, and they are prospective. Therefore, digital marketing facilitates this form of communication and builds company image, improving customer loyalty and business performance (Ritz et al., 2019). The development of digital marketing since the 1990s has undergone many changes, beginning with the way brands and businesses use it and as emerging digital platforms increasingly incorporate marketing plans into consumers' daily lives. Nowadays, access to marketing activities through the internet is almost free and open, and SMEs do not specialize enough in using digital tools, like, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media platforms, and content marketing. Many previous studies point out that SMEs do not profit from the potential that digital marketing provides to businesses and do not grasp the opportunity provided by such digital tools (Taiminen et al., 2015). Therefore, the DIY model enhances the understanding of why SMEs support markers efforts in any business to enhance relationships with their customers (Ritz et al., 2019). "Do-it-yourself’ (DIY) as terminology is usually traced back to the 1950s, referencing people who performed work such as maintenance, repair, or modification of any activities in their homes or other vehicles without any prior knowledge linked with that work or activity. They believed they could perform such activities themselves without paying other parties to carry the work for them, henceforth benefiting from not Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 incurring costs, completing the inconvenient work time, personal satisfaction, and doing things the way one wants (Knobel et al., 2010). DIY outcomes are significant for the function of businesses internally. The feeling of sense and excitement dimension in the model postulates that people engaged in digital marketing activities can obtain positive feelings and excitement because digital communication provides an enjoyable experience (Ritz et al., 2019). The do-it-yourself project provides more enjoyable moments, regardless of any eventual difficulties during the project realization (Wolf et al., 2011). The sense of control as a factor of the DIY model suggests that business owners can use technology to realize their specific goals, henceforth providing positive feelings because of being in charge of the control of the activities (Wen et al., 2015). According to Lusch et al. (2007), new projects and unforeseen difficulties provide more control for mastery in fulfilling specific goals. Hence, we posit the following research propositions: o RP1. The degree of feeling of sense and excitement as a factor of the DIY has a significant impact on digital marketing adoption. o RP2. The degree of sense of control as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. Traditional communication methods and building customer relationships are not seen as prevailing communication tools to reach the target audience. Even though information technologies have facilitated two-way communication (Pejić Bach et al., 2018), some skeptical managers still think face-to-face communication is more effective (Lacka et al., 2016; Pejić Bach et al., 2017). But, additionally, some authors point out that digital marketing provides initial experience for business owners while using social media for small businesses (Michaelidou et al., 2011). The degree of intention to use digital marketing or intention to discontinue using digital technology is influenced by expectations and new experience (Venkatesh et al., 2000), satisfaction, and intention to use technology (Sun, 2013). Thus, we posit the following research propositions: o RP3. The degree of intention to discontinue as a DIY factor significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. o RP4. The degree of perceived ease of use as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. The lackof quality of product motivates businesses to undertake their activities. The DIY model's perceived lack of quality as an outcome motivator makes business owners engage in projects because they think they can perform activities with more cost- benefit and more productivity (Wolf et al., 2011). In addition, Wolf et al. (2011) suggest that performing digital marketing activities provides business managers more opportunities to respond to their customers more effectively. Thus, we propose the following research proposition: o RP5. The degree of perceived lack of quality as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Figure 1 The Proposed Research Concept Source: Author’s illustration Figure 1 depicts the conceptual model integrating DIY behavior (the degree of feeling of sense and excitement, the degree of sense of control, degree of intention, and perceived lack of quality) the TAM model (the degree of perceived ease of use) dimension. Methodology Research instrument The study investigates factors contributing to digital marketing adoption among businesses in Kosovo. The scales for measuring the degree of feeling and excitement, degree of control, degree of intention to discontinue, degree of ease of use, and degree of quality were taken from Ritz et al. (2019) and Wolf et al. (2013) whereas, digital marketing adoption construct was developed consulting the existing literature review. Table 1 presents the research instrument, which consists of the six constructs. The questionnaire was translated to Albanian for respondents to understand the questions better. The respondents replied by responding to a five-point Likert scale. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 1 Research Constructs Description Constructs Items and codes Source The degree of DFE1. I find DIY internet marketing activities to be exciting. Adapted from: feeling of fun DFE2. When I engage in DIY Internet marketing projects is Ritz et al. (2019); and fun. Wolf et al. (2013) excitement DFE3. DIY Internet marketing projects are interesting. (DFE) DFE4. I enjoy myself in DIY Internet marketing projects. The degree of DSC1. Internet Do-It-Yourself (DIY) marketing projects Adapted from: sense of support managing business goals. Ritz et al. (2019); control (DSC) DSC2. Internet do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing projects enable Wolf et al. (2013) people to control the project better. DSC3. Internet do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing projects make people more responsible during the project situation. DSC4. During Internet Do-It-Yourself (DIY) marketing projects, people have confidence in the project itself. Perceived PDEU1. It’s straightforward to learn how to create and Adapted from: degree of promote products and services online. Ritz et al. (2019); ease of use PDEU2. It’s straightforward for me to achieve promotion Wolf et al. (2013) (PDEU) goals through the internet. PDEU3. The interaction while promoting products or services are clear and understandable on the internet. PDEU4. The internet makes it easier for me to become agile in promoting our products and services online. PDEU5. I find it very easy to develop online promotions for our products and services online. The degree of DQ1. Website developers are not so reliable, that’s why I Adapted from: quality (DQ) think creating our Internet promotions is good. Ritz et al. (2019); DQ2. Internet marketing experts do not perform what I Wolf et al. (2013) expect them to do; that’s why I think creating your Internet promotions makes sense. DQ3. Creating promotions on the internet is good because I can perform better than expert web developers. DQ4. Engaging internet marketing professionals perform worse results in jobs than when I engage myself. DQ5. I have to do the work myself because the work of the hiring people is not of good quality. Intention to ID1. I plan to stop using internet marketing because of Adapted from: discontinue to another technology superior to my needs, even though I am Ritz et al. (2019); use of digital pleased with it. Wolf et al. (2013) marketing (ID) ID2. I predict I will no longer use Internet marketing because it does not suit my needs. D3. I intend to discontinue and replace internet marketing with something else I’m unhappy with. ID4. I plan to move to another superior digital tool instead of using Facebook. Digital DMA1. I think it is essential to apply digital marketing in our marketing company. adoption DMA2. Digital marketing facilitates marketing (DMA) communication. DMA3. We plan to continue communicating with our customers via internet technologies. Source: Author’s work Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Sample A research instrument (Table 1) was sent to all-sized companies in Kosovo managers. The structured questionnaire was sent to 250 companies and collected 194 questionnaires. We used an online Google Form for collecting the data, which was distributed by email. The respondents’ anonymity and confidentiality were previously consented to before taking part in the survey process. The research was carried out with a total of 194 SME managers from Kosovo, 143 of which were men (73.7%) and 51 were female (26.3%) (see Table 1). We see that managers with secondary education are 21 or 10.8%, with university education are 95 or (49%), with postgraduate education are 71 or 36.6%, and seven did not answer this question or 3.6%. Of the 18-30 age group, 31 managers (16%), 93 of the 31-45 age group (47.9%), 52 of the 46-55 age group (26.8%), and 18 over 55 or 9.3%. Analysis The coded data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistical package and Smart PLS to evaluate the measurement model and structural equation modeling. In reflective models, we consider the outer loadings and the AVE (average variance extracted) while assessing the convergent validity of the construct (Zeqiri et al., 2020). For a better model fit, Hair et al. (2017) recommend outer loadings to be 0.708 and up as a general rule of thumb. The convergent validity evaluates how close the items are to a given construct. The average variance extracted (AVE), factor loadings, Cronbach’s alpha, and composite reliability are evaluated (Rahman et al., 2016). The heterotrait-monotrait ratio (HTMT) evaluated discriminant validity. Discriminant validity assesses how much items in one construct are different from items of other constructs (Zeqiri, 2020). As a rule of thumb, the HTMT values for all constructs must be below 0.85 (Hair et al., 2017). A general rule for outer loadings suggests all loadings need to be 0.708 or higher (Hair et al., 2017). The collinearity issue is measured with VIF values, and VIF values that are greater than 3.3 show an issue with collinearity (Kock, 2015). The bootstrapping technique evaluates the research propositions. With the help of the bootstrapping technique, we assess the PLS-SEM model, R-square (R2), beta, and t-values (Hair et al., 2017). The Stone-Geisser’s Q2 following a blindfolding procedur was used to evaluate the predictive relevance of the model. In assessing the goodness of the model fit, we firstly test the Standard Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR). The SRMR values less than 0.10 or 0.08 are considered a good fit (Henseler et al., 2014). The second fit index to be tested in PLS-SEM is NFI, which are required to be above 0.9 to denote a good fit (Zeqiri et al., 2020). Results Table 2 reveals that values of Cronbach’s alpha range from 0.838 to 0.917, denoting good reliability of the constructs since the values are over the suggested threshold of 0.70 (Ursachi et al., 2015). The values of Composite reliability range from 0.900 to 0.938, exceeding the proposed threshold of 0.70. In addition, Fornell et al. (1981) suggested a threshold of AVE of 0.50, thus, the AVE values vary from 0.635 to 0.841, which are over the suggested threshold. Therefore, the figures in table 3 indicate that convergent validity was reached, and further analysis can be carried out. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 2 Construct Reliability Cronbach' rho_A Composite AVE s Alpha Reliability The degree of feeling of fun and excitement 0.905 0.906 0.941 0.841 (DFE) The degree of sense of control (DSC) 0.917 0.930 0.938 0.750 Intention to discontinue to use of digital 0.838 0.881 0.900 0.751 marketing (ID) Perceived degree of ease of use (PDEU) 0.905 0.906 0.934 0.779 The degree of quality (DQ) 0.855 0.875 0.895 0.632 Digital marketing adoption 0.901 0.901 0.938 0.835 Source: Author's work The findings in table 3 reveal that all the HTMT values in all constructs are below the suggested threshold of 0.85. Henceforth, all constructs have discriminant validity. Table 3 The Heterotrait-Monotrait Ratio DSC DFE PDEU DQ DMA The degree of sense of control (DSC) The degree of feeling of fun and excitement 0.573 (DFE) Perceived degree of ease of use (PDEU) 0.610 0.729 The degree of quality (DQ) 0.306 0.498 0.345 Digital marketing adoption 0.667 0.453 0.627 0.212 Intention to discontinue to use of digital 0.173 0.211 0.158 0.124 0.278 marketing (ID) Source: Author’s work *Note that the following items: ID3, and DFE3, were removed from the model because of the VIF value issues Table 5 shows means, factor loadings, standard deviations, t-values, and VIF for all construct items. The values provided in table 5, all item loadings vary from 0.720 to 0.945, above the suggested threshold. The VIF values in table 5 show that the model is not biased. The findings supported RP2, RP3, and RP4 research propositions and rejected RP1 and RP5. The results in table 6 support RP2 that degree of control positively affects digital marketing adoption with path coefficient = 0.438, t-value = 5.708, and p < 0.000). The results also support in RP4, denoting that perceived ease of use impacts positively digital marketing adoption with path coefficient = 0.354, t-value = 4.192, and p < 0.000). In addition, RP3 is also supported, i.e., intention to discontinue to use digital marketing is negatively significant with path coefficient= -0.143, t-value = 2.918, and p <0 .004). Furthermore, the results in table 6 did not show any support for RP1 and RP5. Degree of feeling and excitement did not show any significant relationship with digital marketing adoption with path coefficient= -0.076, t-value = 0.940, and p < 0.347). Finally, RP5, degree of quality also did not show any significant relation with applying digital marketing, with path coefficient= -0.019, t-value = 0.332, and p < 0.740). Relationships are presented in Figure 2. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 5 Factor Loadings Items Loading Mean St.Dev. t-values VIF ID1 0.881 2.530 0.797 5.386 1.885 ID2 0.913 2.559 0.895 5.190 2.444 ID4 0.801 2.599 0.852 2.300 1.900 DQ1 0.793 2.911 1.255 2.611 2.572 DQ2 0.803 2.926 1.164 2.175 2.261 DQ3 0.881 2.901 1.251 3.345 3.348 DQ4 0.720 2.446 1.353 1.670 2.986 DFE1 0.893 3.282 1.183 13.386 2.497 DFE2 0.945 3.470 1.165 16.665 4.149 DFE4 0.912 3.644 1.095 14.026 3.208 DSC1 0.882 3.668 1.087 19.853 2.572 DSC2 0.850 3.589 1.106 17.015 2.261 DSC3 0.907 3.668 1.064 17.476 3.348 DSC4 0.891 3.738 1.041 16.992 2.986 PDEU1 0.891 3.569 1.176 19.249 3.330 PDEU2 0.865 3.594 1.087 14.729 3.098 PDEU3 0.884 3.713 1.075 16.870 2.936 PDEU4 0.869 3.584 1.101 16.972 3.018 PDEU5 0.821 3.733 1.084 12.426 2.219 DMA1 0.901 3.817 1.117 28.426 2.518 DMA2 0.925 3.886 1.131 28.354 3.289 DMA3 0.914 3.822 1.107 28.437 2.922 Source: Author’s calculations Table 6 Research propositions Testing Results Research propositions Path St.dev. T-values P-values coefficient RP1 The degree of feeling of fun and -0.076 0.081 0.940 0.347 excitement (DFE) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP2 The degree of sense of control 0.438 0.077 5.708 0.000*** (DQ) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP3 Intention to discontinue to use of -0.143 0.049 2.918 0.004*** digital marketing (ID) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP4 Perceived degree of ease of use 0.354 0.085 4.192 0.000*** (PDEU) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP5 The degree of quality (DQ) -> -0.019 0.057 0.332 0.740 Digital marketing adoption (DMA) Note: statistically significant at 1% Source: Author’s work Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Figure 2 PLS-SEM modeling Note: DFE2, ID3, were removed from the model because of VIF issues and low loadings Source: Authors’ work Table 6 shows the predictive relevance and the effect size or the power of the variables predicting the variance explained. As it can be seen, the degree of control as a reason for digital marketing adoption seems to be effective; next is the degree of perceived ease of use followed by other factors. The model explained 47.2 percent of the variance in digital marketing adoption. The predictive value for digital marketing adoption is 38.4% (Q ), showing a good relevance of prediction (Hair et al., 2017). In our study, the NFI value is 0.801, near the proposed threshold, and SMRM is 0.062, denoting that the model fits well for the saturated and estimated models. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 6 2 2 2 Co-efficient of determination (R ), Predictive Relevance (Q ), and Effect size (f ) Constructs Coefficient of Predictive Effect size (f ) determination relevance 2 2 R Q Digital marketing adoption Digital marketing adoption 0.472 0.384 Degree of control 0.220** Degree of feeling 0.005* Degree of perceived ease of use 0.119* Degree of quality 0.001* Digital marketing adoption Intention to discontinue 0.037* Source: Author’s work Note: *Small effect 0 to 0.20, **Medium effect 0.20 to 0.50, ***Large effect more than 0.50 Discussion Larger businesses are more likely to use digital marketing than small and medium-sized enterprises. Still, the vast majority of literature of digital marketing investigates the behavior of large businesses. This provides a gap in digital marketing literature about why SMEs have a limited adoption of digital marketing than larger organizations. Therefore, we contribute to the literature on digital marketing by explaining why SMEs have limited adoption of digital marketing. We used the DIY behavior and TAM models to study SMEs' digital technology marketing adoption behavior in Kosovo. Therefore, this research explores the motivating factors and outcomes of certain behavior of SMEs linked with the need to perform digital marketing by business owners and managers of these companies. Järvinen et al. (2012) pointed out that small organizations have limited abilities to use digital marketing compared to large organizations. Thus, this study tried to explore the behavior SMEs concerning technology adoption and digital marketing activities. The research concept is based on the TAM (Davis, 1989) dimensions and the DIY behavior model (Wolf et al., 2013) in order to explore the adoption of technology and digital marketing of businesses and managers in SMEs in Kosovo. This study used data from 194 SME managers from Kosovo. PLS-SEM analysis indicates that the businesses and managers are motivated to apply digital marketing activities because of some antecedents of the DIY behavior model. Findings show that the main factors impacting the digital marketing adoption are the perception of the degree of ease of use of digital marketing, which has perceived opportunities to promote online products or services, achieving promotion objectives on the internet. There are opportunities for interaction and faster access to business development and promotion. The findings are supported by other previous studies, such as studies carried out by Wolf et al. (2011) and Michaelidou et al. (2011). The second factor that statistically has an impact on digital marketing is the perception of the degree of control. It includes the opportunity for better promotion control, based on the developers of websites, and sees it as an opportunity to realize themselves without needing someone else's help. These findings are supported by Wen et al. (2015), Lusch et al. (2007), and Wolf et al. (2019). The main factor impacting digital marketing adoption is the perception of the degree of ease of use. This is followed by the degree of control of services and use, and finally, the tendency or intent to discontinue digital marketing adoption by third parties. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 The findings from this research contribute to the literature and understanding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business managers and owners in several ways. First, we provide evidence for the TAM model concerning SMEs’ digital marketing adoption by exploring the DIY behavior model. The benefit that motivates SMEs in Kosovo is that business managers and owners decide to adopt digital marketing as perceived ease of use. Thus, business owners and managers are motivated firstly because of its easiness as a technology embedded in their marketing communication strategies. Another implication derived from this research is that digital marketing provides a sense of control to owners of businesses and managers. This outcome benefits the DIY model outcome, where business owners and managers gain a feeling of control and self-improvement while practicing digital marketing (Wolf et al., 2019). As a result of such a positive outcome from DIY, such as control and perceived ease of use, managers and business owners are motivated to continue practicing digital marketing themselves. Therefore, having a website and practicing digital technologies for promoting products and services gives business owners and managers more control over content marketing and enables them to participate in two-way communication with their prospects more effectively. In this way, SMEs can control the customization of their marketing offers and activities. Conclusion Research results indicate that the DIY model is an adequate model that provides a professional approach to digital marketing management. In Kosovo, this is a new form of digital marketing management and offers an excellent opportunity for business development, which is recommended for other businesses in the regions in Kosovo and abroad. It would also be beneficial if companies in Kosovo start applying their staff training within the DIY adoption to better their digital marketing performance. In this research, the DIY model has been combined with the TAM. Combining these two models is that the TAM considers the benefits gained from adopting technology. In contrast, the DIY model integrates marketplace characteristics (perceived lack of quality, economic benefits, and lack of availability) that play a critical role in applying digital marketing strategies. The empirical findings show that the 'degree of perception of ease of use' and 'the degree of control' are statistically significant and positively affect the adoption of digital marketing in SMEs. As was emphasized previously, the findings from this research provide some insights to businesses and managers concerning the process of adoption of digital technology. In addition, it provides some evidence from an emerging market concerning the digital technology adoption process and the motivators and outcomes behind the digital marketing activities undertaken by SMEs in Kosovo. So, the findings have implications for both DIY behavior and small and medium-sized business research. The study is with some limitations, that provide direction for eventual future research on this ground. First, this is a cross-section study analyzing digital marketing at one point; future studies should focus on a larger sample and data gained over a more extended period. 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Keller, K. L. (2001), “Building Customer-based Brand Equity”, Marketing Management, Vol.10 No. 2, pp. 14-19. 18. Knobel, M., Lankshear, C. (2010), DIY Media: Creating, Sharing and Learning with New Technologies, Peter Lang, New York. 19. Kock, N. (2015), “Common method bias in PLS-SEM: A full collinearity assessment approach”, International Journal of e-Collaboration, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 1-10. 20. Lacka, E., Chong, A. (2016), “Usability perspective on social media sites' adoption in the B2B context”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 54 No. 2, pp. 80-91. 21. Lusch, R. F., Vargo, S. L., O’Brien, M. (2007), “Competing through service: Insights from service-dominant logic”, Journal of retailing, Vol. 83 No. 1, pp. 5-18. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 22. Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N. T., Christodoulides, G. (2011), “Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands”, Industrial marketing management, Vol. 40 No. 7, pp. 1153-1159. 23. Moe, W. W., Trusov, M. (2011), “The value of social dynamics in online product ratings forums”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 444-456. 24. Mullatahiri, V., Ukaj, F. (2019), “The effects of e-Marketing communications on brand loyalty: The case of mobile telephone operators in Kosovo”, The Journal of Distribution Science, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 15-23. 25. Pejić Bach, M., Spremić, M., Suša Vugec, D. (2018), “Integrating Digital Transformation Strategies into Firms: Values, Routes and Best Practice Examples”, in Novo Melo, P., Machado, C. (Eds.), Management and Technological Challenges in the Digital Age, Taylor & Francis Group: CRC press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 107-128. 26. Pejić Bach, M., Zoroja, J., Čeljo, A. 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(2019), “Digital marketing adoption and success for small businesses: The application of the do-it-yourself and technology acceptance models”, Journal of Research in interactive Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 179-203. 30. Sun, H. (2013), “A longitudinal study of herd behavior in the adoption and continued use of technology”, Mis Quarterly, Vol. 34 No.4, pp. 1013-1041. 31. Taiminen, H. M., Karjaluoto, H. (2015), “The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 633-651. 32. Tiago, M. T. P. M. B., Verissimo, J. M. C. (2014), “Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?”, Business horizons, Vol. 57 No. 6, pp. 703-708. 33. Ursachi, G., Horodnic, I. A., Zait, A. (2015), “How reliable are measurement scales? External factors with indirect influence on reliability estimators”, Procedia Economics and Finance, Vol. 20 No. 15, pp. 679-686. 34. Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G. (2000), “Why don't men ever stop to ask for directions? Gender, social influence, and their role in technology acceptance and usage behavior”, MIS quarterly, Vol. 24 No.1, pp. 115-139. 35. Wen, W., Yamashita, A., Asama, H. (2015), “The influence of goals on sense of control”, Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 37 Supplement C, pp. 83-90. 36. Wolf, M., McQuitty, S. (2011), “Understanding the do-it-yourself consumer: DIY motivations and outcomes”, AMS Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 154-170. 37. Wolf, M., McQuitty, S. (2013), “Circumventing traditional markets: An empirical study of the marketplace motivations and outcomes of consumers' do-it-yourself behaviors”, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 195-210. 38. Zeqiri, J., Kareva, V., Alija, S. (2020), “The impact of blended learning on students’ performance and satisfaction in South East European university”, in Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA-ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference, Vol. 6 No.1, pp. 233-244. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 About the authors Adelina Emini is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo. She manages International relations at Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), and at the same time, directs the Academy of Leadership Sciences in Switzerland for Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. She co-founded the Academy of Leadership and Diplomacy in Pristina, Kosovo. She has lectured at University for Business and Technology for three years and currently lecturing at the Academy of Leadership Sciences in Switzerland. The author can be contacted at email: adelinaemini@gmail.com Safet Merovci, Ph.D., holds the position of Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Prishtina in Prishtina, Kosovo. Professor Merovci lectures on Financial markets, International finances, and Entrepreneurship. He held lectures as a Visiting Professor at many domestic and international universities. He has supervised many students in their master’s and doctorate thesis. Professor Merovci has published three books and many research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and reviews many international journals. The author can be contacted at email: safet.merovci@uni-pr.edu http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Business Systems Research Journal de Gruyter

Do-it-yourself Marketing and Digital Marketing Adoption: Evidence from a Developing Country

Business Systems Research Journal , Volume 12 (2): 16 – Dec 1, 2021

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de Gruyter
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© 2021 Adelina Emini et al., published by Sciendo
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1847-9375
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1847-9375
DOI
10.2478/bsrj-2021-0016
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Abstract

Background: Digital marketing is a new form of business management and promotion, namely promoting services and products of (SMEs)small and medium enterprises. Despite the importance of digital marketing, SMEs in developing and post-transition countries still do not fully utilize the benefits of digital marketing. Objectives: This study aims to analyse the DIY (do-it-yourself) model and the impact that this model has on digital marketing adoption. Methods/Approach: The online survey research was conducted among 194 SME managers in Kosovo. The proposed research model was analysed by partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). Results: Findings show that the degree of perception of ease of use impacts the process of digital marketing adoption. Moreover, the degree of control seems to be the most important factor impacting process of the digital marketing in SMEs. Conclusions: SMEs use DIY marketing and adopt digital marketing because this form of practicing marketing activities offers more control for companies in their marketing activities. In addition, perceived ease of use of technology facilitates the process of digital marketing adoption among SMEs. Finally, the study provides insights for managers and businesses using DIY marketing and adopting the process of the digital marketing in SMEs. Keywords: DIY; do-it-yourself; digital marketing; impact; SMEs JEL classification: M30; M31 Paper type: Research article Received: 28 Jul 2021 Accepted: 9 Oct 2021 Citation: Emini, A., Merovci, S. (2021), “Do-it-yourself Marketing and Digital Marketing Adoption: Evidence from a Developing Country”, Business Systems Research, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.1-16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bsrj-2021-0016 Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Introduction Today, businesses face numerous technological changes that significantly impact the way marketing is applied. Businesses must adapt and build their strategies to be competitive in the market. One of the technological breakthroughs transforming marketing adoption into businesses is the internet. The internet and other digital technologies have changed the marketing environment and its adoption (Peter et al., 2021). Applying digital marketing involves different strategies on how the business aims to reach the customer through digital marketing channels. Digital marketing strategy is a marketing channel strategy, and it needs to be embedded and used with other channels of multichannel marketing. This paper aims to explore the factors influencing businesses in Kosovo to adopt digital marketing, which will be realized by examining the motives and attitudes that push these businesses to participate in this activity. According to Kane et al. (2015), a lot of time has passed since digital marketing was first applied commercially and subsequently created a global network. According to them, the panorama of businesses and doing business has changed substantially. Large corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay, which were unknown a few years ago, are now significant players in the world economy. Moe et al. (2011) show that corporations present the great importance of building digital relationships with customers using different devices. Literature also suggests that enterprises' central area of activity is marketing. Digital marketing is considered the marketing of company marketing offers that will allow the digitalization of screens, mainly via the internet. Digital marketing can be used for advanced data analysis, thus enabling building relationships with customers and improving results (Elgendy et al., 2014). Wolf et al. (2013) describe DIY as to how ipeople behave while processing various materials they transform or reconstruct. The term 'do-it-yourself' has broader applications, including performing various business tasks such as arts, crafts, fashion, software engineering, or even film production, but is not defined only by these. Digital marketing, since its first appearance in the 1990s, has undergone many changes, beginning with the way companies use it to promote their brands and the way it has emerged by incorporating marketing plans into consumers' daily lives. Despite its importance in many developing and post-transition countries, digital marketing is not utilized to the degree comparable to developed economies. Most businesses in Kosovo believe that digital marketing can positively impact their business activity. For example, in their study of 423 businesses, Mullatahiri et al. (2019) confirm that communication through digital marketing contributes to improving the brand image, customer satisfaction, and loyalty in the telecommunication industry in Kosovo. Also, in their study of businesses, Jashari et al. (2017) find that about 59% of respondents reported making unplanned purchasing decisions based on information obtained online, and 61.5% of them stated that they were motivated to buy based on their friends' reviews on social media. However, despite these benefits in Kosovo, firms seem hesitant to practice social media as an appropriate media of communication because they have not realized opportunities versus its costs (Ejupi, 2017) yet. Besides, the social media topic has not been investigated among Kosovar businesses with proper consideration (Ejupi, 2017). This is also confirmed by the analysis of the Independent Media Commission (2013), which states that 70% of marketing spending is focused on conventional marketing communications such as TV and radio, while on the other hand, only 3% of advertising spending are dedicated to the online channels, which is an unsatisfactory percentage, albeit in an increasing trend. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 This points to the gap between the potential for digital marketing utilization and how much businesses use it. Therefore, this study aims to explore the factors that impact adoption of digital marketing in businesses in Kosovo. This research focuses mainly on the conceptual meaning of digital marketing by applying the DIY (do-it-yourself) model and the impact on the quality of digital marketing in Kosovo. In addition, this reserach provide concrete recommendations for the SME owner-managers about the increase of use of digital marketing by Kosovo businesses, which would increase their performance. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. First, the literature review is discussed and research propositions are developede; then sample data and methodology is introduced. Last, the paper discusses results and provides managerial implications for SME managers and future literature directions. Literature review Digital marketing describes activities linked with marketing activities of promoting products and services through some digital platforms. The term digital marketing describes the process of digital technologies used by companies in order to retain customers, engage customers, promote products and services and increase sales. This term can also be seen as an activity, institution, or communication between businesses and customers (Wolf et al., 2013). Therefore, digital marketing is defined as any activity taken by companies while posting content about their products and services using various digital devices (Cole et al., 2017). The digital adoption process enabled by digital technologies delivers more value in this digitalization process. Thus, digital technology empowers companies to use digital marketing in order to create such value for the company and their porspects (Gnanasambandam et al., 2012.) Digital marketing would reshape strategies deployed by companies to enhance customer relationship marketing (CRM) and value co-creation. Hewett et al. (2016) revealed that digital technologies significantly influence customer value. Company websites enable brand communication where customers express their feelings about their preferred brands and at the same time provide feedback to both companies and customer groups (Hewett et al., 2016). Therefore, new internet technologies provide companies with extra opportunities to reach segments they could not reach. Digital marketing devices facilitate marketing communication with the prospects to promote their marketing offer and gain their attention (Tiago et al., 2014). In addition, this new form of communication has made companies change their communication strategies and adapt to the new momentum by reacting and coping with the new demanding marketing activities (Järvinen et al., 2012; Baltes, 2015). Digital marketing devices can also influence positioning strategies for branding by search engine optimization (SEO) since SEO can be adapted and applied in many devices, enabling customers to use more search adoption from different devices. Brand awareness facilitated by digital marketing helps consumers differentiate brands in the market (Keller, 2001). Thus, helping companies position their brands in their minds (Aaker, 1991). Hanssens et al. (2016) discussed how digital technologies help companies analyze the firm's marketing value. Digitalization provides more opportunities to measure company performance by measuring different implementation. Smarts companies know how to deploy such digital marketing devices and technologies to help com[amies create competitive advantages, increase their market share presence, and build brand equity. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Digital marketing promotes two-way communication, where consumers can post their comments and reviews. In a study, Chevalier et al. (2006) found that online reviews impact a book's sales ranking. In this line, Moe et al. (2011) revealed that online reviews affect sales. Research propositions development The DIY behavior model and the TAM model describe business owners' and managers' perceptions concerning the factors and the outcomes that might impact small and medium-sized enterprises using digital marketing in their marketing activities. Therefore, the study uses two existing models: DIY model of behavior (Wolf et al., 2013) and the TAM model (Davis, 1989), to develop research propositions for investigating perceptions of managers and business owners concerning the use of digital marketing communication in SMEs in Kosovo. DIY is a behavior in which individuals process various materials they transform or reconstruct (Wolf et al., 2013). The term 'do-it- yourself' has broader applications, including performing various business tasks such as arts, crafts, fashion, software engineering, or even film production. Still, it is not defined only by these (Wolf et al., 2013). According to the DIY model, managers may follow digital marketing activities because of some antecedents’ factors (motivation factors), such as perceived economic benefit, availability of products and the lack of product quality, and the outcome results such as degree of control, degree of fun and control, and self- improvement (Wolf et al., 2013). Both motivators and outcomes of the DIY model describe consumer processes and experiences (Wolf et al., 2011). Therefore, these two models are combined to analyze motivation factors and outcomes for performing DIY activities and technology adoption because of the limited financial resources of SMEs, especially business owners and managers in small companies resulting in digital marketing activities for their marketing offers. The use of the internet for marketing purposes provides companies with advantages. In this context, companies are motivated to use online marketing communications since this form of communication provides companies using the internet a technology that facilitates the two-way communication of companies, and they are prospective. Therefore, digital marketing facilitates this form of communication and builds company image, improving customer loyalty and business performance (Ritz et al., 2019). The development of digital marketing since the 1990s has undergone many changes, beginning with the way brands and businesses use it and as emerging digital platforms increasingly incorporate marketing plans into consumers' daily lives. Nowadays, access to marketing activities through the internet is almost free and open, and SMEs do not specialize enough in using digital tools, like, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media platforms, and content marketing. Many previous studies point out that SMEs do not profit from the potential that digital marketing provides to businesses and do not grasp the opportunity provided by such digital tools (Taiminen et al., 2015). Therefore, the DIY model enhances the understanding of why SMEs support markers efforts in any business to enhance relationships with their customers (Ritz et al., 2019). "Do-it-yourself’ (DIY) as terminology is usually traced back to the 1950s, referencing people who performed work such as maintenance, repair, or modification of any activities in their homes or other vehicles without any prior knowledge linked with that work or activity. They believed they could perform such activities themselves without paying other parties to carry the work for them, henceforth benefiting from not Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 incurring costs, completing the inconvenient work time, personal satisfaction, and doing things the way one wants (Knobel et al., 2010). DIY outcomes are significant for the function of businesses internally. The feeling of sense and excitement dimension in the model postulates that people engaged in digital marketing activities can obtain positive feelings and excitement because digital communication provides an enjoyable experience (Ritz et al., 2019). The do-it-yourself project provides more enjoyable moments, regardless of any eventual difficulties during the project realization (Wolf et al., 2011). The sense of control as a factor of the DIY model suggests that business owners can use technology to realize their specific goals, henceforth providing positive feelings because of being in charge of the control of the activities (Wen et al., 2015). According to Lusch et al. (2007), new projects and unforeseen difficulties provide more control for mastery in fulfilling specific goals. Hence, we posit the following research propositions: o RP1. The degree of feeling of sense and excitement as a factor of the DIY has a significant impact on digital marketing adoption. o RP2. The degree of sense of control as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. Traditional communication methods and building customer relationships are not seen as prevailing communication tools to reach the target audience. Even though information technologies have facilitated two-way communication (Pejić Bach et al., 2018), some skeptical managers still think face-to-face communication is more effective (Lacka et al., 2016; Pejić Bach et al., 2017). But, additionally, some authors point out that digital marketing provides initial experience for business owners while using social media for small businesses (Michaelidou et al., 2011). The degree of intention to use digital marketing or intention to discontinue using digital technology is influenced by expectations and new experience (Venkatesh et al., 2000), satisfaction, and intention to use technology (Sun, 2013). Thus, we posit the following research propositions: o RP3. The degree of intention to discontinue as a DIY factor significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. o RP4. The degree of perceived ease of use as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. The lackof quality of product motivates businesses to undertake their activities. The DIY model's perceived lack of quality as an outcome motivator makes business owners engage in projects because they think they can perform activities with more cost- benefit and more productivity (Wolf et al., 2011). In addition, Wolf et al. (2011) suggest that performing digital marketing activities provides business managers more opportunities to respond to their customers more effectively. Thus, we propose the following research proposition: o RP5. The degree of perceived lack of quality as a factor of the DIY model significantly impacts digital marketing adoption. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Figure 1 The Proposed Research Concept Source: Author’s illustration Figure 1 depicts the conceptual model integrating DIY behavior (the degree of feeling of sense and excitement, the degree of sense of control, degree of intention, and perceived lack of quality) the TAM model (the degree of perceived ease of use) dimension. Methodology Research instrument The study investigates factors contributing to digital marketing adoption among businesses in Kosovo. The scales for measuring the degree of feeling and excitement, degree of control, degree of intention to discontinue, degree of ease of use, and degree of quality were taken from Ritz et al. (2019) and Wolf et al. (2013) whereas, digital marketing adoption construct was developed consulting the existing literature review. Table 1 presents the research instrument, which consists of the six constructs. The questionnaire was translated to Albanian for respondents to understand the questions better. The respondents replied by responding to a five-point Likert scale. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 1 Research Constructs Description Constructs Items and codes Source The degree of DFE1. I find DIY internet marketing activities to be exciting. Adapted from: feeling of fun DFE2. When I engage in DIY Internet marketing projects is Ritz et al. (2019); and fun. Wolf et al. (2013) excitement DFE3. DIY Internet marketing projects are interesting. (DFE) DFE4. I enjoy myself in DIY Internet marketing projects. The degree of DSC1. Internet Do-It-Yourself (DIY) marketing projects Adapted from: sense of support managing business goals. Ritz et al. (2019); control (DSC) DSC2. Internet do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing projects enable Wolf et al. (2013) people to control the project better. DSC3. Internet do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing projects make people more responsible during the project situation. DSC4. During Internet Do-It-Yourself (DIY) marketing projects, people have confidence in the project itself. Perceived PDEU1. It’s straightforward to learn how to create and Adapted from: degree of promote products and services online. Ritz et al. (2019); ease of use PDEU2. It’s straightforward for me to achieve promotion Wolf et al. (2013) (PDEU) goals through the internet. PDEU3. The interaction while promoting products or services are clear and understandable on the internet. PDEU4. The internet makes it easier for me to become agile in promoting our products and services online. PDEU5. I find it very easy to develop online promotions for our products and services online. The degree of DQ1. Website developers are not so reliable, that’s why I Adapted from: quality (DQ) think creating our Internet promotions is good. Ritz et al. (2019); DQ2. Internet marketing experts do not perform what I Wolf et al. (2013) expect them to do; that’s why I think creating your Internet promotions makes sense. DQ3. Creating promotions on the internet is good because I can perform better than expert web developers. DQ4. Engaging internet marketing professionals perform worse results in jobs than when I engage myself. DQ5. I have to do the work myself because the work of the hiring people is not of good quality. Intention to ID1. I plan to stop using internet marketing because of Adapted from: discontinue to another technology superior to my needs, even though I am Ritz et al. (2019); use of digital pleased with it. Wolf et al. (2013) marketing (ID) ID2. I predict I will no longer use Internet marketing because it does not suit my needs. D3. I intend to discontinue and replace internet marketing with something else I’m unhappy with. ID4. I plan to move to another superior digital tool instead of using Facebook. Digital DMA1. I think it is essential to apply digital marketing in our marketing company. adoption DMA2. Digital marketing facilitates marketing (DMA) communication. DMA3. We plan to continue communicating with our customers via internet technologies. Source: Author’s work Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Sample A research instrument (Table 1) was sent to all-sized companies in Kosovo managers. The structured questionnaire was sent to 250 companies and collected 194 questionnaires. We used an online Google Form for collecting the data, which was distributed by email. The respondents’ anonymity and confidentiality were previously consented to before taking part in the survey process. The research was carried out with a total of 194 SME managers from Kosovo, 143 of which were men (73.7%) and 51 were female (26.3%) (see Table 1). We see that managers with secondary education are 21 or 10.8%, with university education are 95 or (49%), with postgraduate education are 71 or 36.6%, and seven did not answer this question or 3.6%. Of the 18-30 age group, 31 managers (16%), 93 of the 31-45 age group (47.9%), 52 of the 46-55 age group (26.8%), and 18 over 55 or 9.3%. Analysis The coded data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistical package and Smart PLS to evaluate the measurement model and structural equation modeling. In reflective models, we consider the outer loadings and the AVE (average variance extracted) while assessing the convergent validity of the construct (Zeqiri et al., 2020). For a better model fit, Hair et al. (2017) recommend outer loadings to be 0.708 and up as a general rule of thumb. The convergent validity evaluates how close the items are to a given construct. The average variance extracted (AVE), factor loadings, Cronbach’s alpha, and composite reliability are evaluated (Rahman et al., 2016). The heterotrait-monotrait ratio (HTMT) evaluated discriminant validity. Discriminant validity assesses how much items in one construct are different from items of other constructs (Zeqiri, 2020). As a rule of thumb, the HTMT values for all constructs must be below 0.85 (Hair et al., 2017). A general rule for outer loadings suggests all loadings need to be 0.708 or higher (Hair et al., 2017). The collinearity issue is measured with VIF values, and VIF values that are greater than 3.3 show an issue with collinearity (Kock, 2015). The bootstrapping technique evaluates the research propositions. With the help of the bootstrapping technique, we assess the PLS-SEM model, R-square (R2), beta, and t-values (Hair et al., 2017). The Stone-Geisser’s Q2 following a blindfolding procedur was used to evaluate the predictive relevance of the model. In assessing the goodness of the model fit, we firstly test the Standard Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR). The SRMR values less than 0.10 or 0.08 are considered a good fit (Henseler et al., 2014). The second fit index to be tested in PLS-SEM is NFI, which are required to be above 0.9 to denote a good fit (Zeqiri et al., 2020). Results Table 2 reveals that values of Cronbach’s alpha range from 0.838 to 0.917, denoting good reliability of the constructs since the values are over the suggested threshold of 0.70 (Ursachi et al., 2015). The values of Composite reliability range from 0.900 to 0.938, exceeding the proposed threshold of 0.70. In addition, Fornell et al. (1981) suggested a threshold of AVE of 0.50, thus, the AVE values vary from 0.635 to 0.841, which are over the suggested threshold. Therefore, the figures in table 3 indicate that convergent validity was reached, and further analysis can be carried out. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 2 Construct Reliability Cronbach' rho_A Composite AVE s Alpha Reliability The degree of feeling of fun and excitement 0.905 0.906 0.941 0.841 (DFE) The degree of sense of control (DSC) 0.917 0.930 0.938 0.750 Intention to discontinue to use of digital 0.838 0.881 0.900 0.751 marketing (ID) Perceived degree of ease of use (PDEU) 0.905 0.906 0.934 0.779 The degree of quality (DQ) 0.855 0.875 0.895 0.632 Digital marketing adoption 0.901 0.901 0.938 0.835 Source: Author's work The findings in table 3 reveal that all the HTMT values in all constructs are below the suggested threshold of 0.85. Henceforth, all constructs have discriminant validity. Table 3 The Heterotrait-Monotrait Ratio DSC DFE PDEU DQ DMA The degree of sense of control (DSC) The degree of feeling of fun and excitement 0.573 (DFE) Perceived degree of ease of use (PDEU) 0.610 0.729 The degree of quality (DQ) 0.306 0.498 0.345 Digital marketing adoption 0.667 0.453 0.627 0.212 Intention to discontinue to use of digital 0.173 0.211 0.158 0.124 0.278 marketing (ID) Source: Author’s work *Note that the following items: ID3, and DFE3, were removed from the model because of the VIF value issues Table 5 shows means, factor loadings, standard deviations, t-values, and VIF for all construct items. The values provided in table 5, all item loadings vary from 0.720 to 0.945, above the suggested threshold. The VIF values in table 5 show that the model is not biased. The findings supported RP2, RP3, and RP4 research propositions and rejected RP1 and RP5. The results in table 6 support RP2 that degree of control positively affects digital marketing adoption with path coefficient = 0.438, t-value = 5.708, and p < 0.000). The results also support in RP4, denoting that perceived ease of use impacts positively digital marketing adoption with path coefficient = 0.354, t-value = 4.192, and p < 0.000). In addition, RP3 is also supported, i.e., intention to discontinue to use digital marketing is negatively significant with path coefficient= -0.143, t-value = 2.918, and p <0 .004). Furthermore, the results in table 6 did not show any support for RP1 and RP5. Degree of feeling and excitement did not show any significant relationship with digital marketing adoption with path coefficient= -0.076, t-value = 0.940, and p < 0.347). Finally, RP5, degree of quality also did not show any significant relation with applying digital marketing, with path coefficient= -0.019, t-value = 0.332, and p < 0.740). Relationships are presented in Figure 2. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 5 Factor Loadings Items Loading Mean St.Dev. t-values VIF ID1 0.881 2.530 0.797 5.386 1.885 ID2 0.913 2.559 0.895 5.190 2.444 ID4 0.801 2.599 0.852 2.300 1.900 DQ1 0.793 2.911 1.255 2.611 2.572 DQ2 0.803 2.926 1.164 2.175 2.261 DQ3 0.881 2.901 1.251 3.345 3.348 DQ4 0.720 2.446 1.353 1.670 2.986 DFE1 0.893 3.282 1.183 13.386 2.497 DFE2 0.945 3.470 1.165 16.665 4.149 DFE4 0.912 3.644 1.095 14.026 3.208 DSC1 0.882 3.668 1.087 19.853 2.572 DSC2 0.850 3.589 1.106 17.015 2.261 DSC3 0.907 3.668 1.064 17.476 3.348 DSC4 0.891 3.738 1.041 16.992 2.986 PDEU1 0.891 3.569 1.176 19.249 3.330 PDEU2 0.865 3.594 1.087 14.729 3.098 PDEU3 0.884 3.713 1.075 16.870 2.936 PDEU4 0.869 3.584 1.101 16.972 3.018 PDEU5 0.821 3.733 1.084 12.426 2.219 DMA1 0.901 3.817 1.117 28.426 2.518 DMA2 0.925 3.886 1.131 28.354 3.289 DMA3 0.914 3.822 1.107 28.437 2.922 Source: Author’s calculations Table 6 Research propositions Testing Results Research propositions Path St.dev. T-values P-values coefficient RP1 The degree of feeling of fun and -0.076 0.081 0.940 0.347 excitement (DFE) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP2 The degree of sense of control 0.438 0.077 5.708 0.000*** (DQ) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP3 Intention to discontinue to use of -0.143 0.049 2.918 0.004*** digital marketing (ID) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP4 Perceived degree of ease of use 0.354 0.085 4.192 0.000*** (PDEU) -> Digital marketing adoption (DMA) RP5 The degree of quality (DQ) -> -0.019 0.057 0.332 0.740 Digital marketing adoption (DMA) Note: statistically significant at 1% Source: Author’s work Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Figure 2 PLS-SEM modeling Note: DFE2, ID3, were removed from the model because of VIF issues and low loadings Source: Authors’ work Table 6 shows the predictive relevance and the effect size or the power of the variables predicting the variance explained. As it can be seen, the degree of control as a reason for digital marketing adoption seems to be effective; next is the degree of perceived ease of use followed by other factors. The model explained 47.2 percent of the variance in digital marketing adoption. The predictive value for digital marketing adoption is 38.4% (Q ), showing a good relevance of prediction (Hair et al., 2017). In our study, the NFI value is 0.801, near the proposed threshold, and SMRM is 0.062, denoting that the model fits well for the saturated and estimated models. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 Table 6 2 2 2 Co-efficient of determination (R ), Predictive Relevance (Q ), and Effect size (f ) Constructs Coefficient of Predictive Effect size (f ) determination relevance 2 2 R Q Digital marketing adoption Digital marketing adoption 0.472 0.384 Degree of control 0.220** Degree of feeling 0.005* Degree of perceived ease of use 0.119* Degree of quality 0.001* Digital marketing adoption Intention to discontinue 0.037* Source: Author’s work Note: *Small effect 0 to 0.20, **Medium effect 0.20 to 0.50, ***Large effect more than 0.50 Discussion Larger businesses are more likely to use digital marketing than small and medium-sized enterprises. Still, the vast majority of literature of digital marketing investigates the behavior of large businesses. This provides a gap in digital marketing literature about why SMEs have a limited adoption of digital marketing than larger organizations. Therefore, we contribute to the literature on digital marketing by explaining why SMEs have limited adoption of digital marketing. We used the DIY behavior and TAM models to study SMEs' digital technology marketing adoption behavior in Kosovo. Therefore, this research explores the motivating factors and outcomes of certain behavior of SMEs linked with the need to perform digital marketing by business owners and managers of these companies. Järvinen et al. (2012) pointed out that small organizations have limited abilities to use digital marketing compared to large organizations. Thus, this study tried to explore the behavior SMEs concerning technology adoption and digital marketing activities. The research concept is based on the TAM (Davis, 1989) dimensions and the DIY behavior model (Wolf et al., 2013) in order to explore the adoption of technology and digital marketing of businesses and managers in SMEs in Kosovo. This study used data from 194 SME managers from Kosovo. PLS-SEM analysis indicates that the businesses and managers are motivated to apply digital marketing activities because of some antecedents of the DIY behavior model. Findings show that the main factors impacting the digital marketing adoption are the perception of the degree of ease of use of digital marketing, which has perceived opportunities to promote online products or services, achieving promotion objectives on the internet. There are opportunities for interaction and faster access to business development and promotion. The findings are supported by other previous studies, such as studies carried out by Wolf et al. (2011) and Michaelidou et al. (2011). The second factor that statistically has an impact on digital marketing is the perception of the degree of control. It includes the opportunity for better promotion control, based on the developers of websites, and sees it as an opportunity to realize themselves without needing someone else's help. These findings are supported by Wen et al. (2015), Lusch et al. (2007), and Wolf et al. (2019). The main factor impacting digital marketing adoption is the perception of the degree of ease of use. This is followed by the degree of control of services and use, and finally, the tendency or intent to discontinue digital marketing adoption by third parties. Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 The findings from this research contribute to the literature and understanding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business managers and owners in several ways. First, we provide evidence for the TAM model concerning SMEs’ digital marketing adoption by exploring the DIY behavior model. The benefit that motivates SMEs in Kosovo is that business managers and owners decide to adopt digital marketing as perceived ease of use. Thus, business owners and managers are motivated firstly because of its easiness as a technology embedded in their marketing communication strategies. Another implication derived from this research is that digital marketing provides a sense of control to owners of businesses and managers. This outcome benefits the DIY model outcome, where business owners and managers gain a feeling of control and self-improvement while practicing digital marketing (Wolf et al., 2019). As a result of such a positive outcome from DIY, such as control and perceived ease of use, managers and business owners are motivated to continue practicing digital marketing themselves. Therefore, having a website and practicing digital technologies for promoting products and services gives business owners and managers more control over content marketing and enables them to participate in two-way communication with their prospects more effectively. In this way, SMEs can control the customization of their marketing offers and activities. Conclusion Research results indicate that the DIY model is an adequate model that provides a professional approach to digital marketing management. In Kosovo, this is a new form of digital marketing management and offers an excellent opportunity for business development, which is recommended for other businesses in the regions in Kosovo and abroad. It would also be beneficial if companies in Kosovo start applying their staff training within the DIY adoption to better their digital marketing performance. In this research, the DIY model has been combined with the TAM. Combining these two models is that the TAM considers the benefits gained from adopting technology. In contrast, the DIY model integrates marketplace characteristics (perceived lack of quality, economic benefits, and lack of availability) that play a critical role in applying digital marketing strategies. The empirical findings show that the 'degree of perception of ease of use' and 'the degree of control' are statistically significant and positively affect the adoption of digital marketing in SMEs. As was emphasized previously, the findings from this research provide some insights to businesses and managers concerning the process of adoption of digital technology. In addition, it provides some evidence from an emerging market concerning the digital technology adoption process and the motivators and outcomes behind the digital marketing activities undertaken by SMEs in Kosovo. So, the findings have implications for both DIY behavior and small and medium-sized business research. The study is with some limitations, that provide direction for eventual future research on this ground. First, this is a cross-section study analyzing digital marketing at one point; future studies should focus on a larger sample and data gained over a more extended period. 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Business Systems Research | Vol. 12 No. 2 |2021 About the authors Adelina Emini is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo. She manages International relations at Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), and at the same time, directs the Academy of Leadership Sciences in Switzerland for Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. She co-founded the Academy of Leadership and Diplomacy in Pristina, Kosovo. She has lectured at University for Business and Technology for three years and currently lecturing at the Academy of Leadership Sciences in Switzerland. The author can be contacted at email: adelinaemini@gmail.com Safet Merovci, Ph.D., holds the position of Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Prishtina in Prishtina, Kosovo. Professor Merovci lectures on Financial markets, International finances, and Entrepreneurship. He held lectures as a Visiting Professor at many domestic and international universities. He has supervised many students in their master’s and doctorate thesis. Professor Merovci has published three books and many research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and reviews many international journals. The author can be contacted at email: safet.merovci@uni-pr.edu

Journal

Business Systems Research Journalde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2021

Keywords: DIY; do-it-yourself; digital marketing; impact; SMEs; M30; M31

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