Differentiation and the Five As Concept in Digital Marketing of Small and Medium Enterprises During the Covid-19 Pandemic (a Study at Cepaka Village, Kediri Tabanan)
The purpose of this study was to analyze the differentiation and the Five As digital marketing concept made by SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Cepaka Village during the Covid-19 pandemic in maintaining their competitiveness. This was qualitative research with key informants consisting of 14 SME managers in Cepaka Village, Kediri, Tabanan Bali. The differentiation was viewed from the basis of products, services, personnel, marketing channels and images as well as marketing 4.0 (digital marketing) implementation in aspects of Mapping Customer Path throughout the Five As concepts. On average, the income of the SMEs in Cepaka Village decreased by 50%. The differentiation strategy consisted of a cost leadership strategy, service variations, expansion of marketing channels and special promotions of 20-30%. Only 3% of SMEs added marketing personnel. The implementation of digital marketing with the Five As approach did not work as intended. Digital marketing had to be done because of the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the impact from this digital marketing strategy has shifted and did not perform optimally. The purchasing decisions were not based on Aware, Appeal, Ask; however, the purchasing decisions were made because of the priority needs and impacts of Covid-19. There was no brand loyalty or repurchase. The implication of this research was to provide a reference for SMEs to prioritize operations in the Covid-19 pandemic or other emergency situations that disrupt the operations of SMEs.
Keywords: differentiation, the five as concept, digital marketing, SMEs
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