Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Web Marketing of Islamic Banks in Malaysia Can Website Help in Reducing Negative Perception about Islamic Banks?

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Web Marketing of Islamic Banks in Malaysia Can Website Help in Reducing Negative Perception about Islamic Banks?

Article excerpt

Abstract

Since the development of Islamic banking, negative concerns prevail because of low customer awareness and understanding of Islamic banking and its financing methods. Trust and credibility factor for Islamic products are low. Operational concerns exist specifically about staff and scholars. A perennial challenge facing all Islamic financial institutions is how to communicate with customers in a way that will affects their behaviours or attitudes.

For developing relationship with consumers, it is imperative for Islamic banks to remove all negative concerns and doubts by developing educative and effective marketing strategy utilizing all their contact channels. Specifically, in reaching to the consumers effectively, Websites can be utilised in giving appropriate, sufficient, and relevant information. The distinctive aspect of this paper is that it analyses the Islamic bank websites which were evaluated against criteria developed through a literature review of existing Islamic banking challenges. Research questions were developed to investigate the issue. This research is Qualitative and descriptive in nature, as two Islamic banks websites of Malaysia were accessed in 2010 and 2014 in order to understand the differences and similarities with regard to website structures, content, information, colour theme and target audiences of marketed web products. By investigating these factors descriptively, this research provides practical suggestions to design effective webpages or promotional messages to educate and inform customers of the distinction between Islamic banking products and services, and those offered by conventional banks. Moreover, along with serving marketing purposes, this study also believes that Islamic banks can use their websites for recruiting, informing consumers about their social activities, and the Shari'ah board.

Keywords: Islamic banking, Malaysia, marketing, website

1. Introduction

Most financial institutions describe their bank activities and products through Newspaper, Television, and Brochures. Along with all those marketing communication channel websites are the most effective source of communicating and providing information to consumers. Most of the web features like new product information, online banking and customer service are implemented on main webpage, and the information on the websites can be graphically attractive and interactive, and it can be updated on a continual basis (Jasimuddin, 2001).

Therefore, when existing or potential customers wanted to enquire more about Islamic banking products, they instantly search on the websites. Their queries and concerns can be resolved if sufficient and relevent information can found at bank webpage. However if they cannot find any specific information for example product structure, charges, profit rate at bank webpage, it will impact negatively on customers. Realizing this fact it is very important for Islamic banks to design their website and advertisements by understanding consumer needs and requirements.

In the existing literature, good number of article has been written on the impact of internet banking service (Rotchanakitumnuai & Speece, 2003; Wang et al., 2003; Jun & Cai, 2001), but there is not any specific study found on evaluating, measuring, observing the effectiveness of Islamic web-marketing in reducing the doubts and misconceptions.

Therefore, this paper steps forward to begin filling that gap in the literature. The scope of this research is to investigate the key issues of Islamic banks discussed in literature review (Used Arabic names for credibility and reliability, Website focused too much on graphics and serving advertising purposes, Unclear Marketing, Target Segment not clear) and then evaluate the degree of usefulness of web advertising messages of two full-fledged Islamic banks in Malaysia. Bank Islam and Bank Muamlat are selected because they are holding the largest Islamic assets in Malaysia. …

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