Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2023 Vol: 22 Issue: 3

The Impact of Digital Marketing on Customers Behaviors and Enterprises

Nouf Aleisa, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Noura Alamri, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Zainab Al-habeeb, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Mahmood Maqsood, University of Bahrain

Hoda Mahmoud AboAlsmh, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Ibrahim Tawfeeq Alsedrah, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Zahra Afridi, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Citation Information: Aleisa, N., Alamri, N., Al-habeeb, Z., Maqsood, M., AboAlsmh, H.M., Alsedrah, I.T., & Afridi, (2023). The impact of digital marketing on customers behaviors and enterprises. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 22(S3), 1-16.


Generally, electronic marketing is the use of all internet advertising channels to promote a company's brand of goods as a more engaging option. This is associated with the ubiquity of internet technology, which makes it possible to carry out many marketing techniques digitally. In our world today, Businesses are recommended to make the best use out of these platforms to develop more innovative and competitive business practices. This paper aims to look at the phenomenon of digital marketing and consider the role that effective digital marketing plays in the growth of MSMEs sized businesses' ability to function successfully. This research reviewed the impact of electronic marketing on both enterprises and customers behavior. In addition to identifying some of the effective tools that can be used by businesses to apply digital marketing effectively. Biometric analytics was applied, and according Summon data base showed decline in the number of articles between 2002 and 2021. According to Research Gate, the results concerning the highest citation literature review between 2000 and 2022 highlighted that 2014 recorded the highest citation. University of Washington library data base have demonstrated the highest peak of publication occurred in 2018.


Digital Marketing (DM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Search Engen Optimization (SEO).


The growth of online marketing is strongly linked to the development of technology. The capacity of computer memory was big enough in the 1980s to hold massive amounts of client’s data. Companies began to choose internet approaches such as database marketing over the limited list of brokers. This type of database enabled businesses to track client information more effectively, altering the buyer-seller relationship. However, the manual procedure proved to be inefficient. With the beginning of server/client technology and the use of personal computers in the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) became the main aspect of digital marketing (DM). With the growth of the internet and the introduction of the iPhone in the 2000s, users started to look after what they needed and make decisions about their requirements online first, rather than going with the traditional shopping style, posing a new challenge for a company's marketing department. The evolution of digital marketing since the 1990s and 2000s has transformed how companies and organizations use digital marketing. Also, with the starting of social media platforms for example, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook in the 2000s, consumers became increasingly reliant on digital gadgets in their daily lives. The variety of marketing technologies has been aided by changes in customer behavior. Worldwide digital advertising is now the most used word, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the advancement of information technology and the development of broad band internet services, the easy accessibility to shopping sites has recently increased. Because of these changes, it is unavoidable for the companies to enter digital environment, and the communication standards evolve, so does the field and meaning of marketing. So, with the advancement in the IT technologies, traditional marketing strategies are gradually giving way to digital marketing.

Digital advertising is a strategy of promoting and marketing online channels to advertise products, services and contact consumers, and it goes further than online marketing to incorporate non-Internet-based media. Mobile phones including SMS, marketing on social media banner ads, search engine advertising and a range of other types of digital media are included. The aim of our research paper we will shade light on impact of digital marketing on enterprises and customer behavior, and we will show the result of different studies made on that filed.

Literature Review

Digital Marketing (DM)

Marketing is an age-old strategy of advertising a company's goods or services to potential clients. It is the primary business branding strategy because it enables the businesses to strategically and tactically promote the positive aspects of their products or services to target customers. In addition, it assists firms in achieving business objectives that promote sales while educating the customers about their products or services, engaging them, and building a brand reputation. Marketing is divided into two categories which are traditional marketing and digital marketing (Desai, 2019). Traditional marketing is a method of assisting buyers and sellers in the market. It’s one of the oldest non-online forms of marketing. Print media, broadcast media, and outdoor advertising are all types of traditional marketing (Durmaz & Efendioglu, 2016). Digital marketing is a subset of traditional marketing that makes use of new digital methods to host things like streaming material and, more crucially, to interact with partners like customers and investors regarding branding, products, and corporate growth (Bizhanova et al., 2019).

However, Digital marketing is incredibly risky and should be avoided at first in favor of traditional marketing. Most consumers prefer traditional markets over online markets because of the lack of technological understanding, apprehension about the product's quality, fraud, and threat of online transactions. In contrast, in terms of accessibility, flexibility, efficiency, and efficacy, digital marketing outperforms traditional marketing (Desai, 2019). Digital marketing is not time-bound in case of knowing the customers response while traditional marketing does need a time frame to know the customer. Traditional marketing makes it harder for small enterprises to compete with larger competitors because of the cost-associated and strategy formulation knowledge. However, online marketing allows reaching a broader audience and offering greater services. Another factor that distinguishes traditional marketing tactics from internet advertising is the cost involved; businesses can design their own digital marketing strategy in a more economical way while replacing traditional expensive advertising tactics such as newspapers, radio commentary, television, and magazines.

The promotion of brands or products through electronic media is known as digital marketing (Durai & King, 2019). Digital technology is used to form assimilated, targeted, and quantifiable communication with new and existing clients by developing deeper connections with them (Bizhanova et al., 2019). The process of purchasing and vending information, items, and services using computer networking, or the internet is referred to as a digital marketing (Sivasankaran, 2017). Digital marketing is defined as the Internet-based extension of traditional marketing tools and methods. Junusi (2020) characterized marketing digitalization as a transitory period in the history of communication and a type of direct sales in which consumers are electronically linked to sellers using email, websites, online forums and newsgroups, interactive television, cellular communications, and other interactive technologies. It is used as an advertising media technique to increase community demand and support various corporate activities (Adam et al., 2020). Also, it is the use of digital technology to make connected, quantifiable, and projected communications that aid in the acquisition and retention of customers while also deepening customer relationships or a subset of traditional marketing that uses advanced mobile platforms to place products. So, as a result, digital marketing can be defined as the promoting of goods or services through digital channels to customers (Junusi, 2020).

Social media is a channel that allows different users to interact with each other through the internet, either in actual time or non-simultaneously. These channels take profit from content made by their users and building a social connection among specific communities (Wibowo et al., 2021). Social media is people's online contact and involvement on various media platforms (Junusi, 2020). Also, it refers to websites that connect millions of members from all around the world who have similar interests, opinions, and hobbies (Ioanas, 2020). It is the technique of fetching interest towards a brand using social media (Ziyadin et al., 2019). Another possible definition of social media marketing strategy is that it is a series of actions taken by a corporation to convert social media networks and association into meaningful strategies to reach the organization’s marketing goals (Wibowo et al., 2020). Moreover, social media marketing is a way of engaging the consumers by social media to enhance business reputation boost sales and expand website users (Ayokunmi et al., 2022). Social media marketing is a type of internet advertising that is utilized by numerous social media platforms to achieve marketing communication and branding goals (Ziyadin et al., 2019).

The primary aim of digital marketing is to promote a brand through various sources of digital media, and businesses can generate economic benefit from digital marketing by forming alliance with partners, clients, and staff (Junusi, 2020). Also, it has been stated that social media can impact customer pre-buying activities and online purchasing decisions (Saura et al., 2020). The growth of social media has as a prominent mode of online interaction may assist in increasing consumer trust in businesses (Rajkovi? et al., 2021). Furthermore, Social media marketing played a big role in the business expansion and dramatic remodeling. Also, it provides several advantages and prospects for business companies as it assists in attracting new clients and retaining relationships with the existing ones. Moreover, social media marketing can be utilized to strengthen consumer collaboration, which might also encourage innovation (Ayokunmi et al., 2022). That means integrated marketing advertisements can be effective in influencing consumers' perceptions of the product’s image leading to consumption behaviors (Mason et al., 2021). The organization must choose the correct marketing material to strengthen relationships, which leads to customer behavior and provides long-term performance for the enterprise (Wibowo et al., 2020). In addition, it includes posting high-quality material on the company's social media sites, listening to, and communicating with their followers, analyzing results, and executing social media marketing (Ayokunmi et al., 2022). The objective of social marketing is to create material that will capture the interest of users and inspire them to communicate with their readers (Ziyadin et al., 2019). Economic pricing, product delivery convenient and quick servicing, targeting several groups at once, and allowing clients to readily research products are some of the pros of online marketing (Junusi, 2020).

Digital Marketing and Customer Behavior

Since the end of the 19th century, marketing specialists have focused on the strong impact of technology (specifically the internet) on the whole business world. Technological progress and globalization are considered the internet essential elements to shaping the concept of digital economy based on the management of information and information systems. This is the beginning of the digital technology revolution where companies started creating new opportunities to produce new products and services in the markets to attract consumers of all ages specially the youth. Digital technology has caused deep changes in many aspects of the youths’ lives; communication, socializing networks, information, spending the leisure time, shopping, educational, professional life. Concerning businesses, digital technology has adjusted companies marketing activities very quickly by utilizing various digital tools, such as websites, social media, mobile advertisements, applications, online videos, e-mail, blogs, and the customers got engaged with them by using different digital devices: “computers, smart phones, tablets, TVs with internet access” (Juganaru et al., 2021)

One of the categories of digital marketing is social media that is considered the most common tool used by both marketers and customers. Social media is defined in relation to the customers’ experiences to study the influence of social media platforms on customers’ behavioral outcome. Recent literature defines customer experience as the reflection of their emotions whether perceptive, emotional, ethical, sensory and social responses to the enterprises different products and services when purchasing. To engage the customers deeply in the social media, there should be interactive communication with the service personnel as well as enterprises to motivate the customers in the online experience via online reviews by other customers to recognize the benefits, simplicity of use. Studying customers’ experiences relationship with the social media is a major framework where the enterprises managers should identify and create opportunities to improve the enterprises’ competitive position. The researchers found that information credibility and greater involvement with the blog help in promoting consumer experience, thus improving purchasing intention. On the other hand, other researchers reported that where there is continued intention and satisfaction, the social relationships are going to be maintained in parallel with the customers’ experiences and the recognition of the high value of continued purchase intention (Wibowo et al., 2020).

Social media is enhanced by the relationship quality between customers and service providers via social networking sites, which reconciles the socializing networks and website quality to increase the motivation level of utilizing social commerce and social networking sites (SNS). Furthermore, it was found that customer contentment has a positive impact on the continuation to use social networking sites by enhancing the information system while other researchers suggest that brand loyalty is the outcome of the quality of relationships (Wibowo et al., 2020).

Three customer behavioral outcomes would result from establishing and maintaining relationship quality with customers, which are consumer faithfulness, word of mouth, and sales performance. Based on this, it is emphasized that a highly valuable relationship is a major factor to keep current customers and secure new ones. In addition, the digital marketers’ key to success is the customers’ enthusiasm to recommend a service after a successful first trial (Wibowo et al., 2020).

Digital marketing customers’ intention attributes of Purchase, loyalty, and participation do reflect the positive value of utilizing SNS as a marketing tool (Wibowo et al., 2020).

Purchase intention is the customer’s willingness to purchase a product (Wibowo et al., 2020). Among the most effective tools to increase the purchase intention are social media online reviews of products and services where customers could greatly influence other buyers to purchase these products and services. A study in US showed that 62% of US consumers read other consumers generated online reviews, and 98% of them rely on these reviews. 80% of these consumers mentioned that these reviews are major factors affecting their purchase intention. There are, also, psychological factors that influence the customers towards purchasing, such as income, purchase motivation, stores designs, company, or brand’s distinguished method of presenting their products as well as services via social networks. This is in addition to the payment techniques companies adopt. Utilizing social media means of communication to share various ideas about different items (e.g., blogs, social networks, broadcasts, bulletin boards) with other consumers to create immense popularity for promoting the marketing practices, thus shifting the consumers’ behaviors from merely gaining information to assessing their feelings and thoughts after purchasing (Ioanas, 2020). However, this interactive communication between the service personnel and the enterprises is viewed differently by consumers based on the posted information in social media, whether it conveys positive or negative message, and the cost effectiveness to let the users think twice about the quality and utility of the product via researching.

Digital marketing is specifically addressing the needs and desires of the young generation, thus its influence on the buying behavior of youth. In this context, one study defined the customers’ impulsive buying behaviors which are stimulated biochemically and psychologically as the immediate buying without any objective whether to satisfy a desire or fulfil a specific need. It would rather result from oppositions to certain stimulus. Moreover, the impulsive buying behavior is found higher in female than male if they are more curious and motivated to this. Other studies defined customers buying behavior as the combined system of a person’s attitudes, values, interests, opinions, which represent the broader behavior concept called “Psychographics”. Despite the customers’ impulsive buying behavior with today’s innovative technology, their tastes and preferences also change at fast pace due to changing the buying behavior, which is more obvious among the youth. Therefore, the marketers need to study the changing needs of the customers to produce the products and services accordingly (Sivasankaran, 2017).

Products and services promotion in the communities require the enterprises to engage the customers to provide their feedback of SNS marketing content. These current customers’ recommendations lead to enhance the brand awareness to the non-members (Wibowo et al., 2020). Moreover, studying the economic value of the purchase expenditure between consumers and marketers to highlight the informative and persuasive aspects of marketing strategies where both parties will generate content while comparing between direct and indirect communication approaches in the brand community. This new marketing strategy is called content marketing.

Social media has been used widely in recent years, and the strong increase in its popularity has produced huge number of online UGC or Word of Mouth, thus paying the marketers’ attention. However, despite this popularity, the economic value is still hanging back. So, it’s required to study the impact of social media brand community’s UGC and MGC on how customers keep purchasing. Early efforts found that consumers’ involvement in the brand community is highly affecting their participation and purchasing behavior to increase the purchase expenditure. On the other hand, other studies focused on the WOM as an outcome of the consumers’ engagement in social media. WOM is defined as UGC that focuses on the quantitative aspects of UGC itself and investigates their impact on the community economic outcomes. An example is the studies conducted by some researchers about the impact of users’ online reviews on sales, such as movies, books, video games. Through this study, the result was that the users’ online reviews volume has positive impact on the aggregate total sales. Besides this, other studies checked other different types of UGC, such as the blog postings, internet postings in financial discussion forum where it presented the relationship between the qualitative aspects of UGC and the aggregate level economic results. However, when comparing the quantitative aspects of UGC (WOM) with the qualitative information (textual content), it was reported that the latter moves ahead of the quantitative aspects of UGC because of its significance in the recent social media era. For example, some researchers found that revealing reviewers’ identity information as well as sharing geographical location between reviews and consumers has increased the revenue. At the same time, highlighting the impact of qualitative factors. In this regard, one researcher examined the quality of postings in online and discovered there is an interchangeable relationship between the value and amount of postings. Also, another researcher found that the posted messages in the internet stock forums helped predicting market sharp fluctuations. Other than comparing the quantitative aspects of UGC with the qualitative information, a few studies investigated the relative effect of UGC versus MGC. For this purpose, an analytical model was developed to consider the credibility of online WOM via consumers’ recommendations and cloaked Promotion Company. The result was that consumers’ WOM can still be more persuasive than the promotional programs firms conduct in online websites. Another study developed analytical models to use the customers’ reviews as an element in the marketing communication mix. Those different studies highlighted there is no relationship between the profit effect of consumers reviews and traditional marketing communication (Goh et al., 2013).

Customers’ engagement through social media websites has advantages. Among them is increasing the sense of intimacy with consumers and building bonded relationships with potential consumers and existing clients. That’s why the organizations need to differentiate their brand image and position the product. Also, due to social media efficiency, companies must participate in Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and other websites to enhance the corporate presence in social networks (Ioanas, 2020). Customers’ engagement via digital marketing experiences as well as new marketing approaches gives businesses the opportunity to gain high level of adaptability rather than creating new marketing value for long lasting survival (Nawaz & Kaldeen, 2020). Digital marketing allows greater customers’ engagement to visit companies’ websites, read the products and services information prior to purchase online. After that, the customers could give their feedback in the online reviews (Bala & Verma, 2018). On the other hand, one of the disadvantages is that it’s perceived that the customers’ commitment in buying the products and services could lead to long-term relationships away from intimacy if the buyers are calculative who stick with a particular seller due to the lack of other suppliers (Sashi, 2012). Other drawbacks include inefficient time & effort consumption in the virtual world to detach from direct contact with others. Therefore, the excessive customers’ engagement might affect the mental and physical health, which results in social media usage addiction. There is, also, high risk of fraud when sharing personal information on the social websites (Paliszkiewicz et al., 2017).

E-Marketing and Enterprises

Traditional media, such as printed and broadcast media, served as the primary platforms for the distribution of information in the past. Similar circumstances arise in the business world when entrepreneurs and the business community depend exclusively on this conventional media to market and promote their goods (Omar et al., 2020). In the past, marketers have disseminated information about the company or its goods via mail, direct marketing, telecom promotion, news sites, TV, radio communication, and other means (Bizhanova et al., 2019). Today, however, a brand-new phenomenon known as digital media marketing among entrepreneurs has evolved (Omar et al., 2020). E- marketing is the use of online media to promote joined, pointed, and countable interaction that supports to attract and keep clients in creating closer interactions with them according to the Institute of Digital Marketing (DMI), and this definition acts as a reminder that any usage of online marketing must be effectual in endorsing goods or services and incorporate smart planning and exceptional communication (Bizhanova et al., 2019). The advancement of technology reflects changes in a variety of facets of life, and entrepreneurs are increasingly using digital platforms for marketing and running their businesses online; As a result, they are urged to make the best use of these platforms to develop more creative and competitive business practice. In truth, digital marketing has altered how trademarks and corporations are functioned utilizing E-communication equipment as well as tools for marketing entrepreneurs and business owners since the 1990s and 2000s. A central argument is the efficiency and practicality of online media marketing for marketing purposes. A company's or organization's business performance is crucial. Advantages like effective resource management, economic growth, and employability can result from solid performance, so an entrepreneur must have a plan or approach while running a firm to make sure that the operation can increase sales performance (Omar et al., 2020). Any corporate entity's long-term objectives are to maximize earnings, reduce production costs, and satisfy customer demands. One of the most significant markets for the exchange of goods and services is now the Internet since consumer Internet expenditure in the United States has already surpassed $100 billion (in 2007), and the demand for information items like books, periodicals, and software online is increasing at a pace of 25% to 50% annually (Bizhanova et al., 2019).

As online platforms are united into promoting strategies and clients' everyday lives, as well as consumers utilize online technology rather than visit physical stores, digital marketing campaigns are becoming more effective (Omar et al., 2020).One of the most widely utilized digital marketing technique is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which has been defined by Omar et al. (2020) as the method of making it more likely for a website to be ranked in and prominently shown in internet search result. Another definition is to adjust the firm’s website so that it appears in search results naturally or organically on Google or any other search engine (Bala & Verma, 2018). This tool includes incorporating keyword insertion, website content customization, and ensuring that website content is original (Omar et al., 2020). The main argument about using this tool was made by many experts stating that Google modifies its algorithms frequently to ensure that only the most pertinent results appear, lots of authorities declare that SEO is lifeless, and the energy is worthless; nevertheless, it is a deed that Google works to discontinue algorithmic manipulation and purifies sites that shouldn't rank well in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). There is no question that the business should spend money on SEO because it is the most economical marketing tactic for increasing organic traffic to the organization’s website (Bala & Verma, 2018).

Blogs, photographs, posters, infographics, podcasts, webinars, videos, or material for micro blogging and social networking sites are just a few examples of the many diverse formats in which information may be provided. For specific items where buyers can recite reviews and offer notes about subjective experiences, blogs have effectively had an impact on growing sales income. Also, online evaluations have become a tremendously effective component of firms' overall marketing strategies. Moreover, the greatest method to advertise your company is via sharing good content, and the main strategy would be to hold the attention of your readers and pique their curiosity in your other writings (Bala & Verma, 2018). By endorsing the idea of using social networks and blogs to promote brand awareness, boost sale. In addition, supporting that advertising must be positioned where people are paying attention, so since people are spending an increasing amount of time online and on digital devices, marketers must take this into consideration. The use of blogging as a digital marketing technique has increased sales income, particularly for goods for which buyers can read reviews and leave comments about their own experiences. (Omar et al., 2020).

Since there are more people than anticipated using social media globally, it has become a global phenomenon. Social media marketing has enabled businesses to reach a wider audience, establish new channels of contact, strengthen their bonds with current clients, and resolve difficulties (Stojiljkovi?, 2019). Social media marketing is a byproduct of the company's search engine marketing (SEM) initiatives. Traffic generation for websites or businesses is done through social media applications like Instagram and other platforms. However, a customer must be comfortable with technology to run an effective social media marketing campaign. Social media is characterized as online engagement and communication between individuals on certain media platforms (Nawaz & Kaldeen, 2020). Two key features of social media, online “word-of-mouth,” and seller-generated user data, have a favorable influence on the user's propensity to purchase a product (Wang & Abdullayeva, 2011). The use of word-of-mouth (WOM) on social platforms for propagating the site as an additional attempted method for succeeding with digital marketing and it is associated with recruiting new members and boosting website traffic, both of which raise the website's exposure in terms of marketing.

Presently, big businesses use networks to move a corporate operation, which helps to cut expenses and shorten the time it takes to implement an idea (Bizhanova et al., 2019). Utilizing digital marketing has affected business owners' marketing plans and improved the standing of brands and services in the marketplace. Employing the internet enables the organization to generate new products and increase its main business through market penetration. Internet use may support organizations in growing their clientele and share in the market, as well as contributing to their evolution plan. The effect of internet use on company performance reveals that those entrepreneurs who utilized social platforms as a more distinguished business network and expanding in their marketing when we compare them to the entrepreneurs who do not use social platform for advertising objectives, advertising, labeling, data access, buyer service, and social capital are four aspects that characterize how social media usage affects entrepreneurship. Also, social media has created fresh marketing openings in the marketplace and given businesses the chance to engage with loads of people about the goods they offer and services they provide. Digital media may be considered by company owners and entrepreneurs as a viable substitute. In addition, entrepreneurs' business performance may be improved by digital marketing if they are equipped with the necessary information and abilities from the start (Omar et al., 2020). Marketing professionals have fantastic opportunity thanks to social media to connect with customers in their social networks and develop more intimate connections with them (Bizhanova et al., 2019). Improved brand product quality standards are only one of many changes that SMEs must make to keep up with the digital economy. Consumer happiness will increase with standardized product quality, which will ultimately impact customers' product loyalty. SMEs may profit from social networking tactics provided by websites like YouTube and Facebook which are vital sites for SMEs to sponsor their brands on a low budget. Social platform is a crucial component of SME businesses' marketing plans (Adam et al., 2020). Today's and tomorrow's marketers will need new information, additional training, and new techniques to recognize and interact with the new client as well as the evolving and technologically enabled marketing environment. Moreover, to encourage their target audience to visit the relevant website and learn more about their products, features, and services, marketers can design options to do so. Throughout this mechanism, customers can express their judgments about the product, their conclusion to purchase the product, and conforming feedback, all of which are observable on the site. As a result, marketers have an effective opportunity to interact with their target audience, which is a common practice. A well-designed website with excellent content may address the needs of the consumers and give considerable value to their expectations while creating more prospects. Online marketing makes brand development more effective than traditional modes of marketing (Bala & Verma, 2018). The ability to build a brand's image has shifted from marketers to online communications and consumer content because of social media, which have revolutionized how brand material is generated, delivered, and consumed (Bizhanova et al., 2019). According to Omar et al. (2020), since online companies are a new mechanism for borderless transactions that employ information technology as a method of communication more extensively and opening market options that make it simpler to have endless clients; rural online entrepreneurs may explore additional market potential. Several indicators, including the following, may be used to measure customer engagement: Clarity of information to describe the goods and services supplied. Clearly presented multimedia information is quite likely to catch consumers' attention. High levels of engagement can lead to increased online involvement. Customers' attention will be stimulated by a detailed description of the product or service being offered. Information provided in an engaging manner will gain more favorable attention and Information that is fresh and original will pique customers' curiosity (Nawaz & Kaldeen, 2020). It has also been shown that social media significantly affects customers' intentions to make a purchase of a good or service; this demonstrated the beneficial effects of social media on purchase intention. It has been proven that social media marketing may affect consumers' desire to buy, particularly through online discussion or word-of-mouth (Nawaz & Kaldeen, 2020).

According to IBM's research, E-commerce dominated the 1990s, while social commerce emerged around the turn of the new millennium. The four largest problems are the following: social media, channel proliferation, changing customer demographics, and data explosion (also known as big data). Three of these top four issues are related to the growth of digital marketing because for particularly the communication and marketing sectors, changing communication channels is a complex process (Bizhanova et al., 2019). As marketing becomes more virtual and as technical advancements continue, marketers face new possibilities and challenges: Some of the most fascinating and difficult fields in which future marketers are anticipated to be able to operate and deliver include mobile marketing, analytics, 3D printing, cloud computer technology, and AI, so it is quite difficult to stay on maximum of developments in social media and digital technologies and to make use of them effectively (Bala & Verma, 2018). Business actors that utilize digital media to sell their products confront several difficulties and limitations, including insufficient human resources and a lack of knowledge for manufacturing. Most domestic industries, in particular SMEs, experience similar issues related to a lack of proficiency about management and modern business. Because understanding online-based marketplace and learning orientations is the best strategy for achieving competitive advantages that subsequently impact SME performance, organizations must create transparent market and learning orientations to get a competitive advantage (Adam et al., 2020). Small- medium enterprises owners must be knowledgeable and skilled in using digital marketing tools like SEO, other e-commerce sites like Lazada and Zalora, as well as other social media platforms (Omar et al., 2020).

Digital Marketing & COVID 19

Businesses faced difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are struggling to survive amid a severe economic incident caused by the global crisis and social isolation. Prior to the pandemic, worldwide firms, particularly those in the retail sector relied on traditional marketing strategies to acquire customers. During the pandemic, individuals became divided, decreasing the efficacy of posters and other classic marketing tactics. Aside from the recession, people fear leaving their homes for no apparent reason, reducing the efficiency of traditional marketing approaches. Also, during the pandemic, people became isolated, reducing the effectiveness of public media and other traditional marketing initiatives. Businesses at that time shifted to digital marketing and social media platforms to engage more customers, since internet marketing can reach a larger number of people at lower costs. There are many reasons behind the dramatic transition of industry from traditional advertising mediums to online mediums. Some of them are official limitations and vacations in the first and second waves of COVID-19 caused the people to spend majority of their time on social media. Additionally, because of the widespread illness, consumers found it more convenient to make purchases online. Another reason is that it is a low-cost marketing channel; by targeting the right geographical location, social media marketing can reach many people. In pandemic outbreaks, the involvement of lesser costs leads businesses to use the desired medium of marketing. Lastly, because of changes in consumer behavior, organizations use social networks and other methods of digital marketing. Customers choose to purchase things from online businesses since we live in a technological age and smart phones have become an integral part of daily life (Ali, 2022).

Customer Behaviors & COVID 19

The pandemic covid-19 has created new paradigm shift in social media networks in relation to the consumers’ purchasing decision behaviors. Thus, it’s very important to study the impact of the pandemic on social media marketing behaviors and the customers’ decision-making process. It’s found that Covid-19 has changed customers’ purchasing behaviors in many aspects including: product needs, shopping and buying behaviors, as well as the customers’ satisfaction level. To deepen our knowledge of the impact of covid-19 on consumer decision-making model, the S-O-R theory interprets this as an environmental psychology-based explanation of how the external stimuli are impacting customers’ behaviors (Mason et al., 2021). For example, ordering branded cosmetics online has increased in Bangladesh as many people are staying at home. This is in addition to other different product categories like vehicles, banking services, insurance, and fast-moving consumer goods. As a result of the huge purchase expenditure, many branded-cosmetics companies started investing their money in this field and connecting with their targeted customers to sell their products and services through online channels, hence, enhance brand awareness. The online channels use the digital marketing enhancing factors, such as information search, brand awareness, buying behavior to give the customers the chance to compare the prices and choose the best value. This new innovative technology has generated new business model called direct to consumer (D2C) via mobile and online channels with different styles of communication like customer engagement, customization, interacting with large information sources, accessibility (Akter & Sultana, 2020).

Health care sector has, also, showcased the positive impact of digital marketing during covid-19 on customers’/patients’ behaviors. Covid-19 pandemic has expanded digital marketing in health care industry where consumers utilize the online and mobile channels to search for relevant information about treatment options. The digital medical innovative technologies could promote the medical services, which in turn attract new patients with the high-quality health service, thus fulfilling the objectives of customer satisfaction, customer engagement, trust, and loyalty (Khiong, 2022).

Covid-19 pandemic has led to major changes in many areas and has influenced the digital marketing implementation towards online customers. Online users and social media networks now have strong relationships thanks to the marketing tactics used on social media platforms in the many categories like customer retention, brand recognition, consumer involvement, purchase decision and intention (Zaidi & Shukri, 2022).

Enterprises & COVID-19

During the pandemic, entrepreneurs were required to entirely alter their conduct and business strategies. Previous business, management, and marketing philosophies were all but rendered useless during the time of COVID-19 Figure 1. MSMEs, are most crushed. Numerous of players in MEMEs claim to have been severely impacted by this epidemic. According to many reports, their business may have declined by much to 56%. Along with declining income, these MSME players had challenges with financing, distribution, and sourcing raw resources, and the source of finance for entrepreneurs was impacted by this incredibly high level of uncertainty, so because of this unpredictability, MSMEs' growth is sluggish and may even fail. However, numerous companies stepped up and recovered, and these MSMEs in recovery are those that were able to adjust to the pandemic's conditions, then create designs and put new business strategies into practice (Purba et al., 2021). For example, the organization that had recognized the increasing of social media engagement, so they worked on enhancing their social media marketing. There was plenty of spare time, which was mostly used for social media. As a result, this gives marketers the chance to benefit from and enhance their relationships with their clients through numerous Social Media platforms, like Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram. also, several businesses had utilized Artificial Intelligent (AI); for instance, while people's internet usage during lockdown grew and many employees were working from home, businesses used A.I.-based chat-bots that could assist consumers in need through a pre-set chat room. Customers' interest in these chatbots has risen surprisingly with their use, and consequently, they have taken on the role of a virtual assistant for the users (Ayush et al., 2020). There is absolutely no question that Covid-19 has had a positive effect on e-marketing, but moving forward in the post-Covid era, marketers will need to maintain or rather enhance the current digital opportunities to keep the customer base they have already built up during the Covid period (Tien et al., 2020).

Figure 1: The Impact Of Covid- 19 On Enterprises.


This research employs qualitative approach through overviewing different perspectives and point of views from several researches, and by engaging in extensive and open-ended research, this approach will raise more issues. Also, it helps Understanding how values, assumptions, and beliefs influence behavior (Choy, 2014). A qualitative technique also has the significant advantage of allowing participants to highlight the problems that are most critical to them because the investigation is open-ended and wide. Usually, the qualitative researcher doesn't have a predetermined, limited list of issues to look at (Yauch & Steudel, 2003).

Results and Discussion

This research investigated the digital marketing evolution and its impact on both, customers’ behaviors, and enterprises. Marketing digitalization has recorded a transitional phase in the communication history where consumers are electronically connected to sellers using the internet marketing that includes site portal, search engine partners’ sight, blogs, B2B partners, outsource partners and much more. Marketing digitalization is, also, used to display the advertising formats to target potential customers’ segments while customizing the message whether it’s a text, image, and banner, interactive or video ads. The research papers have demonstrated the consumers’ expectations factors for being influenced in the SNS. The factors can be subdivided into physiological as well as psychological. Physiological factors are related to integrity and credibility to convince customers to interact online. The SNS layout design influences and motivates customers to purchase intention of the products and services and get over the financial risk. Psychological factors assist online customers to overcome fear of fraud and doubts pertinent to trustworthiness of the SNS.

Due to digital marketing high impact on customers’ behaviors, research focused on combining social media marketing activity (SMMA) and customers experience (CX) with relationship quality to investigate SNS as a marketing tool. It was found that SMMA and CX of SNS marketing are greatly associated with relationship quality. Here, the marketing manager has to create messages or combine the content with an interesting story, music, special layout design, Q&A, multiple choices which can create two-way direct communication between consumers and enterprises.

As the markets do a lot of research to understand the buying behavior of the youth recently, research identified the influencing factors of the youth buying behavior including lifestyle, attracting the opposite gender, family background, purchasing power, job position of the youth, educational qualification, the impact of western culture.

Concerning the effect of social network sites on enterprises growth, the research papers presented that large corporate organizations transfer their business processes to online network to reduce the cost and time in implementing the marketing ideas. This has helped to create efficient electronic trading platforms. B2B model is beneficial in industries where competition and degree of standardization of products are so high. On the other hand, it is stated that B2C model major drawback is the small scale of internet users due to either inertia or preference of traditional distribution channels.

The digital marketing impact on customers’ behaviors as well as enterprises during covid-19 has increased the customers’ engagement via SNS since consumers spend less time in stores. As a result, consumers have been influenced by the social media to make purchase decision because of receiving recommendations in addition to messages from satisfied consumers, which have eventually built brand awareness by comparing product alternatives, assessing products and services associated risks, and making purchase.

Despite digital marketing enormous impact on customers’ behaviors and enterprises to expand in business and implement innovative technologies in the marketing strategies, the results according to Summon data base showed decline in the number of articles between 2002 and 2021. The highest publication year of articles was in 2000 with around 10,292 published articles and research papers to witness the double-digit growth and economic boom. Then, the publications started to decrease gradually till 2021 to record the lowest number reaching about 507 Figure 2.

Figure 2:Numbers Of Articles Decreases Over Time.

According to Research Gate, the results concerning the highest citation literature review between 2000 and 2022 highlighted that 2014 recorded the highest citation with 3,656 by Michael Jordan. The second level of highest citation literature review was in 2006 by Roberto M Lang with 3316 while the highest drop was in 2022 by Hélène Kaplon with 56 citations only Figure 3.

Figure 3:Highest Citation Literature Reviews.

Concerning number of digital marketing publications with Patents, the results as per University of Washington library data base have demonstrated the highest peak of publication occurred in 2018 and the trend was stable to decrease gradually in 2020 and then, dropped in 2022 with only 211 publications with patents Figure 4.

Figure 4:Number Of Publications With Patents.

Limitation and Future Research Direction

This project may also be used to support the claim that recognizing the most efficient digital marketing tools to use by MSMEs would guarantee the victory of their e-marketing. The drawback of this research is that it did not discuss the factors that would improve digital marketing and overcome the challenges that MSMEs can experience, so future researchers can expand it to that area.


In this research project, we recognized that e-marketing practices like (SEO), (SEM), blogging, e-commerce marketing, social platform marketing, social platform optimization, and games can have a positive influence on both businesses and customers’ behaviors. These techniques are evolving and becoming more popular in our rapidly developing technological world. Electronic marketing is cost effective and has a significant positive market potential. Today, MSMEs may now compete with larger ones by attaining specific audiences at a reduced cost.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Maqsood Muhmud Khan for his guidance in this review.


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Received: 07-Jan-2023, Manuscript No. ASMJ-23-13100; Editor assigned: 09-Jan-2023, PreQC No. ASMJ-23-13100(PQ); Reviewed: 30-Jan-2022, QC No. ASMJ-23-13100; Revised: 06-Feb-2023, Manuscript No. ASMJ-23-13100 (R); Published: 11-Feb-2023

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