In line with the National eCommerce Strategy the MCA is committed to develop a number of sector-specific initiatives aimed at promoting the effective use of online technologies. The MCA organises training targeted at entrepreneurs who want to gain an overview of the business value of digital marketing and how it can be leveraged to achieve a competitive advantage.
Start-ups and micro-enterprises
As part of its remit to facilitate the promotion of ICT applications in business operations, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) undertook an initiative aimed at addressing potential misconceptions on the use of Internet marketing and highlighted how effective this can be in bringing in new business leads amongst local small entrepreneurs, whilst increasing reach to new markets. With the assistance of the Malta Enterprise and the Kordin Business Incubation Centre (KBIC), the MCA organised a number of short information sessions for entrepreneurs who were seeking to gain an insight into the business value of internet marketing and how it can be leveraged to achieve competitive advantage. The MCA engaged the services of a University lecturer specialised in internet marketing to deliver these sessions, who designed a bespoke programme that covered all the key areas of the subject, in a 3-hour session. Sessions were purposely kept relatively short to encourage attendance by an entrepreneurial audience.
Despite the fact that Internet marketing is no new concept in the world of business, some misconceptions with regard to a detachment from traditional, offline marketing tools prevail amongst entrepreneurs with no formal training on the subject. These sessions were therefore geared towards guiding participants as to how they can avoid common pitfalls that will deflect any genuine efforts in designing a successful Internet marketing strategy for their respective businesses.
Few of the areas tackled throughout these sessions included:
- Defining a set of clear market objectives to start generating or enhancing the businesses’ online presence
- Highlighting main advantages and challenges of internet marketing
- Identifying best channels for internet marketing
- Understanding the metrics of internet marketing
The MCA is strongly encouraged by the level of interest expressed in these sessions, as well as by the diversity in the entrepreneurial backgrounds from businesses focused on nano-technology to bakery businesses. The Authority is rolling roll out additional sessions to what was originally planned to accommodate the higher than expected demand and to maintain small groups to ensure the highest benefit for each participant.
The Tourism and Hospitality Sector
The MCA, in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority, organisesa number of short information sessions on Digital Marketing. This targets entrepreneurs operating in the tourism and hospitality sector who want to obtain an overview of the business value of digital marketing and how it can help them influence the customers’ path to purchase. Participants are introduced to the fundamentals of internet marketing, including online analytics, social media, customer reviews and online booking. The development of these sessions and their delivery in the tourism sector relates to both the MCA’s commitment set out in the National eCommerce Strategy (2014 – 2020) to develop a number of sector-specific initiatives aimed at promoting the effective use of online technologies and a specific tourism priority set in the National Tourism Policy (2015-2020) which lays out that the relationship and balance between the expectations of an increasingly tech-savvy travelling population and the continued need for personalised customer service . Likewise, it also addresses the objectives set-out under the Digital Malta Strategy, which advocates ICT as the enabler for business to become more competitive and more export-oriented.