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Title: The influence of integrated marketing communications on the growth of SMEs in the rural areas of Kwazulu-Natal
Authors: Mkhize, Nkululeko Emmanuel 
Keywords: Integrated marketing communications;Entrepreneurs;Small business owners
Issue Date: 2020
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) activities assumed by entrepreneurs and
business owners is a study field with vast prospects for academics, practitioners, and
small business planners to explore, especially the understanding and use of IMC by
entrepreneurs and small business owners.
This study investigated the views and use of IMC by small business owners in a midsized metropolitan area in a largely rural region for their business ventures. The aim was
to establish understanding of the influence of IMC in business as well as assessing the
various methods of message development utilized by entrepreneurs and small business
owners and the extent of their knowledge about target audiences. The rationale of the
study was to promote research in new ways and strategies to communicate a company’s
offerings to customers as they have become very sophisticated and stringent when it
comes to their decision-making when buying goods and services. The aim of the study
was to analyze the influence of IMC on the growth of the SMEs in the rural areas of
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
A quantitative research method within a descriptive research approach was adopted for
the present research study. Structured questionnaires were distributed to SME owners in
four rural areas of KZN: Eshowe, Mbazwana, Nkandla, and Ulundi. The research
population was various SMEs owners in the aforementioned areas. The sample size of
250 was the number of questionnaires distributed to the SME owners that were available
to the researcher as well as the research assistants. The Statistical Package for Social
Sciences (SPSS) Version 24.0 software was used to analyze the results of the study. Pretesting of the questionnaire was done to ascertain the validity of the study. The main
objective of pre-testing is ensuring that the questions being asked accurately reflect the
information that the researcher desires. Findings of the presented study indicated that IMC are of paramount importance in the
growth of SMEs and are just not an optional extra. SMEs that do not use or fail to
implement IMCs to increase efficiency and growth are always bound to fail within the
industry. The efficiency and guaranteed results in implementing IMCs compared to
traditional communication methods prompted this study to conclude that IMCs are one of
the most important tools in the growth of SMEs
Dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of
Master of Management Sciences: Marketing, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2020.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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