Differences in the usage of online marketing and social media tools: evidence from Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian SMEs





online marketing, social media, SMEs, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary


Research background: Because of the rapid improvements in advanced technological tools and widely usage of the Internet among the world, most of SMEs in various countries have become able to apply their marketing activities through online marketing and social media platforms that are less costly for them. Since SMEs encounter many financing constraints, these marketing options might be very beneficial for them to use for their marketing activities. However, socio-economic and cultural factors differ in each corner of the globe.

Purpose of the article: This paper aims to investigate international differences between usage of online marketing and social media platforms by SMEs.

Methods: The authors of this paper have selected 1156 Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian SMEs from Cribis database by employing random sampling method. An online questionnaire was directed by the researchers to have responses from managers and owners of SMEs. To find differences in selected variables, the researchers perform ANOVA analyses with Post-Hoc tests in SPSS statistical program.

Findings & Value added: Regarding the size of businesses, Hungarian SMEs in both size categories: micro and small-medium sized, apply social media platforms in their operations more than Czech and Slovakian SMEs. When it comes to marketing activities, some similarities are in existence depending on size and age of SMEs. In detail, propensities of Slovakian and Hungarian older SMEs (that have been operating more than 10 years) and microenterprises to apply online marketing channels are higher than Czech older SMEs and Czech microenterprises. Corresponding to social media usage, Czech and Slovakian SMEs and older enterprises do not differ. But Hungarian SMEs and older Hungarian firms are more prone to apply social media channels than Czech and Slovakian SMEs and older Czech and Slovakian enterprises. This paper is a unique study that makes comparison between some Central European countries? SMEs that are in the Visegrad Group regarding their usage of their online marketing and social media tools. Thus, this paper also fulfills some gap in the marketing literature.


Download data is not yet available.


Abed, S., Dwivedi, Y., & Williams, M. (2016). Social commerce as a business tool in Saudi Arabia's SMEs. International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 13(1). doi: 10.1504/IJICBM.2016.077634.

Al-Azawei, A. (2018). Predicting the adoption of social media: an integrated model and empirical study on facebook usage. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 13. doi: 10.28945/4106.

Barnes, D., Clear, F., Harindranath, G., Dyerson, R., Harris, L., & Rea, A. (2012). Web 2.0 and micro-businesses: an exploratory investigation. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 19(4). doi: 10.1108/14626001211277 479.

Bartok, O. (2018). The use of CSR in e-commerce as a way to compete. Journal of Competitiveness, 10(4). doi: 10.7441/joc.2018.04.01.

Bednarčík, Z. (2014). International marketing in Business practice of small and medium-sized enterprises. In XVII. mezinárodní kolokvium o regionálních vědách Hustopeče 18–20. 6. doi: 10.5817/CZ.MUNI.P210-6840-2014-99.

Belanche, D., Casalo, L. V., Flavián, C., & Schepers, J. (2014). Trust transfer in the continued usage of public e-services. Information & Management, 51(6). doi: 10.1016/j.im.2014.05.016.

Cacciolatti. L. A., & Fearne, A. (2013). Marketing intelligence in SMEs: implications for the industry and policy makers. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 31(1). doi: 10.1108/02634501311292894.

Cepel, M., Stasiukynas, A., Kotaskova, A., & Dvorsky, J. (2018). Business environment quality index in the sme segment. Journal of Competitiveness, 10(2). doi: 10.7441/joc.2018.02.02.

Christodoulides, G. (2009). Branding in the post-internet era. Marketing Theory, 9(1). doi: 10.1177/1470593108100071.

Crabbe, M., Standing, C., Standing, S., & Karjaluoto, H. (2009). An adoption model for mobile banking in Ghana. International Journal of Mobile Communications, 7(5). doi: 10.1504/IJMC.2009.024391.

Crammond, R., Omeihe, K. O., Murray, A., & Ledger, K. (2018). Managing knowledge through social media: modelling an entrepreneurial approach for Scottish SMEs and beyond. Baltic Journal of Management, 13(3). doi: 10.1108/BJM-05-2017-0133.

Cui, Y., Mou, J., Cohen, J., Liud ,Y., & Kurcz, K. (2020). Understanding consumer intentions toward cross-border m-commerce usage: a psychological distance and commitment-trust perspective. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 39. doi: 10.1016/j.elerap.2019.100920.

Černe, M., Jaklič, M., & Škerlavaj, M. (2013). Decoupling management and technological innovations: resolving the individualism–collectivism controversy. Journal of International Management, 19(2). doi: 10.1016/j.intman.2013.03. 004.

Dahnil, M. I., Marzuki, K. M. Langgat, J., & Fabeil, N. F. (2014). Factors influencing SMEs adoption of social media marketing. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.025.

Deryabina, G., & Trubnikova, N. (2020). Digital B2B communications: economic and marketing effect. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, 87. doi: 10.1007/ 978-3-030-29586-8_98.

Diehl, S., Terlutter, R., & Weinberg, P. (2003). Advertising effectiveness in different cultures: results of an experiment analyzing the effects of individualistic and collectivistic advertising on Germans and Chinese. European Advances in Consumer Research, 6.

European Commission (2003). Recommendation of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (Text with EEA relevance) (notified under document number C(2003) 1422). Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32003H0361.

European Commission, SBA fact sheet Hungary, (2019). Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/38662/attachments/14/translations/en/renditions/native.

European Commission, SBA fact sheet Czechia, (2019). Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/38662/attachments/7/translations/en/renditions/native.European Commission, SBA fact sheet Slovakia, (2019). Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/38662/attachments/25/translations/en/renditions/native.

Eurostat (2019). Social media usage. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ web/products-eurostat-news/-/EDN-20190629-1

Family Business Institute (2019). Definition of Young Firm. Retrieved from https://www.familybusinessinstitute.com/.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: Sage Publication.

Foux, G. (2006). Consumer-generated media: get your customers involved. Brand Strategy, 8(1).

Furrer, O., Liu, B. S. C., & Sudharshan, D. (2000). The relationships between culture and service quality perceptions. Journal of Service Research, 2(4). doi: 10.1177/109467050024004.

Gati, M., & Bauer, A. (2019). Marketing decision-making in Hungarian SMEs. Market-Tržište, 31(1). doi: 10.22598/mt/2019.31.1.39.

Gerpott, T. J., Bicak, I., & Rammal, H. (2016). National identifications as determinants of the reception of country-of-origin sensitive advertising: the case of German-Turkish consumers. Review of International Business and Strategy, 26(1). doi: 10.1108/RIBS-01-2015-0007.

Giunchiglia, F., M., Zeni, E. Gobbi, E. Bignotti, & I. Bison. (2018). Mobile social media usage and academicperformance. Computers in Human Behavior 82. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.12.041.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2013). Multivariate data analysis. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Limited.

Hanna, R., Rohm, A., & Crittenden, V. L. (2011), We’re all connected: the power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons, 54(3). doi: 10.1016/j.bushor. 2011.01.007.

Hennig-Thurau, T., Malthouse, E. C., Friege, C., Gensler, S., Lobschat, L., Rangaswamy, A., & Skiera, B. (2010). The impact of new media in consumer relationships. Journal of Service Research, 13(3). doi: 10.1177/109467051 0375460.

Hoffman, D. L., & Fodor, M. (2010). Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing? MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(1).

Hofstede, G. H. (2001). Culture’s consequences: comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks. Sage Publication Inc.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: software of the mind-intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. McGraw-Hill.

Hofstede Individualism, Power distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity Indexes for Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (2020). Retrieved from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/.

Statista (2020). Number of smart phoneusers. Retrieved from https://www.statista. com/statistics/566122/predicted-number-of-smartphone-users-in-hungary/.

Järvinen, J., Töllinen, A., Karjaluoto, H., & Jayawardhena, C. (2012). Digital and social media marketing usage in B2B industrial sector. Marketing Management Journal, 22(2).

Kallier, S. (2017). The focus of marketing communication efforts of SMEs within south Africa. Management & Marketing. Challenges for the Knowledge Society, 12(1). doi: 10.1515/mmcks-2017-0009.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1). doi: 10.1016/j. bushor.2009.09.003.

Karjaluoto, H., & Huhtamäki, M. (2010). The role of electronic channels in micro-sized brickand-mortar firms. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 23(1). doi: 10.1080/08276331.2010.10593471.

Ketkar, S., Kock, N., Parente, R., & Verville, J. (2012). The impact of individualism on buyer–supplier relationship norms, trust and market performance: an analysis of data from Brazil and the U.S.A. International Business Review, 21(5). doi: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2011.09.003.

Ključnikov, A., Civelek, M., Čech, P., & Kloudová, J.. (2019). Entrepreneurial orientation of SMEs’ executives in the comparative perspective for Czechia and Turkey. Oeconomia Copernicana, 10(4). doi: 10.24136/oc.2019.035.

Kreiser, P. M., Marino, L. D., Dickson, P., & Weaver, K. M. (2010). Cultural influences on EO: the impact of national culture on risk taking and proactiveness in SMEs. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(5). doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00396.x.

Kwok, L., & Yu, B. (2013). Spreading social media messages on Facebook an analysis of restaurant business-to-consumer communications. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(1). doi: 10.1177/1938965512458360.

Li, Y.M., &Yeh, Y. S. (2010). Increasing trust in mobile commerce through design aesthetics. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(4). doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.01. 004.

Lu, Y., Yang, S., Chau, P. Y. K., & Cao, Y. (2011). Dynamics between the trust transfer process and intention to use mobile payment services: a cross-environment perspective. Information & Management, 48(8). doi: 10.1016/j.im. 2011.09.006.

Matusitz, J., & Musambira, G. (2013). Power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and technology: analyzing Hofstede’s dimensions and human development indicators. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 31(1). doi: 10.1080/15228835. 2012.738561.

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, 40. doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2011.09.009.

Moral, P., Gonzalez, P., & Plaza, B. (2014). Methodologies for monitoring website performance: assessing the effectiveness of AdWords campaigns on a tourist SME website. Online Information Review, 38(4). doi: 10.1108/OIR-12-2013-0267.

Odoom, R., Anning-Dorson, T., & Acheampong, G. (2017). Antecedents of social media usage and performance benefits in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(3). doi: 10.1108/ JEIM-04-2016-0088.

OECD (2020). Financing SMEs and entrepreneurs 2020 an Oecd scoreboard. Retrieved from https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/061fe03d-en.pdf?expi res=1589570033&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=4413403B0B2B1A261885BFD6AC8874D7.

Omar, F. I., Othman, N. A., & Hassan, N. A. (2019). Digital inclusion of ICT and its implication among entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises. International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology (IJEAT), 8(5). doi: 10.35940/ijeat.E1106.0585C19.

Pookulangara, S., & Koesler, K. (2011). Cultural influence on consumers' usage of social networks and its' impact on online purchase intentions. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18(4). doi: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2011.03.003.

Ramli, S. A., Samah, B. A., Hassan, M. S., Omar, S. Z., Bolong J., & Shaffri, H. A. M. (2015). Potential benefits of ICT for youth agro-based entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Journal of Applied Sciences, 15(3).

Sangi, N., Shuguang, L., & Sangi, A. R. (2018). Robustness of factors influencing social media usage/adoption amongst SMEs in developing countries: a case of Pakistan. In Proceedings of the 9th international conference on e-education, e-business, e-management and e-learning (IC4E ’18). New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. doi: 10.1145/3183586.3183600.

Statista (2019). Share of respondents who tended to trust the internet in the European Union (EU 28) countries in 2019 Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/422787/europe-trust-in-the-internet-by-country/.

Shideler, D., & Badasyan, N. (2012). Broadband impact on small business growth in Kentucky. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 19(4). doi: 10.1108/14626001211277415.

Shin, N., Kim, D., Park, S., & Oh, J. (2018). The moderation effects of mobile technology advancement and system barrier on m-commerce channel preference behavior. IseB, 16(1). doi: 10.1007/s10257-017-0345-z.

Soares, A. M., Farhangmehr, M., & Shoham, A. (2007). Hofstede's dimensions of culture in international marketing studies. Journal of Business Research, 60. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2006.10.018.

Taiminen, H., & Karjaluoto, H. (2015). The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 22(4). doi: 10.1108/JSBED-05-2013-0073.

Valaei, N., Rezaei, S., Ismail, W. K. W., & Oh, Y. K. (2016). The effect of culture on attitude towards online advertising and online brands: applying Hofstede’s cultural factors to internet marketing. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 10(4). doi: 10.1504/IJIMA.2016.081346.

Viehland, D., & Brink, B. (2006). Consumer and business owner attitudes to text marketing. In AMCIS 2006 Proceedings. Retrieved from https://aisel.aisnet.org/ amcis2006/248.

Werdani, R. E., & Djoko, W. H. (2018). The effect of social media usage to the nonfinancial performance and financial performance of small medium enterprises (SMEs) Kampung Batik Semarang. Advanced Science Letters, 24. doi: 10.1166/asl.2018.13136.

World Bank (2018). GDP per capita Czech, Slovak, Hungary. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=CZ-SK-HU

Yaseen, H., Al-Adwan, A. S., & Al-Madadha, A. (2019). Digital marketing adoption among SMEs in Jordan: a mixed-method approach. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 97(4).

Yeniyurt S, & Townsend, J. (2003). Does culture explain acceptance of new products in a country? An empirical investigation. International Marketing Review, 20(4). doi: 10.1108/02651330310485153.

Yildiz-Durak, H., & Seferoglu, S. S. (2020). Antecedents of social media usage status: examination of predictiveness of digital literacy, academic performance, and fear of missing out variables. Social Science Quarterly by the Southwestern Social Science Association. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12790.




How to Cite

Civelek, M., Gajdka, K., Světlík, J., & Vavrečka, V. (2020). Differences in the usage of online marketing and social media tools: evidence from Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian SMEs. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 15(3), 537–563. https://doi.org/10.24136/eq.2020.024