THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND EFFECT OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETING ON SME PERFORMANCE IN BANGLADESH: MULTI-GROUP CFA

Sumona Salam, Abu Shams Mohammad Mahmudul Hoque

Abstract

Relationship Marketing (RM) is a dynamic marketing strategy that SMEs should adopt as customer buying decisions do not exclusively base on the quality and price of the products, but also depend on the customer relationship with the firm. Subsequently, in the current global economy, RM is a lifeblood to acquire and retain customers. Whereas, social media is a technique to maintain easy communication with all stakeholders for the survival of SMEs. More importantly, active SMEs generally contribute to the economy through poverty reduction, employment generation, innovation, social cohesion, and thus, SMEs are considered as a key apparatus of economic growth. Hence, this study aimed to investigate empirically the effects of RM on the SME Performance and the moderating role of Social media on the effect of RM on SME performance. This model obtains an extensive scholarly attention and thus numerous researches have been conducted in the western countries, but none has been conducted in Bangladesh using all these variables in a single model. A structured survey was conducted and selected 384 owners of SMEs in Bangladesh via cluster random sampling. The hypotheses were tested using SEM-AMOS package 22.0 based on configuration theory. Based on the statistical results, RM strategy has significant effect on Bangladeshi SME performance and Social media significantly moderate the effect of RM on SME performance in Bangladesh. In view of that, the findings evoked that there is a dire need to focus on RM strategy and Social media for SMEs to boost performance and its sustainability.

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